Class Correspondent

Mark Mannis, chair of the UC Davis Health System’s Eye Center, won the prestigious Castroviejo Medal from the Cornea Society. The medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of cornea and anterior segment surgery. A specialist in corneal transplantation and external diseases of the eye, Mark has done research in the development of antimicrobial agents and growth factors that affect corneal wound healing, skin diseases that affect the eye, visual rehabilitation after corneal transplantation and the artificial cornea. Triss Finkelman Stein’s new mystery, “Brooklyn Graves,” has been published. Triss enjoys grounding her novels in historical reality and believes she will never run out of great Brooklyn stories. Samuel Heilman, P’98, who teaches at the City University of New York, is working on a book about succession among contemporary Hasidic groups and a history of Hasidism. He spent his fourth summer in Leipzig, Germany, as a visitor at the Simon Dubnov Institute for Jewish Research. He and his wife, Ellin Kaufman Heilman ’69, P’98, have eight grandchildren. After 31 years as an orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in California, Bob Hoffman now works at a Level 1 trauma center in Alameda County. He enjoys participating in medical missions overseas, particularly in Bhutan and Southeast Asia. Kenny Helphand, who retired from the University of Oregon, has served as a visiting professor at Technion, in Haifa, Israel, since 1980. His wife, Margot Siris Helphand, completed the long-range plan for the Grant Park Music Festival. They live in Eugene, Ore., and travel widely. Charlie and Myra Kotkin Novogrodsky wrapped up a five-year stint as co-presidents of the Alumni Club of Toronto. “This was a good experience for us,” they report. “It reaffirmed old and new Brandeis connections. We met terrific professors at Faculty in the Field events and worked with wonderful staff from the Office of Alumni Relations. We are pleased that Brandeis is putting a strong effort into smart planning and support for student scholarships. We hope the new Brandeis-Canada Endowed Scholarship continues to receive support.” Herb Kressel was awarded honorary membership in the French Radiologic Society and the European Society of Radiology. He collaborated with Sarah (“Andi”) John to arrange free treatment of a complex facial tumor by Dr. Wayne Yakes and colleagues in the Denver area. Robert Bersson, professor emeritus of art and art history at James Madison University (JMU), will in December 2014 lead a 10-day JMU trip, “Insider’s Tour of Florence.” He recently spent a month in Israel as a volunteer with Dukium, which supports the civil rights of the Bedouin community in the Negev. Henry Sussman wrote a new book of critical essays, “Playful Intelligence: Digitizing Tradition.” Steve “Goliath” Goldman, P’04, runs the Holocaust Memorial Center in the Detroit area. He is working with the German government to develop a special exhibition that will tour Europe and eventually culminate in a major permanent addition to the center. Steve was recently interviewed on camera for a documentary by a local videographer; the film won a local Emmy for both the videographer and the lighting designer. Steve’s son, Zachary ’04, works as a policy analyst for the health-care exchanges in California; daughter Chava is a charge nurse for a chain of blood donation clinics in California; and daughter Shimon and her husband work at the same high school Steve’s grandson attends. Judith Sachs established Anyone Can Dance (, which features Dance for Parkinson’s and SilverSneakers, and calls on everything she knows about dance and choreography. Clinical psychologist Lawrence Sank published “Happily Ever After: The Engaged Couples’ Guide to Getting Marriage Right.”
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