1952-59

Judith Schnall Somerstein ’52, G’16, of Dobbs Ferry, New York, died on March 20, 2016. She leaves her husband; her daughters, Meryl, P’16, Naomi and Eve; seven grandchildren, including Jessica Laub ’16; and her brother. Rabbi Robert Samuels ’54, of Ein Hod Village, Israel, who was committed to Progressive Judaism and strengthening the humane spirit of the Jewish homeland, died on May 15, 2016. He was the second headmaster of Haifa’s Leo Baeck School, dedicating himself to making it an outstanding educational center for children of all backgrounds, and educating them in the values of democracy, pluralism and the principles of Progressive Judaism. He also established two synagogues in Haifa and mentored many leaders of the Reform Movement in Israel and North America. He was a founding member of the Israeli Council of Progressive Rabbis and the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. Robert leaves his wife, Annette, with whom he made aliyah to Israel in 1962; his children, Amy, David and Tamar; nine grandchildren; and siblings Vic ’63 (and his wife, Bobbi ’63), Mitch and Barbara. Rabbi Bernard Spielman ’54, of Boynton Beach, Florida, a Holocaust survivor, educator and tennis aficionado, died on June 22, 2016, after a battle with leukemia. He leaves his children — Rena, Sharon and Joel — and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Rozelin Berger ’53. Leah Adele Alexander ’55, of Taos, New Mexico, a social worker with Child Protective Services in California for many years, died on Jan. 25, 2016. After moving to Taos, she joined Storytellers of New Mexico. She leaves her son, Jared, and two grandchildren. Ivy Schiff ’55, of Forest Hills, New York, a public-school teacher and administrator in New York City, died on June 11, 2016, after battling cancer for two years. She is survived by her children, Robin, Matthew, Claudia and Jennifer; her stepsons, Andrew and Matthew; and nine grandchildren. She was predeceased by her two husbands. Jane Eskind ’56, of Nashville, Tennessee, the first woman in Tennessee to win a statewide election, died on Aug. 4, 2016. She won a seat on the Public Service Commission in 1980, running as a Democrat. She made her first bid for public office in 1978, winning the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Howard Baker Jr. before losing to Baker in the general election. In 1994, she became the first woman to chair the Tennessee Democratic Party. She was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010. A generous supporter of Brandeis, she established the Jane Greenebaum Eskind Fellowship in Democracy and Public Policy, and then the Jane Greenebaum Eskind ’56 Endowed Scholarship in Democracy and Public Policy. “Jane was a trailblazer and political pioneer who dedicated herself to making the world — and Brandeis — a better place,” says Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12, senior vice president of institutional advancement. Jane leaves Richard, her husband of 62 years; her children, Ellen and Billy; her brother, John; and six grandchildren. Harriet (Miller) Garber ’56, of Dedham, Massachusetts, formerly of Newton, died on Jan. 28, 2016, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She leaves Harold, her husband of 57 years; her children, Richard, Amy and Jody; and six grandchildren. Joel Gerstel ’57, of Cedarhurst, New York, retired president and CEO of the American Parkinson Disease Association, died on Jan. 21, 2016, after a prolonged illness. He leaves his wife, Deanne; his children, Sharon and Jeffrey; his sister, Joanne; and three grandchildren. Robert Kelley ’57, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a freelance writer, died on April 30, 2016. He leaves his wife, Diana; his daughter, Lisa; his granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren. Joel Corman ’58, of West Newton, Massachusetts, a professor emeritus at Suffolk University, died on Feb. 29, 2016. He earned an MBA and a PhD in economics and management from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught at Suffolk’s Sawyer School of Management for 30 years and authored two textbooks on entrepreneurship. He leaves his wife of 58 years, Paula; his daughter, Bicky; and his sister, Nancy. Allan Drachman ’58, of Sarasota, Florida, formerly of Wayland and Wellesley, Massachusetts, a pioneer in the public-sector labor-relations field and former labor commissioner in Massachusetts, died on Feb. 13, 2016. He leaves his wife, Judith; his children, Neil and Amy; his brother, Edward; and two grandchildren. Helen Kass ’58, of Brookline, Massachusetts, a counselor, died on June 20, 2016. After receiving a master’s in counseling from Northeastern, she worked as an admissions officer at Lesley and Brandeis; director of field placement at Wheelock; a junior-high guidance counselor; and a geriatric-care counselor and manager. She leaves her husband of 62 years, Rudolph; and her children, Elizabeth, Susan and Peter. Malcolm MacLeod, MA’58, of Framingham, Massachusetts, a U.S. Air Force physicist, died on June 14, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan; his children, Malcolm III, Raymond, John and Joanne; and two grandchildren. Morton Rabkin ’58, of Panama City, Panama, died on April 27, 2016. A lawyer, Morton practiced with two firms in Cincinnati, and also served as assistant city solicitor, crafting legislation for hillside and historic-district preservation. His passion for piloting airplanes and helicopters led him to purchase and operate Cincinnati’s Harrison Airport. He was the founding board chair of Talbert House, an organization focused on integrating ex-offenders back into the community, and was president of Yavneh Day School. After he and his wife, Barbara, moved to Panama in 2008, Morton pursued his interest in woodworking and his 30-year romance with artisan bread baking. In addition to his wife, he leaves his children, Stuart, Michael and Daniel, and three grandchildren. Edwin Hamada ’59, of Newton, Massachusetts, a lawyer in the Boston area for nearly 50 years, died on Feb. 18, 2016, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was the principal of Hamada Legal and Consulting Services for 47 years, handling complex litigation with a focus on family law and legal malpractice. He leaves his children, Adam, Jill, Matthew and Nikelle; his sister, Roslyn; and three grandchildren. John Riley, MA’59, PhD’64, of Alexandria, Egypt, and formerly of Chazy, New York, died on March 7, 2016, after a brief illness. He moved to Egypt to teach at the American University in Alexandria. He leaves his wife, Nadia; his children, Maureen, John, Mary and James; his sisters, Joan, Pat, Mary, Kathy and Martha; and six grandchildren.

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