Class Correspondent

We members of the Class of 1952 are in our mid-80s, and except for Marvin March, P’94; June Saftel Goldman; Inge Fleischmann Fowlie; and some others, our travels are slowing down. In June 2014, June spent five weeks in Normandy and one in Paris. Increasingly, our reports focus on the accomplishments of children and grandchildren. I am proud of my two children and four grandchildren but complain, like many classmates, that I don’t spend as much time with them as I would like. Although Herb Bloom thinks retired people have little of wide interest to tell, he proudly reports that his daughter, Sarah Bloom Raskin, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as deputy secretary of the treasury. Joan Garfein Botwinick says her granddaughter is getting married and the husband-to-be is wonderful (even if he is not Jewish). Some of us, including Gene Glick, already have great-grandchildren. Amazing! Will we live long enough to meet great-great-grandchildren?

Penny Perez Abrams writes, “Julian Koss and I are tootling along. I use a power wheelchair (makes gardening tough), and we attend symphonies, tend to necessaries, and enjoy our Florida winter and all the birds. I am working on a journal for my family, my last book. My grandchildren are still in school. I can’t keep up with what they’re learning, so I smile and nod a lot. Travel plans are now limited to a drive to Florida’s east coast once a winter. After last November’s election, I have decided I am done with politics. No more for me. I resign in disgust. So sue me.” Julian reports that his granddaughter Erica gave birth to his first great-grandchild, Miles Avery Rice, who decided to make his entrance two months earlier than expected. Miles’ mom is an attorney, and his dad is a freelance sportswriter who covered the U.S. team at last year’s Paralympics in Russia. Anita Hershman Avital and her husband spend about five months each summer/fall in Jerusalem and the rest of the year in New Rochelle, N.Y. Anita attended Hebrew College while she was at Brandeis. For 25 years, she taught Hebrew to first-graders at a Jewish day school in Westchester County. She describes her years of teaching as the happiest of her life. Her husband, one of 11 children, is a Holocaust survivor and often gives talks about his experiences. They have three daughters and 11 grandchildren. At the wedding of one daughter in Jerusalem, all 11 grandchildren danced around their grandfather wearing sweatshirts emblazoned with the phrase “Miracle Children” in Hebrew. Tamar Soloff Brower writes that she and her husband, Martin, are still quite well, although she has trouble walking. They spend time with their children, three of whom live near them in Southern California. Her eldest grandchild, Stephanie, works at a high-tech firm in New York City. Stephanie’s brother, Jason, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, last June and is applying to law school. The youngest grandson is a senior at Johns Hopkins. Martin continues to write and edit books and articles about the development of Los Angeles and Orange County. Tamar goes with him when he leads book talks. She is active with the sisterhood at Temple Bat Yahm and leads a speaker program called Meal and a Spiel at a local restaurant. Whenever possible, Tamar and Martin go to Los Angeles for Brandeis alumni events. For the most recent program, Tamar was the only 1952 grad in attendance. Carol Shaffer Westerhof presented a talk titled “China, Vietnam and the China Sea Conundrum” at the Academy of International Business. She recently edited two books for McGraw-Hill, continues as a bimonthly lector at her church, serves on the Pasco County (Fla.) Library Foundation, and has had several poems published in anthologies.

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