Class Correspondent

55th Reunion
June 3-5, 2016

“55 or Bust!” That was the slogan one of our classmates used after our exciting and successful 50th Reunion, in 2011. Our 55th Reunion, scheduled for June 3-5, 2016, will offer an excellent opportunity for reconnecting and reminiscing. We hope you will make plans to join us for the weekend. We want to thank Bruce Litwer and Steve Reiner, our 55th Reunion committee co-chairs, and the other committee members for their help with programming, outreach and giving. They continue to serve Brandeis with great distinction. Steve is secretary of the Board of Trustees and vice chair of the audit committee, and sits on the executive and budget/finance committees. They are also members of Brandeis National Committee’s leadership council, and Bruce serves on its executive committee. Talk about giving back to Brandeis!

Bengt Ahlberg lives in Stockholm and regularly sees Vivi-Anne (Gustafson) Mossberg and Torgil Melin, friends from Norway and Sweden. Last year, Bengt and his wife hosted Brandeis roommate Jerry Malovany ’62 and his wife, Madeline (Rapp) ’63, as well as Wien Scholars Florence Klunge, from Switzerland, and David Ward, from New Zealand/Australia. Bengt retired in 2000 after 25 years at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, a Swedish banking and insurance group, then went to work for the firm as a consultant. Stephen Bluestone co-edited a new poetry collection, “From Neza York to New York,” a bilingual anthology of the poetry of Mexico City and New York City. His recent work has appeared in The Sewanee Review, Atlanta Review, The Thomas Hardy Journal, The Satirist, Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature, and Midstream. Stephen’s poem “The Rug Maker,” which won the Thomas Merton Prize, has been translated into Arabic and will appear, along with an interview, in Lighthouses, the journal of the Iraqi Writers Union. Susan (Biberfeld) and Stephen Candell, who are now retired in Boca Raton, Fla., traveled extensively in the past year. They visited Cuba (well worth it, they say), the Galápagos Islands, and the Berkshires for their annual get-together with Brandeis friends. They have six grandchildren. Ron Carner will be honored by Maccabi USA in April at the organization’s gala dinner. He is in the middle of his second four-year term as Maccabi’s president. Shep Cohen and his wife, Linda ’60, have lived in the same home in Wellesley, Mass., for more than 40 years. Ten years ago, they purchased a small house on Cape Cod, which they enjoy in the summer. They have a 6-year-old granddaughter. They both work part time, Linda as a geriatric social worker and Shep as a consultant on residency training (graduate medical education) at teaching hospitals. They are both involved in Wellesley town government. Stan Davis, P’83, is in his 12th year as an active member of the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. He is teaching a course this fall, “Thinking About the Future,” which looks at what our grandchildren’s lives will be like when they are adults. Having written and published 14 professional books, Stan now writes fiction, poetry, memoir and essays. He has been in a writing group for seven years, published the book “Tall Tales” a couple of years ago, and is currently working on a volume of fiction, “An Old Man’s Tales.” He and his wife have 10 grandchildren, ages 4-20, and are the proud owners of a tan Labradoodle puppy that keeps them quite busy and happy. Arthur Drache won the inaugural Jane Burke-Robertson Award of Excellence in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law from the Canadian Bar Association. The award honors lawyers who have made exceptional contributions to the development of charity and not-for-profit law in Canada. Ed Feldstein, P’88, stays busy chauffeuring and escorting authors who come to Atlanta for book events, participating in and moderating book discussions, and coordinating the Jewish Community Center book festival. He also plays pickleball and enjoys gardening. He and his wife, Judy ’62, P’88, usher at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a number of Atlanta theaters. Ed and Marty Zelnik helped organize a well-attended reunion for the camp they attended as kids, which closed almost 50 years ago. Ed writes, “Retired life is incredible, especially with the infinite number of great opportunities.” Judith (Leegant) Frank, who transferred after two years at Brandeis, writes that she has enjoyed becoming reacquainted with classmates via the email group. A retired physician, she is now a physiatrist and is board-certified in electrodiagnosis. She and her husband, who teaches computer science, have two married daughters and five grandchildren. Heather Gerson and her husband, Martin, have been married 48 years and live across from Lincoln Center in New York City. They are both retired, she from careers as a teacher, a researcher, an interior designer, an importer and a stay-at-home mother, and he after a career as an investment banker. Their son and daughter work in the mental health field. Judy and Morty Sloan are part-time neighbors. Heather writes, “I’m thankful each and every day, and frequently ponder with gratitude the beginning of my intellectual life at Brandeis.” Thanks to the support and