Class Correspondent

Since retiring from the Smith College faculty in 2002, David Ball has published 10 book-length translations from the French, including six novels in collaboration with his wife, Nicole. His translation of Alfred Jarry’s play “Ubu the King” was included in “The Norton Anthology of Drama,” and his translation of Jean Guéhenno’s “Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-44,” which he also wrote an introduction for and annotated, won the 2014 French-American/Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize for nonfiction. David spends his time in Northampton, Massachusetts; San Francisco (sons, grandchildren); and Paris (wife’s hometown). He says he spends his prize money supporting candidates who are trying to slow down global warming’s destruction of the planet and decrease horrific societal inequalities. Stephen Berger received the United Hospital Fund of New York’s Special Tribute Award for his work in improving health care in New York state. He chaired the State Commission on Health-Care Facilities in the 21st Century and the Health Systems Redesign: Brooklyn Work Group, and is a member of the state panel guiding the investment of $6 billion in federal funds to improve New York’s Medicaid program. Paul Epstein released a CD of his recent music for piano. Paul and Adele Umans ’58 celebrated their 58th anniversary this year. In 2001, Paul retired from Temple University, where he taught music theory for 32 years, and he and Adele have remained in the Philadelphia area. Their son practices law and lives in Philadelphia with his family. Joan Gelch, P’91, and her partner, Morris Weintraub, split their time between Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Providence, Rhode Island — except for October, when they stay at the Phillips Club in NYC and live like tourists. Chuck Israels is a composer/arranger/bassist who worked with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, J.J. Johnson, John Coltrane and many others. He is best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio, from 1961-66, and for his time as director of the National Jazz Ensemble, from 1973-81. Recently retired from directing the jazz studies program at Western Washington University, Chuck has moved to Portland, Oregon, to work in its vibrant jazz community and participate in his favorite Northwest city’s cultural life. Letty Cottin Pogrebin recently toured the country giving talks about her 11th book, “Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate.” The novel is about a son of Holocaust survivors who promises his mother on her deathbed that he will marry a Jew and raise Jewish children — but falls in love with an African-American Baptist talk-show host. In December 2015, Letty and her husband, Bert, a labor and employment lawyer, celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. They have three children and six grandchildren, ages 13 to 19. Suzanne Chernow Prince has been married to Harvey for 58 years. They have three children and eight grandchildren. They enjoy spending time boating in the Northwest, and traveling the world with and without grandchildren. Gabrielle Rossmer and her daughter, Sonya Gropman, are writing a cookbook on the little-known cuisine of German Jews, to be published through Brandeis University Press’ Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Series on Jewish Women. Gabrielle had an exhibition of her sculpture, “Rigid Mobility,” at Boston’s Hallspace Gallery. The exhibition was an indirect tribute to former Brandeis professor Leo Bronstein. Louis D. Brandeis biographer Philippa Strum, P’98, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, participated in an on-campus panel discussion on Jan. 28 as the university launched the 100th anniversary celebration of Justice Brandeis’ appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered opening remarks at the January event. Philippa returned to campus in April for another LDB centennial event, this one examining his approach to free speech and citizen responsibility. Her latest book, “Speaking Freely: Whitney v. California and American Speech Law,” reviews a case in which Justice Brandeis articulated the rationale for speech in a democracy; that decision made American speech law the most permissive in the world.

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