Class Correspondent

I received an award for lay leadership in Jewish education from the Jewish Educators Assembly’s Conservative Principals Council of Long Island. I was recognized for my many years of service and leadership on the Merrick Jewish Centre’s school board.

Mark Cohen and Roberta Weinstein-Cohen ’79, P’09, P’17, are now the proud parents of two Brandeis alumni. Their youngest child, Rebecca (Rivka) ’17, graduated magna cum laude, double-majoring in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, and Near Eastern and Judaic studies, and minoring in politics. After Commencement, Mark, Roberta and Rebecca posed for a family photo in front of the Louis D. Brandeis sculpture in the center of campus. President Ron Liebowitz, who was walking past, graciously agreed to take the picture. Mark and Roberta are also proud grandparents: Ezra, son of Hanna Cohen Winkler ’09, lives in Israel, and Leo, son of Jacob (Yaakov) Cohen, resides in Kansas. In April, Philip Gerstein had a solo painting show in Boston that the Art New England website called “energetic, joyous and intellectually demanding.” His next solo show opens in November in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. In May, Steve A.N. Goldstein, MA’78, became dean of Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. Don Kligerman celebrated the 25th anniversary of Fairmount Ventures, the company he founded to provide strategic planning and resource development to nonprofits. He is a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, advising and teaching in its graduate program. He says the highlight of every month is breakfast with Rod MacNeil, “who will forever be called ‘Tiger.’” Robert and Bess Koenigsberg ’80 celebrated the wedding of daughter Sarah to Edward Carter. The ceremony took place on May 27 at Radnor Hunt, in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Norman McFarlane and his wife, Christine, joined the family in celebration. Mary Lovely is spending a sabbatical year as a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington, D.C. She is a professor of economics and chair of the international relations program at Syracuse. Rosa Lowinger wrote an article, “In Defense of Decorative Finishes: Cuban Architectural Conservation in the 21st Century,” in the fall issue of Conservation Perspectives, the newsletter of the Getty Conservation Institute. David Nachman continues his work in New York’s Office of the Attorney General, now as senior counsel. He has been married for nearly 30 years to Amy Schulman, a leader in the biotech industry. They have three sons: Ezra, who lives in LA and writes scripts for TV; Gideon, a recent Harvard grad with a passion for writing; and Raffi, a rising high-school senior. The family abode is moving from Park Slope down to the waterfront, still in their beloved borough of Brooklyn. Neil Pickett turned 60 and became a grandfather for the first time in the same month. Grandson Jesse Paul was born on April 7 and lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Asked to write an article on his experience with the TV show “Star” for the Art Directors’ Guild magazine, Perspective, Steve Saklad was proud to find a sketch he created for the show gracing the magazine’s May/ June cover. He and husband Paul Hartman celebrated 25 years together with a 14-day trip to northern India, traveling from the Golden Triangle to the caves of Ellora and Ajanta, checking off numbers 67-72 on the old bucket list. Robert Schaufeld was elected president of the board of directors of the Great Neck (New York) Library, and his wife, Caryn, was elected president of the Great Neck Lulav chapter of Hadassah. Daughter Emi has graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in film. Diane Cohen Schneider received the Power of One award from Laurel House, a nonprofit based in Stamford, Connecticut, that provides resources and opportunities for people living with mental illness. Diane is also on the advisory board of the Avon Theatre and serves as full-time “facilitator” for her husband of 30 years and their three kids. She recently started running so that when the revolution comes, she won’t be at the back of the pack. After earning a PhD in English at Bryn Mawr College and teaching English at Philadelphiaarea colleges for 13 years, Eileen Watts Siegel has taught at Jewish day schools for the past 23 years. She is a teacher at Kohelet Yeshiva High School, in Merion Station, where she chairs the English department and is founding director of the writing center. She has served as bibliographer of the Bernard Malamud Society for 15 years. She helped design and co-teach an integrated American literature, Jewish philosophy and Western philosophy course that won the 2017 Kohelet Prize for Interdisciplinary Integration. Eileen and her husband, Daniel, have two sons. Valerie Sonnenthal completed the New York Open Center’s Sound and Music Institute practitioner program and became a certified yoga practitioner. She offers regular restorative sound baths/meditation for the public and at the Windemere Nursing and Rehab Center, on Martha’s Vineyard. She also writes the Chilmark town column in The Martha’s Vineyard Times and contributes stories to other local publications. Valerie lives with her husband, documentary photographer Ed Grazda, and their two dogs. Gary and Deb Wortzman Wasserman are reopening their popular Airbnb in Portland, Oregon (permitting issues kept them closed for almost six months). They travel frequently to Israel.

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