Class Correspondent

Over the summer, my husband and I hit the road to see family. In June, we visited my parents in Florida; our older daughter and her husband flew in from California to make it a multi-generational reunion. In July, we spent a week in upstate New York visiting the Sagamore and Saratoga Springs (what a charming town). In August, we took a 10-day trip to Colorado and New Mexico with my sister and brother-in-law. Your class notes are interesting and informative, so please keep them coming. If you’re not receiving email reminders from me, I don’t have your address, so please let me know. By the way, kudos to Brandeis for recognizing Betsy Sarason Pfau’s devotion to the school by honoring her as a fellow. She very modestly mentions this in her note below.

Stuart Appelbaum has served as president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union since 1988 and is executive vice president of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. He is also president of the Jewish Labor Committee. Robert Epstein and his wife, Misti, returned from the Fiji Islands, where Robert served as the first full professor of psychology at the 25,000-student University of the South Pacific. He has resumed his position as senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, in Vista, Calif. His study of Google’s power to control election outcomes by manipulating search rankings was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Susan Feigenbaum, P’08, P’17, was named a Curators’ Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, an honor given by the university’s chancellor to outstanding scholars with established reputations. Susan is a professor in and former chair of the economics department. She and her husband, Jay Pepose ’75, MA’75, have a second child attending Brandeis; Morissa ’17 is taking classes with many of the professors her brother David ’08 had. However, Morissa would like an opera career, so music will likely be her primary focus. Joel Fiedler was elected president of the Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Association for 2015-16 after serving on the group’s board of regents for the past four years. He is an allergist and a clinical professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2016, Joel will be getting together in Colorado with Michael Kusevitsky Gould, Gary Zellerbach, Carl Sealove, Steve Bober, David Katzen ’75 and their respective spouses for their biannual week together. Michael Goldenkranz hiked with Arnie Freedman and his lovely wife, Lori Kahn ’76 — very close friends since freshman-dorm (Shapiro) days — on Mount Baker, in Bellingham, Wash. In May 2014, Kenny Raskin, another close bud (and Arnie’s freshman-year dormmate), performed vaudeville at Seattle’s Moisture Festival. Michael writes, “I got to see the act that he performed at Spingold this past spring. I am blessed to have them all in my life (as well as Mark Gershenson, Stanley Wakshlag and David Glasser ’75.)” Kathryn Hellerstein’s book “A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987” won the Jewish Book Council’s Barbara Dobkin Award in Women’s Studies. Kathryn, who is on sabbatical from the University of Pennsylvania this academic year, will spend time as a visiting scholar at Harvard, where husband David Stern is a professor, and as a scholar-in-residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill conducted her first set of High Holiday services for Tidewater Chavurah, in Virginia Beach, Va. She has embarked on a new phase of helping the “congregation without walls” grow and flourish. She’s also officiating at life-cycle ceremonies and doing a little editing on the side. Andy Jick is in his 15th year as the public-address voice of Boston College basketball. He joined Bill Brouillard, Wes Cotter ’75, Chuck Coveney ’75, Mike Fahey ’75, Bob Kelley ’75, Brian McAllister ’75, John Perry and Stephen Riley ’76 for their 31st annual August gathering — this time it was a weekend in Toronto. The group includes former members of the Brandeis basketball team; Andy served as the team’s manager and announcer. Ninon Kafka writes that her daughter Jessica graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and works at the Social Security Administration. Daughter Kimberly is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is editor-in-chief of The Daily Californian. Larry Kaplan moved to Boca Raton/Delray Beach, Fla., which allows him to continue swimming and playing tennis. He works at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. He writes, “I’d love to hear from ’74s if you come down to Southeast Florida. The ties and reconnects are greatly enjoyed. I can be reached at” Hal Karas reports that son Steven married Victoria Kandaurov on June 21. The wedding was at Hal’s house in Elkhart Lake, Wis.; his wife, Berri, knit the chuppah canopy. Steven and Victoria live near Tel Aviv. Victoria is from the Negev region, where her parents moved from Chechnya. Hal writes, “Having a new daughter is the best Father’s Day gift ever.” Jeffrey Karp, P’04, a partner in Sullivan & Worcester’s office in Washington, D.C., where he heads the firm’s environment and natural resources group, 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. Dan Kazzaz, MA’74, and his family converged on the University of Michigan on Mother’s Day to celebrate the graduation of his son Jeremy from law school. Jeremy joined the firm of Fenwick & West in Mountain View, Calif. Dan Klein and his wife, Shelly, visited Cuba with 30 members of their synagogue to learn about the Jewish community there, which numbers just 1,500 after once being 10 times that size. Dan writes, “There are no longer any rabbis, chazzans or mohels, but