Class Correspondent

The summer brought a fair amount of travel to visit family, as well as a vacation to Maine to see what we’ve been missing all these years. Not surprisingly, it was lovely, and blissfully cooler than New York. The highlight of July was going to dinner with Ken Schorr ’73 and Rick Kaskawits ’73. The last time I had seen Ken was back at Brandeis 40 years ago. It was so great catching up, and meeting his charming daughter, Lily. Rick lives in my town, so, happily, I get to see him much more frequently. As always, it is wonderful hearing from many of you and finding out your latest news. Please keep sending in your Class Notes. The current response was amazing, and thanks to all who helped locate “lost” classmates.

Karen Bernstein writes, “Had anyone told me when I graduated from Brandeis that I would have ended up owning my own business, I would have fallen on the floor laughing. But my husband, David Flores, and I started BioCentury Publications in 1992 to provide analysis of the biopharmaceutical industry for companies, investors, academia and government, and it’s still going strong 20 years later. Far afield from my degree in history and politics, but you never know where serendipity will take you. Indeed, it took me back to Brandeis, where I’ve been a member of the Brandeis University Science Advisory Council for a number of years now — and glad to be back.” Robert Epstein was appointed senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. His 15th book, “Teen 2.0,” came out in 2010 and was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court that year. Robert is the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and writes for both Discover and Scientific American Mind. His research on love and arranged marriages generates frequent news stories. Deborah Feld-Fabisiewicz, who was on a list of “lost” classmates, writes in to say, “Just thought I’d let you know I’m alive and well, living in Sudbury, Mass. Now that our son, Raphael, has started his freshman year at McGill University, my husband and I are the only ones at home. I am a professional harpist and do freelance work around town. I am the principal harpist with the Orchestra of Indian Hill in Littleton and the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. I’ve also performed with the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra a few times, bringing things full circle.” Jack Gilron (formerly Gilberg), P’09, finished a sabbatical in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale and returned to Israel, where he is an associate professor at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University and chair of the Department of Desalination and Water Treatment Research. His wife, Amy, is a wood artisan; you can see her work at Their son Roee ’09 started the third year of his doctoral program in cognitive neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Their daughter, Miryam, finished her third year of medical school at Ben-Gurion University. Youngest son Yishai is about halfway through his service in the Israel Defense Forces and is being trained as a combat medic. Jack also reports that Daniel Cohen is a member of Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Rift Valley in Israel, where he is in charge of their dairy herd. Daniel and his wife, Janet, who works in education, have three children. Steve Goldberg has a new job as grants director/resource manager at the World Union for Progressive Judaism. He is raising funds for Progressive (Reform, Reconstructionist and Liberal) Judaism and progressive causes in more than 50 countries, including, of course, the United States and Israel. Ellen Granoff Busch, P’02, reports that she has worked as a business office manager in a very large orthopedic group in Albany, N.Y., for the past 10 years. Both her children live and work in the Boston area. Her son, Brian ’02, is married and has an adorable baby girl (“Yay! I’m a grandma!”). Her daughter, Lori, continues to enjoy the dating scene. Steven “Buddy” Greene recently co-founded Seaside Consulting, a recruiting and placement agency. The firm concentrates on the fashion, copier tech, sales, telecom and IT services industries. He writes, “Although it is a new direction for me at this ‘old age,’ any time is a good time for a good idea.” His wife of 38 years, Ruth Schreiber-Greene, is in her third year as educational director of Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs, Fla. Daughter Adinah works in educational outreach at the Philadelphia Zoo, and daughter Miryam recently received her master’s degree in corporate communications from NYU. Kathryn Hellerstein writes, “What a year! My dear mother died on Aug. 30, 2011, sharing my father’s 18th yahrzeit. My husband, David Stern, and I spent the academic year on leave from the University of Pennsylvania, he as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute and I as a visiting research fellow at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. We lectured and researched in China in January 2012, and in Russia this past June. I received tenure at Penn in May. Our daughter, Rebecca, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in April. She is now in graduate school at Penn, where our son, Jonah, is a senior.” Ellen Jaffe-Gill returned to the U.S. in June after almost eight months in Israel, where she was fulfilling her Israel residency requirement for rabbinical school. She is in her fourth year of study at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Ellen is working this school year as the student rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in Maywood, N.J. She spends two weekends a month and holidays in Bergen County and does b’nai mitzvah tutoring and wedding officiating around Philadelphia. She has about 700 copies of her book “The Jewish Woman’s Book of Wisdom” sitting in her living room, and asks, “Any ideas on how to unload them?” Hal Karas attended his son Steven’s college graduation from the Interdisciplinary Center, Israel’s first private university, in Herzliya. They celebrated his graduation by hiking in the Golan. Steven works in Tel Aviv in computer software development. Dan Kazzaz, MA’74, reports, “I am quite excited that all three of our children and our grandchild are residing on the same continent (North America)! I have been invited to stay on the board of directors of the Brandeis Alumni Association, even though I am no longer a chapter president. I am helping