Class Correspondent

Not surprisingly, the Class of 2011 has been quite busy, making the most of our first year after Brandeis. From setting off on new journeys in graduate programs, to traveling the world, to accepting new jobs, we are off to an amazing start. In true Brandeis fashion, we have not followed a set road but have created our own path along the way. Though we have settled in a variety of cities and countries, we still remain close to our Brandeis friends.

Fulbright scholar Julian Olidort spent the past year in Sweden conducting economic research on the Swedish glassblowing industry. Based out of the National Glass Museum in Småland, he traveled to glass-blowing factories throughout Europe for his study, then presented a report at the U.S. embassy in Stockholm and the National Glass Museum. He also worked as a glass-blowing apprentice at the Bergdala Glass Factory. Julian represented the Swedish Fulbright Commission at the annual European Fulbright Convention in Berlin. Though he spent most Jewish holidays in Stockholm, Julian enjoyed the unique challenge of being an American and a practicing Jew in a remote place. As he writes, “I have had the privilege to see worlds, and to see how these worlds are different from mine. It is through these differences that I have discovered my Americanism, and have reaffirmed my Jewish identity.” After serving as a workers’ rights and basic education coordinator at D.C. Jobs with Justice, Rachel Sier accepted a position at the Latin American Youth Center’s YouthBuild Public Charter School as a job developer. In her new job, she works with students and the community to find living-wage employment for the school’s graduates. Rafi Stern spent the past year in Israel and Jordan studying Arabic. In September, he began graduate school in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University. His biggest accomplishment in the past year was successfully proposing to Heddy Ben-Atar. They plan to get married next summer. Heddy spent the past year in Tel Aviv, working for a high-tech company. She plans to move to New York and work for an Israeli investment group. In Tel Aviv, she was active in the Alumni Club of Israel, enjoyed the nightlife and endured the muggiest summer of her life. Susan Paykin spent the fall working at Tenuta di Spannocchia, an organic farm and educational center in Italy’s Tuscany region. Jeremy Slosberg spent his first year after graduation doing research at MIT on Type 1 diabetes. He recently moved to the Bronx for his first year of medical school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Emilie Schuler works for the U.S. National Park Service as the internship coordinator at Branching Out, which provides summer employment, training and career development for Boston-area youth. She’s also hiking all of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains and would love to have more Brandeis hiking buddies. Ryan Fanning married Jessica Seitz ’09 on July 14 in Washington, D.C. Eli Miller married Tamar Rock ’09 on 
June 17 in Baltimore. They were overjoyed to celebrate their union with many Brandeis friends. Eli is a student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Sahar Massachi, MA’12, and Adam Hughes ’12 founded a tech startup, Innermost Labs, and have been working with friends to write software for conferences, events and alumni networks. They also volunteer during the week with City Life Vida Urbana, a working-class community organization that fights evictions and foreclosures in Boston. Larisa Klebe is in her second year as the youth educator at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass. She is applying to graduate programs in history and museum studies, and is excited to see where that will take her next. Emily Jaeger is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. She works with residents in a rural community on sustainable agricultural practices, women’s economic development and improving sanitary conditions. Chiara Bercu works with Mumbai Mobile Creches, an organization in India that provides education and health care to children of migrant workers. She is there through a fellowship from the American Jewish World Service. Josh Mandell works as a media planner at an online advertising agency specializing in the travel industry. He lives with Lauren Reibstein and enjoys spending time with other Brandeis alums in NYC. Jonathan Berkman spent the year after graduation working as a clinical research assistant in the Transplant Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He moved to Scranton, Pa., in August to attend the Commonwealth Medical College. Eli Terris was accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Senegal in September to begin training as an agro-forestry volunteer. Living and working in a community, he will introduce multipurpose tree species and assist fruit tree propagation and orchard management.
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