Class Correspondent

Beth Flanzbaum now works at Brighamand Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she serves as the social worker for the international mesothelioma program and also provides family-based services to those undergoing thoracic treatment. Imagine her surprise when she discovered her new office is located next door to that of psychologist Paul Davidson ’83, her Usdan Hall basement neighbor when she was a residence counselor at Brandeis. She is a member of the adjunct faculty at the Boston University School of Social Work, where she teaches family therapy and advises master’s degree students. Philip Gerstein, a professional artist and painter receiving increasing recognition, has had numerous shows in New York City and the Boston area. His first solo show was last summer in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Jerome Hoberman celebrated the recent marriage of his daughter Maia to David Snider. The couple are both recent computer-science graduates of the University of Michigan who work as software engineers at Facebook in Northern California. Steffi Aronson Karp is looking forward to the seventh annual LimmudBoston conference — which she founded and runs from her Waban, Massachusetts, home — in December 2016. She is pleased to report that the program has become a Boston-area institution, with many Brandeis classmates both attending and presenting. Mark Levinson, a corporate and securities partner in Fox Rothschild’s Los Angeles office, was appointed to the Association of Corporate Growth’s 101 Corridor board of directors. Members include business leaders actively involved in Los Angeles and the Westlake/Thousand Oaks region. Rosa Lowinger co-curated the exhibition “Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction” at Miami Beach’s Wolfsonian museum and released the 10th anniversary edition of her book “Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub.” She is president and chief conservator at RLA Conservation of Art + Architecture, a sculpture conservation firm with offices in Miami and Los Angeles. Lorraine Luger and her husband, Dennis, relocated to the Minneapolis area to be close to their two adult daughters. She had lived in Connecticut since graduating from Brandeis. She writes, “I had the opportunity to attend my nephew’s graduation from Brandeis in May. It was wonderful to see the school is even better than when we were there.” Rod MacNeil sadly reports that his husband, Bill Grey, died peacefully on July 26, 2016, at their home as a result of brain cancer. Bill lived his illness with presence, humor and grace, Rod says. He is grateful for the love and support shown by Brandeis friends Margery Kates, Steve Goldstein, Sharon Bashevkin-Perry, Perry Traquina and Chris Ciotti over the 17 months of Bill’s illness. Fruma Markowitz has enjoyed her two Brandeis Travelers trips — to India with Harleen Singh, associate professor of South Asian literature and women’s studies, in 2015, and to Eastern Europe with professor emeritus of Holocaust studies Antony Polonsky in summer 2016. Fruma writes, “I cannot say enough about the high energy and high quality I experienced on these two trips. It makes all the difference to be traveling with Brandeis faculty, without whom these would be packaged tours like any other. It also goes without saying that my fellow travelers — either Brandeis alumni or friends of the university — are companions without compare. They are smart, friendly, thoughtful, interested and interesting, so there is never a dull moment, never a boring conversation. There is a sense of special belonging that is quite reminiscent of how we still talk about our student days at Brandeis.” Miriam Markowitz lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with Stephen Shulman. Miriam is CEO of AABB, a global association and accrediting body working to advance transfusion and cellular therapies worldwide. Scott Marnoy lives in Claremont, California, with his wife, Sue, and their two children. He recently completed his 28th year as a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente. In his free time, he searches for birds, reptiles, plants and interesting curiosities of the natural world. Bill Mooney-McCoy is entering his fourth year as director of chapel worship at Gordon College, where he supervises worship bands and the gospel choir. He is also teaching piano and guitar privately, and does computer programming on the side. Bill and Paulea Mooney-McCoy ’76 celebrated 36 years of marriage and still live in the home they bought in Boston’s Dorchester section in 1980. For Steve Saklad, 2016 kicked off with the premiere of the feature film “How to Be Single,” a picture he designed in his old stomping grounds in New York City. He spent the second half of 2016 in Atlanta designing a new TV series, “Star,” for the same director with whom he collaborated on “Empire” two years ago. His goal for 2017: To work on a feature film shot at home in Los Angeles, for a change. Lesley Sharp is professor of anthropology at Barnard and senior research scientist in sociomedical sciences at Columbia. A medical anthropologist by training, she completed a year as a visiting fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she worked on a book on how lab scientists think about the moral aspects of their work with research animals. She writes, “It was great being back in the Boston area.” Judi Shostack practices law at the legal-services branch of the Ministry of Transportation in Toronto. She continues to travel the world, most recently taking a spectacular trip down the Danube with Antony Polonsky, professor emeritus of Holocaust studies, through the Brandeis Travelers program. Judi is president of the Alumni Club of Toronto and a member of the Alumni Association board of directors. She enjoys watching her twin 24-year-olds mature into wonderful adults and is proud her daughter is following her into the legal profession. On a more somber note, she is mourning the loss of Lou Benjamin and is grateful she went to visit him in New York at the end of March 2016. Judi writes, “Lou was a real presence during our time at Brandeis, with his briefcase in hand and his Datsun 240Z not far away. He was honest, funny, kind and sensitive — a real mensch.” David Sternberg, P’20, has practiced personal-injury law in the Chicago area since 1983. David married his wife, Diane, P’20, in 1994. They are the parents of Josh, a Drake University junior studying business, and Ethan ’20, who just started at Brandeis. David writes, “We just spent an amazing weekend moving Ethan into Reitman. As an alum, I am always proud of our school and cherish the friendships made 40 years ago that are even stronger today. But as a parent of a new student, I am thrilled about Ethan’s opportunities at Brandeis over the next four years. The campus is beautiful, the students are excited, and the vibe is as it has always been — everyone is eager to make a difference.” Although Mel Stoler, who lives with his wife, Karen, in Brookline, Massachusetts, retired in June 2015 after more than 30 years in social work with the state’s Department of Mental Health, he’s staying very busy. He recently completed his 30th annual Pan- Mass Challenge to raise money for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; continues to donate platelets (more than 425 times); and travels the world as a courier for the National Marrow Donor Program, picking up and delivering bone-marrow stem cells for transplant. Brandeis Trustee Mark Surchin, president of the Brandeis Alumni Association, was profiled in The Canadian Jewish News. He’s the first Canadian to lead the association. Robert Topper, P’16, has a surgery and vein-care practice in Boca Raton, Florida. His wife, Shari, P’16, is a dermatologist. Daughter Rebecca, a George Washington graduate, lives and works in NYC. Daughter Samantha ’16 just graduated magna cum laude from the ’Deis; moved home; and is working for JAFCO, a nonprofit that helps needy children in South Florida. Brandeis Trustee Perry Traquina, former chair and CEO of Wellington Management, has been elected to Allstate’s board of directors. He is also on the boards of eBay and Morgan Stanley. Gary Wasserman and Debra Wortzman Wasserman still live in Portland, Oregon. For the past year and a half, they have run an Airbnb out of their home in the Hillsdale neighborhood. With nearly 120 rentals and more than 100 five-star reviews, they are enjoying a bit of success in the sharing economy. Both of their sons are working at an energy-conservation consulting business in Portland. Deb still enjoys teaching advanced math to Portland high-school students.

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