staff and faculty to launch several nationwide Brandeis alumni affinity groups: artists, entrepreneurs, computer science grads (aka geeks), (kosher) wine lovers, and skiers. If you are interested in any of these, please contact anyone in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 781-736-4100.” David Lentz, MA’76, is an attorney who heads up a private practice in New Jersey. He recently completed a term as chair of the Jewish Community Relations Committee for the United Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, and serves on the Jewish Federations of North America’s Global Planning Table to determine the future goals and plans for the North American Jewish community. His wife, Judy Dimant, is a psychologist treating, according to David, “suburban neurotics like most of my former classmates.” Their older daughter attends Northwestern University School of Law, and their younger daughter has started at the University of Maryland. Mindy Milberg and her husband, Phil Benjamin ’73, still live in Framingham, Mass. Mindy is an attorney/mediator/arbitrator with a solo practice in Natick and became certified as a family mediator in July. Their older son, Jason, is a live-sound engineer and lives in Allston with his fiancée. Younger son Alex is a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, studying aeronautic/mechanical engineering. He interned at Boeing in Seattle over the summer. Mindy and Phil visited him and toured Olympic and Mount Rainier national parks. James Montford is director of the E.M. Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College, where he is also a member of the faculty. His work is part of a retrospective exhibition at the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University that runs until February 2013. His performative work is part of the conversation examining personal and cultural identity centered on notions of global oppression. His exhibitions include “Artist Dollars,” an ongoing exhibit at the Kenkeleba Gallery in New York, and a solo exhibition at the Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston in spring 2013. Cathy Morris Chernoff is continuing her “new” career as a theatrical producer. She helped to launch “Evita,” starring Ricky Martin, in April. This fall, she was involved in opening two David Mamet plays. One is a new play, “The Anarchist,” starring Patti LuPone and, in her Broadway debut, Debra Winger. The other is the 25th-anniversary revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” starring Al Pacino and Bobby Cannavale. Tom Phillips scored the sound-track for “The Abolitionists,” a mini-series that will air on PBS’ “American Experience” in February 2013. The series consists of three one-hour films covering the 1825-65 period in America. Five major abolitionists who helped to end slavery are portrayed, as well as their effect on the issues that caused the Civil War. Heidi Ravven, MA’74, PhD’84, writes, “At long last, the book I have been working on for nine years, with an unsolicited $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, will be published in April 2013. It’s called ‘The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences and the Myth of Free Will.’ I try to answer why and when people are ethical or unethical, and how we can get them to be more ethical. I use the perpetrators of the Holocaust as the paradigm of evil and the rescuers as the example of the good in human nature that needs to be explained. My daughter, Simha, is 35 and has a wonderful little girl, Lucy (Niamh Lucille Yael), who turned 1 in July. Simha is in her fourth year of residency in psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital program of Harvard Medical School. I am in my 30th year on the Department of Religious Studies faculty at Hamilton College in upstate New York.” Betsy Sarason Pfau and Dan Pfau ’73 enjoyed hosting Michael Allosso and his wife, Peggy Whitefield, at their Martha’s Vineyard home in July. Michael continues to travel the U.S. doing executive training, and those in the Boston area might recognize Peggy’s name from her frequent jewelry trunk shows at the Bloomingdale’s in Chestnut Hill. Erv Schleifer, P’10, who is a lawyer, moved from Westchester County, N.Y., to Dover, Del., in 2007. His wife, Myna German ’73, P’10, is a professor of mass communications at Delaware State University. Their son Henry ’10 is studying for a master’s degree in public policy at Georgetown. Their younger son, Teddy, is a junior at Princeton. Erv is still in touch with many of his Brandeis friends in our class and the Class of 1975. After 30 years in Los Angeles, writing for TV (“thirtysomething” and other shows) and movies (such as “Legends of the Fall”), Susan Shilliday moved to Northampton, Mass., where she teaches screenwriting at Hampshire College. She also owns the Montague Bookmill, where she sells used books in an old mill beside a waterfall. Stephen Simons, MA’76, PhD’02, reports that he received a doctorate in Jewish thought and mysticism from Brandeis in 2002. He lives in Portland, Maine, and has begun a new career as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Co. Bruce Stark hosts a twice-a-month radio show, “Eye on Health,” on WCHE (1520-AM) in Chester County, Pa. He writes, “It has always been a dream of mine to be on radio. Do not worry — I did not give up my day job as a full-time ophthalmologist in private practice. I am also thinking of getting involved with doing voiceovers professionally.” Diane Winston is the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She worked as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Dallas Times Herald and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. Khan Zahid reports that in April he returned from the Middle East after working in the region for 17 years as the chief economist at a number of major banks. Khan writes, “My family initially thought we would stay for five years, but we liked it there very much.” After 13 years as a project manager at Sun Microsystems, Gary Zellerbach retired from the computer business when Oracle bought Sun in 2010. He then returned to his first career, working full time as a jazz guitarist, appearing regularly at top venues around the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as recording with various artists. Visit for music, videos and a performance calendar. Gary says, “Please stop by a gig next time you are in the area!”
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