Class Correspondent

Nancy Hafkin was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as a Global Connector. She has been a pioneer and an innovator in the area of networking, development information and electronic communications, working primarily with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Her work on African networking helped build the continent’s IT framework through partnerships with governmental, nongovernmental and development institutions. She played a central role in facilitating the Association for Progressive Communications’ work to enable email connectivity in more than 10 countries during the early 1990s before full Internet availability became a reality in most of Africa. The Jewish Week profiled Susan Weidman Schneider, founding editor of Lilith: The Jewish Women’s Magazine, which recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. In a lengthy Q&A, Susan spoke about a number of issues, including the lack of women in positions of leadership in the Jewish community. “Jewish organizations could be a ‘light unto the nations’ by being in the forefront of better labor practices, hiring and promoting women at least equally with men and paying them as well, too,” she said. “Also, I’m really sick of hearing that ‘we just don’t have any women ready in the pipeline.’” Bob Zuckerman let us know that he and his wife, Phyllis, have moved to Virginia Beach, Va., to be near his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren Jonah and Chloe. Bob has joined the Williams Mullen law firm as “of counsel” in its Virginia Beach office. Founding president Ellen Bassuk is leaving the National Center on Family Homelessness after almost 25 years to work full time at the Center for Social Innovation, a small business she founded in 2006. Patricia Striar Rohner is finishing her first novel, “TZippy the Thief,” a family saga about an 80-year-old Jewish woman. Barbara Zoloth has retired and is happily continuing her volunteer work supporting, organizing and participating in same-sex ballroom dancing. She is delighted that her niece Sarah Zoloth ’14 is now in her junior year at Brandeis with a double major in sociology and health: science, society and policy. Steven Mora checked in to let us know that his son Max, who just turned 21, is a screenwriter and producer of independent movies. His son Josh, who is 42, is an educator and administrator with Full Sail University. Steve’s wife, Nancy, recently retired from her firm in the executive search field, though the retirement may be temporary. Steve is working harder than ever as a trial lawyer (he also worked on the Obama campaign), and he plays tournament golf in his spare time. Helen Goldenberg writes, “My gentleman friend, Stephen, and I spent June and part of July in Westchester County, N.Y., waiting for a new grandchild to be born and helping the family after the big event. Anna Gillian Weiner arrived on June 22. We helped care for big brother Samuel Milton, who celebrated his third birthday in July. Later on, we did some traveling in Massachusetts and upstate New York to see friends and then visited my other grandchildren, Andrew and Vivian Heller, ages 5 and 2, in Atlanta. In early August, the whole family went back to Westchester to attend an official naming ceremony for Anna.” Jeffrey Tarter checked in with an update: “It’s been an interesting year. I started with bypass surgery, went on to sell our last business (a high-tech professional association), and now I’m planning a few book projects. I’m very interested in catching up with old friends.” Robert Beller, P’14, still operates his family business, which supplies perfumery and flavor raw materials to formulators and consumer products companies. The business has been helped by the growing importance of the aromatherapy industry and the increasing demand for essential oils from organically grown plant materials. Robert’s wife, Julie Copeland, an attorney who attended Brandeis for two years, recently joined the French bank Société Générale, continuing her work in regulatory and compliance issues. Son Peter, 32, is a journalist in Los Angeles; David, 30, is an attorney in New York; and Sam ’14 is an undergraduate at Brandeis. Sam and two fellow students, in cooperation with the City of Boston, developed a website and app that allows users of the city’s extensive bike lane system to report obstacles like parked vehicles and other problems in real time, to let riders plan their routes accordingly. Robert hosted Marty Fassler at his home in New York when Marty was in town for the 50th Reunion of the Bronx High School of Science. Laurin Raiken; Bob Marcus, MSW’70; and Bob’s wife, Susan Phillips, held a mini-reunion at Castle Island in Boston. Laurin is a professor at New York University. Bob’s son, Aaron, is an attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia and celebrated his 33rd birthday by running the Pittsburgh Marathon in 3 hours, 52 minutes. Susan has had several short stories published, while Bob’s still blowing his own horn with the Concord Band and the Lexington Bicentennial Band. Joan Michelson served as poet-in-residence at the Studios of Key West (Fla.) and won the Poetry Society of England’s Members’ Poem Award. In addition, she received a Nebraska Arts Grant and was a resident at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Neb., where she worked on a story-making/ book-making collaboration project between seventh-graders and children from the state school for the blind. Joan’s daughter, Jessica, a Russian speaker, has started working for World Jewish Relief as an international aid project development officer with a focus on aging Jews of Ukraine. Sandy Kotzen Smith and Dennis Smith celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary (and the 47th anniversary of their Brandeis graduation) on a cruise to the Baltic and St. Petersburg, Russia. Sandy recently retired after 23 years as student assistance coordinator for the School District of the Chathams in Chatham, N.J. Dennis terminated his law partnership of 30 years to become “of counsel” to the firm of Lum, Drasco & Positan in Roseland, N.J. Many weekends are spent at their home in the Berkshires. Both Sandy and Dennis feel fortunate that their two daughters and four granddaughters live nearby and give them great pleasure. Richard Weisberg is counsel for Hungarian Holocaust survivors and their heirs in federal court litigation pending in Chicago. The class of victims received a largely favorable decision in late August from the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 17th Circuit. The court ruled the victims’ case against Erste Bank for stolen assets could proceed and their cases against the Hungarian National Railroad and the Hungarian National Bank were not protected under American law by sovereign immunity. Richard, who is the Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law at Cardozo School of Law in New York, continues to teach and publish widely in the fields of law and literature, the First Amendment and Vichy France.
Submit a Class Note