Class Correspondent

My family was fortunate during Superstorm Sandy last fall; the worst we had to endure was a tree that fell on our roof and punctured a hole in our dining room ceiling. There is nothing like a crashing sound in a pitch-black house to keep you on your toes and grabbing for flashlights. On a happier note, February included another visit to Florida to see my parents. As always, it is wonderful hearing from so many of you about your latest news. Please keep sending your Class Notes. Your response has been amazing, and thanks to all who helped locate “lost” classmates.

In mid-December 2012, Marian Bass, Dale Morse and Jane Kaufman got together at Dale’s house in Wellesley, Mass. Marian writes, “Our friendship started the first day of freshman year and is still growing.” In a separate note, Dale writes, “My husband, John Salvati, and I are the very happy grandparents of Elliot Jio Song. He was born in April 2012 to our daughter Jennifer, a teacher, and her husband, Tony, proprietor of Bicycle Outfitters in Evergreen, Colo. Though we both work full time, we travel as often as possible to Evergreen and to Madrid, where daughter Alyssa Jayne, a translator, lives with her husband, Jaime, a web designer. Our son, Joseph, a wealth management adviser with the Colony Group, resides in the Boston area.” Roy Birnbaum writes, “I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1977, working first with a law firm in Washington, D.C., then as a foreign legal consultant with a firm in Seoul, Korea, from 1981-84. While in Korea, I met my wife, Jungae, who was then working as a clerk and translator at the U.S. Embassy; we married in 1984. Since then, I have worked in in-house international legal positions for a series of pharmaceutical companies, including Upjohn in Michigan, Pharmacia in Hong Kong, Pfizer, Schering-Plough and — finally, since 2002 — Merck in New Jersey. We live in Basking Ridge and have three children: Sandra, 25, is now a third-year medical student; Jacqueline, 22, is in a gap year and is applying to med schools; Daniel, 20, is a junior at Dartmouth. I failed to interest any of them in Brandeis. Jungae is taking a well-deserved break and enjoying some personal time after a ‘tiger mom’ career supervising the kids.” Dan Brin was elected president of the West Hills (Calif.) Neighborhood Council in November 2012. He serves on the council’s board of directors with Elliot Maggin ’72 and 23 others. West Hills is a community of about 41,000 people on the western edge of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Dan works as a managing editor and senior writer at Bleiweiss Communications, which produces magazines and newspapers for U.S. labor unions. Denise Dill Bell sends in an update: “At this juncture, I am truly blessed. I don’t punch a time clock, fight D.C. traffic or ask permission to take a vacation. For the past 32 years, I have been my own boss, working as a federal contractor. In the near future, I look forward to my two sons’ graduation from engineering school. In the here and now, I am still wrestling with writer’s block as I toil away on my first book. Are there any publishers in the house?” Ninon Kafka is still practicing veterinary medicine in Marin, Calif., and has sent both daughters off to college. Jessica will graduate this spring from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in legal studies and psychology. Kimberly is a freshman and a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Caroline Leavitt’s 10th novel, “Is This Tomorrow,” will be published in May. She hopes some of you will come to see her during the book tour and say hello. Her screenplay based on the novel is currently in the semifinalist stage at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. A New York magazine piece, “High Infidelity,” was recently optioned by film producer Tracey Becker, who won an Academy Award for “Finding Neverland,” which starred Johnny Depp. Caroline lives with her son, Max, 16, a talented musical-theater performer, and her husband, writer/editor Jeff Tamarkin, in a restored 1865 house in NYC’s unofficial sixth borough, Hoboken, N.J. Mark Maimone, a senior vice president at the consulting firm CDM Smith, traveled to London to speak before the House of Lords. He discussed an innovative greening approach that he is helping to implement in Philadelphia, which could potentially help London deal with its sewage overflow problem. Mark also met with the parliamentary under-secretary of state and a member of the ruling coalition government. Neil Maxwell, a lawyer experienced in health-care regulatory matters as well as corporate transactions, joined Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever as a partner. In his new position, Neil will continue to advise health-care practices and professionals in the New York area. Formerly, he was a partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger in Manhattan. Cathy Morris Chernoff reports, “In December 2012, I attended Art Basel Miami Beach, an annual contemporary-art exhibition. It is a citywide event, and attracted 50,000 people. In January, I saw the end of two very successful Broadway runs, ‘Evita’ and ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ both of which I helped produce. In February, I headed to the warmth of Anguilla for a much-needed