Class Correspondent

My husband, Tom, and I are empty nesters. Our younger son, Jacob, began college at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where he intends to major in motorsports engineering. Our older son, Elliot, a graduate of William & Mary, is living happily in Richmond, Va. He is a freelance barber and part-time theater employee (sound, sales and some performing), and enjoys working on his music.

Marc Brettler, MA’78, PhD’87, an internationally recognized scholar of the Hebrew Bible, is now the Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor of Judaic Studies at Duke. He holds an appointment in the Department of Religious Studies and is teaching two courses this fall. Formerly, Marc was the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis, and served as chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew College, in Newton, Mass., during the school’s 90th Commencement exercises. Marc was recognized for his groundbreaking biblical scholarship; deep commitment to Jewish education; and instruction in Hebrew College’s adult-learning program, Me’ah. Davida Charney has been a member of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing faculty at the University of Texas at Austin since 1997, after spending 11 years on the Penn State faculty. She recently found a way to combine her interest in rhetoric with her love of the Hebrew Bible, writing a book published this year, “Persuading God: Rhetorical Studies of First-Person Psalms.” Mark Cohen P’09, P’17, a solo practitioner in West Hempstead, N.Y., who primarily represents a group of related companies engaged in acquisitions and financing of businesses, was one of 14 Brandeis alumni to be sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court bar in June. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, H’96, offered their greetings to the group. Dayle Friedman, author of the book “Jewish Wisdom for Growing Older,” has been passionately engaged with aging issues since a friend dragged her to the Roxbury Group to help lead Shabbat services for the elderly during her freshman year at Brandeis. She offers spiritual direction, classes and consulting through Growing Older, her Philadelphia-based national practice. Her daughter Anya is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. Dayle and her husband, David Ferleger, are trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their twins, Anat and Avram, will soon be driving. Marilyn Heine, who lives in Dresher, Pa., is a physician with the Pennsylvania Medical Society. In June, The New York Times published her letter to the editor advocating for patient-centered, physician-led, team-based health care. Jerome Hoberman was enjoying a visit from his younger daughter, Gabi, a second-year student at Barnard, when older daughter Maia called to announce her engagement to her longtime “squeeze.” Maia and her fiancé are in their final years at Michigan State. Marta Kauffman is executive producer of “Grace and Frankie,” a Netflix series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin that was renewed for a second season. The show features two women who are forced to become friends when their husbands leave them for each other. Marta is also teaming up with production studio Electus to remake “Doc Martin,” the British comedy about a successful but bad-tempered surgeon who leaves the city to become a country doctor. Robert Koenigsberg was guest editor of the July edition of Journal of the American Osteopathic College of Radiology, which focused on neuroimaging. Rosa Lowenstein, an art conservator, was interviewed for a PBS story about Cuba and art preservation. Rosa frequently returns to her birth country to lead tours of Havana’s historic architecture, much of which was designed by her father. Barbara Herman Nevis celebrated her 25th year as a sales consultant at Steelcase in New York City, where she oversees corporate and architectural accounts. She has become an avid runner, completing three NYC Marathons. Her daughter Carly is a senior at Syracuse. Barbara sends “love to my peeps from Krivoff.” Amy Ostrower spent five extremely warm months in Baton Rouge, La., working as production controller on the MTV series “Scream.” Earlier, she worked in Los Angeles as the production accountant on the pilot for the “Walking Dead” spinoff. Barbara Rachelson continues to direct the Lund Family Center, a large family-oriented social-work agency in Burlington, Vt. She is also a Vermont state representative, working full time at both jobs for about four months out of the year. Her husband, Don Loeb, teaches philosophy at the University of Vermont (UVM) and lectures anywhere people will listen to him. Or sit quietly. Or not throw things. Don spends most of his time inventing cool stuff to say about his family in alumni periodicals. Son Isaac is a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Peter Welch in Washington, D.C., and daughter Aviva will graduate from UVM in 2016. For eight years, Larry Rothbart, P’09, has worked in a solo law practice focusing on family and matrimonial law, primarily as a mediator and collaborative law practitioner. Before starting his own practice, he worked for almost 22 years in the New York state court system and with the Office of the New York State Attorney General, and then for four years was “of counsel” to a law firm. Larry’s son, Isaac, Heller MBA/MA’09, and daughter-in-law, Jessica Heller MBA/MA’10 — who met in Brandeis’ Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program — welcomed twin boys, Asher and David, into their family in 2015. Larry says the twins help him “keep all things in perspective.” Production designer Steve Saklad designed the pilot for the Fox TV hit “Empire” as well as the romantic-comedy feature film “How to Be Single” for New Line. What does Steve know about being single? Not much, since in 2015 he and his husband, Paul, celebrated 23 years as a couple. David Segal, MMHS’83, is president and CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan, an insurer that covers low-income residents who use the Massachusetts state Medicaid program, MassHealth. He spent 23 years at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care before joining Neighborhood as chief operating officer in 2008. Alan Spatrick has not yet achieved his dream of opening Epcot Fitzgerald, a Great Gatsby-themed amusement park. To rest up for his new responsibilities as a Brandeis trustee and president of the Brandeis Alumni Association, Mark Surchin and his wife, Kim, went on a backroads walking and hiking trip in Provence, France, where they soaked up lots of ambience, wine and good food. Unfortunately for Mark, all the “soaking up” resulted in a case of gout. Kim Visbaras recently performed at Carnegie Hall at the world premiere of “The Mass of the Divine Shepherd,” which was part of the inaugural concert of Yale’s Center for Music and Liturgy. Kim has practiced real estate and corporate law in Auburn, Maine, since 1984. His elder daughter, Christie, was married in July in an oceanfront ceremony in Rockport, Mass., and his younger daughter, Lindsey, began a new position as a school psychologist in the Arlington, Va., school system.

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