The opening of the university’s new computer center on October 1 marked the culmination of a three-year campaign to provide a permanent home for Brandeis’ growing pool of technology resources. The new facility was named in honor of Max and Morris Feldberg, longtime Brandeis supporters, whose family had pledged support not only to the construction and equipping of the center but for the establishment of teaching and research programs as well.
The university’s PDP-10 computer had been temporarily housed in Ford Hall, where its predecessor had become a subject of concern during the student takeover of that building in 1969. It was now relocated to the Feldberg Computer Center, with the entire move, including the cabling, handled by students over a single weekend. Brandeis senior Rick Shapiro, a Computer Science major, designed and installed a memory expansion for the PDP-10, bringing it up to a staggering 128K.
Although Jewish students on campus had always enjoyed the choice to attend either Reform or Orthodox services, a growing number of students raised in the Conservative tradition found themselves dissatisfied with these options. In an attempt to address the needs of Brandeis students seeking a traditionally-run service which would give women and men equal access to all aspects of the Conservative Sabbath service, students mobilized and created a new egalitarian service — at that time almost unheard of in Judaism. One of the founding members of this group was Amy Eilberg ’76, who went on to become the first ordained Conservative woman Rabbi. The group also redesigned Berlin chapel to its current more Sephardic style seating in which the bimah (podium) is amid rather than juxtaposed to the congregants.