Class Correspondent

In June, my family celebrated my father’s 90th birthday in Florida. Our daughters, nieces and cousins came from all parts of the country to make the birthday truly unforgettable. Around Labor Day, my husband and I enjoyed a trip to Park City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and a stopover in California to see our daughter and son-in-law, who live in Redwood City. Your Class Notes are wonderful to read, so please keep them coming. If you’re not receiving email reminders from me, please let me know.

Kathie Abrams, P’16, continues to enjoy her job as an elementary-school art teacher. In July, she and husband Jeremy Garber, P’16, toured Alaska’s Inside Passage on a family reunion cruise. Daughter Judith Garber, Heller MPP’16, 26, is working on health-care policy at the Lown Institute, in Brookline, Massachusetts, and daughter Leah, 24, lives in Brooklyn and works at a tech startup. Both play Ultimate Frisbee. Daughter Miriam, 22, graduated from Rutgers as part of the school’s 250th class (President Barack Obama spoke at Commencement). Kathie enjoys occasional visits with Marian Bass, Don Friedman and Ilene Miller. Marian Bass’ daughter, Sasha Albert, is pursuing a doctorate at Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She received a fellowship from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. David Bloomfield is professor of educational leadership, law and policy at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. The third edition of his book “American Public Education Law” was recently published, and his comments on the intersection of education law, politics and policy are regularly featured in print and electronic media across the country. David has lived in Brooklyn with his wife, Vicky Vossen, for 30 years. Son Jacob is a doctoral student in gender history at the University of Manchester, in the U.K., and son Caleb is a teacher and music journalist in New Orleans. Stewart Cohen, P’14, and his wife, Claudine, P’14, became first-time grandparents with the birth of their granddaughter, Yali, to their daughter, Dalia, and son-in-law, Eric Greene, Heller MA’16. The Rev. Peter Connolly is entering his eighth and final year as the first settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bowling Green, Kentucky. He graduated with honors from Andover Newton Theological School in 2007 and was ordained as a minister at the First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist in 2008. Jack (Gilberg) Gilron, P’09, reports his daughter, Miryam, gave birth to her second child at Haifa’s Carmel Medical Center, where she is doing her medical internship. Jack’s son, Roee ’09, and Jonathan Rosenblatt (Sam Cohen’s stepson) are collaborating on neuroscience research. Steve “Buddy” Greene published “Fish Out of Water: Two Jewish Guys in a Deep South Firehouse,” the story of how, after planning to be a rabbi and then working as a religious-school principal, he became a volunteer firefighter/EMT in the Greensboro, North Carolina, area. The book mixes humorous tales with more serious ones, and describes how his synagogue viewed his job. Kathryn Hellerstein was appointed the Ruth Meltzer Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jewish studies program. Leslie Hyman, an internationally recognized leader in the field of vision research and public health, was named vice chair for research at Wills Eye Hospital, in Philadelphia. She will hold the Thomas D. Duane Endowed Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and will become co-director of the Wills Vision Research Center at Jefferson. Leslie is an ocular epidemiologist who researches the leading causes and risk factors of visual impairment. Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill is teaching a class, “Torah Study for Skeptics,” which has attracted an interesting group of Jews and non-Jews, and is sparking some excellent discussions. She hopes the class will help bring new members into her congregation, Tidewater Chavurah, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Caroline Leavitt is on a book tour through April 2017 promoting her novel “Cruel Beautiful World,” which came out in October 2016. The book is set in part at Brandeis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since 2015, Karen Meyers has served as assistant deputy director for policy and strategy in the Office of Enforcement at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She writes, “The work is challenging, exciting and fulfilling. I have not lived on the East Coast since 1984, so being in D.C. is part of the adventure.” Producer Cathy Morris Chernoff’s involvement with Broadway continued this fall with “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” starring Liev Schreiber, and “The Great Comet,” starring Josh Groban. She is looking forward to traveling to Japan and Hong Kong this winter with her son Marc. Dale Morse, P’00, and her husband, John Salvati, P’00, moved to Evergreen, Colorado, in February 2016 to be nearer to grandchildren; celebrated the first birthday of their Florida-based granddaughter in Trabuco Canyon, California, in April; spent six weeks in Cabo de Gata, Spain, with their younger daughter; and celebrated Dale’s mother’s 90th birthday in Guilford, Vermont. Tom Phillips, along with Peter Rundquist, scored “The Great War,” a six-hour “American Experience” series on World War I. It is scheduled to air on PBS in April 2017. Tom also composed the score for “Tell Them We Are Rising,” a two-hour film about black colleges and universities produced by PBS’ “Independent Lens.” Marvin and Melanie Pinkert ’75 celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary at the end of August. Marvin reports he is having a great time running the Jewish Museum of Maryland, in Baltimore, which held the Great Chicken Soup Cook-Off in October 2016. Melanie received a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland in May 2016. After 29 years as a professor of English at the University of Minnesota, Paula Rabinowitz retired in May 2016. She moved back to New York this summer after living in the Midwest (Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Minneapolis) since 1978. She continues to serve as the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Heidi Ravven, MA’74, PhD’84, was appointed Bates and Benjamin Professor of Classical and Religious Studies at Hamilton College, and also visiting professor of philosophy at the School of Marxism at Northeast Normal University, in Changchun, China. Michael Rubin, a partner at Altshuler Berzon in San Francisco, won the 20th annual California Lawyer of the Year Award (from California Lawyer magazine and the Daily Journal legal newspaper) in the category of employment law. He won for his work in Carrillo v. Schneider Logistics, a class action in behalf of 2,000 low-wage immigrant Wal-Mart warehouse workers employed in California’s Inland Empire between 2001 and 2013. The article describing Michael’s work emphasized the novel legal theories and strategies that resulted in a series of joint employer-liability rulings and a $22.7 million settlement — with some of the warehouse workers receiving more than $80,000 each. This was the fifth CLAY Award he has received. In June, Betsy Sarason Pfau and Dan Pfau ’73 took their sons, David and Jeffrey, to Italy for eight days. Betsy writes, “It was our first family vacation in nine years, as time together is challenging now that they are grown.” David, 31, lives in London and works for Google DeepMind. Jeffrey, 27, lives in San Jose, California, and works in computer security for NCC Group. In July, Bruce Stark had a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer, and he wants to encourage our male classmates to get a screening exam and PSA test for early detection. Bruce had no risk factors nor family history, yet, despite a previous negative biopsy and being followed closely, he ended up with high intermediate prostate cancer. Bruce writes, “I pushed up my MRI, biopsy and surgery, even though I was told there was no urgency. One must advocate for one’s self despite the conventional wisdom that prostate cancer is a slow-moving disease. I hope this note will motivate our classmates to be vigilant about this disease.” Sheldon “Shelly” Stein is president of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, North America’s largest distributor of wine and spirits, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion and a workforce of some 20,000 employees. Southern Glazer’s is a new company formed by the merger of Southern Wine and Spirits, and Glazer’s Distributors. The company operates in 44 states, Canada and the Caribbean. Sally Zanger, P’21, writes, “My daughter Maya Zanger-Nadis ’21 graduated from high school in June, is spending the year studying in Israel and then plans to enter Brandeis in fall 2017. I am not sure how I feel about having an empty nest after 35 years (I worked hard to avoid this). I am still working (very happily) at the Connecticut Legal Rights Project.”

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