Class Correspondent

Barbara Gaffin received the K’lal Yisrael Award from the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts for her passionate leadership and involvement in diverse causes within the Jewish community, both locally and worldwide. She serves as managing director of the Zamir Chorale and helps run the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. From 1991-2002, she served as associate director at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, where her portfolio included helping Ethiopian Jews in Israel and promoting ties with Boston’s sister Jewish community in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Julieanna Richardson received an honorary degree from Howard University at the school’s 144th commencement convocation on May 12. Julieanna founded The HistoryMakers, a national nonprofit educational institution headquartered in Chicago, which is committed to preserving an internationally recognized archival collection of thousands of African-American video oral histories. Joan Block has performed and taught modern dance in the Boston area for 30 years. She created a multimedia work, “Dear Olivia,” which made its debut in Cambridge and Newton in the spring. “Dear Olivia” consists of six connected dances representing stages of a woman’s life — birth, toddler, teen, wedding, middle age and death. One of the dancers represents a little girl’s spirit. “From the moment we’re born until the day we die, this spirit of the little girl follows us,” Joan told The Jewish Advocate. “A lot of feelings these concepts evoke are deep, not always accessible by words. Dance and art are wonderful ways of touching these things inside of us.” Louis Woolf, the president of Hebrew SeniorLife, will succeed Len Fishman as CEO of the Boston-based organization next spring. Louis was previously executive vice president and chief operating officer at Partners HealthCare System’s North Shore Medical Center, where he helped consolidate the operations of Salem Hospital, North Shore Children’s Hospital and Union Hospital. He will be just the third person to lead Hebrew SeniorLife over the past 50 years. Mahmud Rahman reports that his second book, “Black Ice,” a translation of Bangladeshi novelist Mahmudul Haque’s “Kalo Borof,” has been published. Haque (1941-2008) was one of his country’s premier prose stylists, the author of 10 novels and dozens of stories. “Kalo Borof,” first published in 1977 in Bengali, draws on the author’s own experience to probe the invisible scars bequeathed to the inheritors of the partition of the Indian subcontinent. Gail Freedman Cohen, MA’79, teaches at Hebrew University and recently published a new book, “Easing into Modern Hebrew Grammar.” The book, which she and her co-author worked on for 13 years, is designed for students and teachers of modern Hebrew. The explanations are in nontechnical English with many examples and exercises in Hebrew.

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