sponsorship of Jeff Golland, P’96, Israel “Ace” Weinstein was inducted into the Joseph M. Linsey Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame at an Oct. 17 ceremony on campus. A major supporter of Brandeis athletics in the 1950s, Ace recruited talent and helped pay for uniforms and equipment. Jeff both nominated Ace and was the driving force behind his candidacy. The 1957-58 men’s basketball team, the first Brandeis squad to participate in the NCAA Tournament and the team we rooted for as freshmen, was also inducted. Charles Kamen and his wife, Edna, spend a month each summer in Israel, and live in Manhattan the rest of the year. While in Israel, Charles translates (Hebrew to English) for Machsom Watch and other Israeli human-rights organizations. Edna paints at the Art Students League; visits galleries and museums; and attends concerts, dance performances and the opera. Lucy Kashangaki shares that her beloved husband, Joseph, passed away in Nairobi after a short illness. She lives in Princeton, N.J., near her daughter and family. Leslie Neiman Kingsley’s daughter Aliza co-founded Pomegranate, a London-based charity that is part of World Jewish Relief, which seeks to help the people of Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. Aliza and her daughter Hannah recently visited the impoverished nation. Raph Levine writes, “At the end of February, our youngest of five daughters, Batya, passed away suddenly at age 29, leaving us with an emptiness and indescribable grief. Adventuresome, artistic and mischievous, she loved to travel. A philosophy major in college, she earned the philosophy prize at graduation (her professor told us he had to really be on his toes every class because she would analyze his every word and thought). My wife, Letha, and I haven’t been able to fathom the reality of the events that have taken place, and simply cannot believe that at any moment she will not burst through our back door with impulsivity and begin an argument about some world event or character.” Bruce Litwer was one of 14 Brandeis alumni sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court bar in June. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, H’96, stopped by the ceremony to greet the group, and Justice Ginsburg stayed on to answer some questions. Robert Moulthrop published a new book, “Elvis’s Dog ... Moonbeam: And Other Stories,” an eclectic collection with something for everyone — New York post-office dramas, mysteries at Graceland, burning cheeks at the local pool, strange mothers, and a widowed uncle who ditches neckties in favor of turtlenecks. Robert’s one-act play “Eastport, Maine” is a finalist for the 2015 Heideman Award at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ky. Rabbi David Nelson, who retired several years ago from Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park, Mich., has transitioned to a part-time pulpit serving the Jewish community of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. He recently spent two weeks in Brazil with his family — son Harry, daughter-in-law Dorit and their four children; and daughter Reva, her husband and their two children. David writes, “I started my career as an assistant rabbi at Associação Religiosa Israelita in Rio de Janeiro, so it was exciting to show it to my grandchildren. Keeping busy seems to be an ongoing theme, and I have never successfully retired — filling my spare time with chaplaincy in the Detroit Jewish community, hospitals, police departments and prisons.” Sue Finesilver Packel and her husband, Len, sold their home of 37 years and moved to a condo three miles away. They visited Spain and Portugal in the spring and spend each February in Marina Del Rey, Calif., where they see Sybil Duhig ’62 and her husband, John. Phyllis Richman vacationed in Akumal, Mexico, with her kids and grandkids, her first traveling vacation in 15 years. The family rented a villa next to a snorkeling lagoon. She retired from The Washington Post, where she was the restaurant critic for 23 years. She still does a bit of freelance writing. Morton Sloan says he is enjoying a perk of owning a business: Nobody can force him to retire. In the last few years, he has opened three more Morton Williams supermarkets in Manhattan. Fourth-generation Sloans now run the business, and he wants to make sure it is in good shape for the fifth. He takes courses at Juilliard and NYU, and attends lectures at the 92nd Street Y. With his wife, Judy, Morty is a regular at operas, symphonies, chamber-music performances and Broadway plays. In the fall, they are heading to Vienna to dance in 2016 with Paulette Feigenbaum Rose ’59, P’84, and her husband. Morty has taken ski trips to Switzerland and Italy with Walt Klores and Arthur Bovarnick ’58. Merle “Glee” Snyder retired after working as senior executive assistant to Brandeis’ senior vice president of institutional advancement. She now has more time to take courses on opera, memoir writing and the history of art. This fall, Glee taught a course on writing an ethical will at Temple Israel of Natick, a class she offered to parents and board members when she was head of various Jewish schools for 17 years. In May, she visited Cuba, which she found fascinating and educational.

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