vacation.” Tom Phillips is scoring two two-hour films for Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson. “Freedom Summer” is a PBS “American Experience” documentary that chronicles the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers. “Black Panthers,” also for PBS, tells the story of the Panthers and their influence on America. A book that Paula Rabinowitz co-edited with her colleague Cristina Giorcelli from the University of Rome III — “Exchanging Clothes: Habits of Being 2” — was published in September 2012. Paula’s new book, “Fashioning the Nineteenth Century: Habits of Being 3,” will appear in September. Neil Rosenberg writes, “My wife, Tamar, and I are finishing building a home in Israel on the kibbutz where we met 37 years ago, Beit Hashita. I continue to enjoy my clinical practice in pulmonary/critical care/sleep medicine (I’m entering my 29th year in practice) and spend my free time keeping up with our four children, one of whom will enter medical school in 2014. In May 2012, my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, and spent two glorious weeks visiting Milan, Venice, Florence and Tuscany. My art classes at Brandeis finally came in handy.” Betsy Sarason Pfau and Dan Pfau ’73 had a wonderful time at the New York City wedding of Joanna Hunter and Dan August. Superstorm Sandy caused the wedding to be moved on five days’ notice, but the mother of the bride, Susan Hammerschmidt Hunter, P’09, did an outstanding job of overseeing the last-minute changes. Susan’s husband, Jeffrey Hunter ’73, P’09, and son, Dan Hunter ’09, made it a true Brandeis affair. Both of Susan’s siblings, Michael Hammerschmidt ’72 and Marcia Hammerschmidt Harris ’77, and their spouses and children were there. Several schoolmates also attended, including Beth Mintz Woolf ’73, Andy Stern ’73 and Mimi Gurbst. Betsy says, “It felt like a real reunion.” Beth Slavet reports, “In November, I started a newly created position at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, running its Whistleblower Protection Program. We are responsible for creating policy, and investigating and making decisions on complaints of whistleblower reprisal under 22 different statutes, many of which have nothing to do with safety and health, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, health-care law, consumer finance, railroads, airlines and so on. My husband, Arne, and I spent a week with Sally Zanger and family in Truro, Mass., last summer. Overall, 2012 was a very difficult year after losing my mom, Marmel, in December 2011. Prior to her passing, my parents had taken their three daughters, sans grandchildren or husbands, on a three-week trip through the Panama Canal. Thanks to old Brandeis friends for reaching out, particularly Victor Friedman, and, of course, the Zanger-Nadis family.” Bobbie Stolzer Congress and her husband, Barry Johnson, have relocated to Scottsdale, Ariz., after living in the New York area for their entire lives. She looks forward to meeting local alumni and becoming more involved in the Jewish community. Allan Tepper is alive and well in Philadelphia, sharing his life with a phenomenal wife, Paula, and their 13-year-old twins, Lucia Rose and Max. He is in private practice as an attorney and forensic psychologist, and he conducts continuing education training for mental health professionals throughout the United States. He surfs in South Jersey all year long; still plays drums in an original music band, Losing Gravity; and has fond memories of the Usdan Student Center chocolate chip cookies. Melinda Thomas Long writes, “My husband, Dana; our daughter, Emma; and I live in Belmont, Mass. When Emma went off to Skidmore College in fall 2011, I went back to full-time work and am enjoying being an empty nester. I love to read, hike and travel. I have stayed close to Madelyn Tochka and Deborah Winer.Judith Tolnick Champa, editor-in-chief of the acclaimed Art New England magazine, reports that the November/December 2012 issue featured a profile of Christopher Bedford, the new Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum. In the May/June issue, Lewis Kachur ’76 reviewed a book by Francine Koslow Miller ’73, “Cashing In on Culture: Betraying the Trust at the Rose Art Museum.” In June, David Tracy celebrated his 60th birthday in the Napa Valley with his wife of 29 years, Gina. They spent 10 days in Napa followed by two days in San Francisco. David writes that he joined six wine clubs at different vineyards and added to his growing wine cellar. Khan Zahid reports, “In December 2012, I went to China for one month as a visiting distinguished overseas scholar at Shanghai Finance University. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit the second-largest economy in the world after an 18-year gap, and to see in person the remarkable changes the country has undergone. On my last trip in 1994, Pudong, the new area of Shanghai, was just a barren island, only starting to develop. Today, it is a city teeming with modern skyscrapers and an infrastructure that would put Manhattan to shame. I look forward to going again in June.” Janet Zimmern is a psychotherapist in private practice in Arlington, Mass. She has two adult children and is enjoying life. She welcomes contact from fellow Brandeisians.
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