Class Correspondent

20th Reunion
June 9-11, 2017

Class members are invited to join the Class of 1997’s closed group on Facebook. You will find regular posts and details about activities taking place at Brandeis, including information about our upcoming 20th Reunion, scheduled for June 9-11, 2017.

Alisa Finsten spent eight incredible years working in the Los Angeles mayor’s office, first for Antonio Villaraigosa and then for Eric Garcetti. She spent most of her time in the public-safety arena, managing large, complex grants for the region’s first responders. In July 2016, Alisa became senior vice president of community engagement at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Alisa lives in LA with her husband, Jim, and their kids, Sammy (6) and Joey (4). Ruth Jacobs Jackson is vice president for communications at Colby, and mom to Anton and Isaac, ages 4 and 5. Ali Kaufman has started Space of Mind, a modern schoolhouse and community studio in downtown Delray Beach, Florida. Space of Mind offers students in grades 6-12 a full-time innovative alternative to public and private school, as well as a host of community programs for students, parents, families, adults and educators. Ali also operates the Community Classroom Project, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and nurturing lifelong learning through educational, creative and lifestyle programs; educational technology; curriculum resources; and a think tank that provides training and research for educators and influencers. After more than 19 years of working at the Broadway League in various capacities, Rachel Reiner now manages the National High School Musical Theatre Awards/Jimmy Awards, a celebration of outstanding student achievement in high-school musical theater that also honors teachers’ and schools’ commitment to performing-arts education. She just completed a two-year term as co-president (alongside Larry Phillips) of the Alumni Club of New York City. Joanna Rothman was named director of development at the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common. She had previously been director of development at Gateways: Access to Jewish Education. Aleksey Tsalolikhin trains computer-system administrators from such world-class organizations as DirecTV, AT&T, Intel, LinkedIn, Visa, Samsung and Deluxe Technicolor Digital Cinema. His 8-year-old daughter, Zhenya, won the Burbank Public Library’s summer reading club competition by writing 122 book reports in six weeks. His wife, Natasha, is nearing the end of her spiritual-counselor training.

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