the Jews who remain have built a vibrant and caring community in Havana and some of the outer areas.” In June, Dan’s younger daughter, Ariel, married Eric Eckstein in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ariel runs an art gallery in Bath, England. Dan still volunteers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, serves as religious chair at his synagogue and does marketing consulting for VMS Software. He and Shelly spend half the year in Massachusetts and half in Port Charlotte, Fla. Caroline Leavitt’s latest novel, “Cruel Beautiful World,” about the ’70s and Brandeis, will be published in fall 2016. She is writing a TV pilot with a partner. A short film by her son, Max Tamarkin, was selected for a film festival, and he has attracted the interest of a casting agent. Cathy Morris Chernoff invested in three theatrical productions staged in 2015. “The Elephant Man,” starring Bradley Cooper, had a sold-out limited run in London. “An Act of God,” starring Jim Parsons, had a sold-out limited run on Broadway. And David Mamet’s new play, “China Doll,” starring Al Pacino, is scheduled to open on Dec. 4 on Broadway. In between, Cathy says, she “snuck off to Paris.” Composer Tom Phillips wrote the scores for two new independent films — “The Podkamieners,” inspired by a series of oral histories told by a family who escaped the Holocaust in Poland, and “A Backpack Full of Cash: School Reform and the Battle for America’s Future,” which examines the movement for free-market reform in the American public-school system. Paula Rabinowitz visited Brandeis to discuss her book “American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street,” which won the 2015 DeLong Book History Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing. In the fall, three collections of essays she co-edited were published. Heidi Ravven, MA’74, PhD’84, is a professor of religious studies at Hamilton College and has published widely on the ideas of 17th-century Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Her most recent book, “The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences and the Myth of Free Will,” was published in a Chinese-language edition by the People’s Publishing House this fall. For the past 19 years, Tom Rosensweet and his wife, Barbara Hines, have lived in Jersey City, N.J. Tom runs a small trading company, Newport Metals, which he established in 2003, and serves as financial secretary of Temple Beth El. Barbara is clinical director of the Bayonne Community Mental Health Center and maintains a private psychotherapy practice. They recently sent their daughter Vanessa off to Vassar. Ernie Rubinstein wrote “From Ecclesiastes to Simone Weil: Varieties of Philosophical Spirituality.” He writes, “The book is on a topic dear to me since my Brandeis days, and was much nurtured there by coursework and friendships. The three chapels surrounding the pond, where I spent many meditative hours, also contributed, I think.” Betsy Sarason Pfau enjoyed dinner in New York City with Sue Goldberg Benjamin on the night before a May meeting of the Rose Art Museum’s board of advisors. The next weekend, on the morning of Brandeis’ Commencement, Betsy was hooded as a university fellow. In August, Don Friedman and Ilene Miller, both P’13, joined Betsy, husband Dan Pfau ’73, Francine Ladd Sohn and Roger Sohn ’73 on Martha’s Vineyard for dinner. After working as a licensed marriage and family therapist for Santa Clara (Calif.) County for 15 years, Anne Shyavitz Foran celebrated her retirement with a trip to Hawaii. Anne’s first grandchild, Rebecca Louise, was born to daughter Margaret Ann Kellen on Feb. 17. Anne enjoyed helping out and getting to know Rebecca the first 2.5 weeks after her birth. Stephen Simons, MA’76, PhD’02, is a correspondent for the online Yiddish journal Der Moment. He is chair of the Judaica Collection Advisory Committee of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, at the University of Southern Maine’s Glickman Library. After working full time as a rabbi on Long Island and in the Bronx, Bonnie Steinberg has cut her workweek back to three days. She hopes to earn her master’s degree in bioethics this year. She and her husband, Danny, celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. They visit their two children, who live and work in Boston, often. Email Bonnie at Betsy Teutsch recently went on a tour to promote her book “100 Under $100: 100 Tools for Empowering Global Women.” In the book, she outlines more than 100 initiatives that cost less than $100 each, empower women around the world, and encourage readers to get involved and become educated on global issues. For each copy of the paperback and e-book sold, Betsy will donate a life-saving dose of misoprostol, an inexpensive generic drug that prevents postpartum hemorrhage, the cause of the majority of maternal deaths worldwide. Judith Tolnick Champa has been developing the nonprofit Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art, reinforced by her exposure to the legendary Venice Biennale during the summer. Her project, she writes, “stands far outside the conventional New England biennial box, adopting the model of simultaneously curated platforms across multiple sites throughout southern New England, an international biennial type.” Her seven-artist exhibition “Nuanced” ran at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, in Westport, Mass., under the aegis of the biennial. Larry Weaver retired from his position as a general magistrate after 31 years of service. Following a proper vacation period, he will be in the limited practice of law and will do mediation in family matters.

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