New Shared-Interest Networks Broaden Your Reach

Are you looking to grow your professional network, connect with fellow alumni who work in your field or find Brandeisians who share your interests?

The new Brandeis Shared-Interest Group program allows alumni to connect with fellow graduates regardless of when they graduated or where they live. The university’s inaugural shared-interest groups are the Alumni of Color Network, the Arts Network, the International Alumni Network and the Lawyers Network.

“We are excited to offer our alumni around the world the opportunity to engage with one another on the basis of their mutual interests,” says Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations. “These groups will allow alumni to strengthen their connections with one another through both in-person and virtual programming.”

The Shared-Interest Group program was developed by members of the Alumni Association board to connect alumni in different ways.

“We are always on the lookout for programs that can strengthen ties among alumni,” says Trustee Mark Surchin ’78, the Alumni Association president. “We hope alumni will spread the word about shared-interest groups, and encourage their classmates and friends to sign up.”

For more information about the Shared-Interest Group program, visit, or email

Photo of panelists at a Lawyers Network event

Last fall, more than 50 alumni and friends gathered in New York for a panel discussion with four area judges. Pictured: New York Lawyers Network chair David Shapiro ’85 (second from left) with panelists Michael Katz ’89; Naomi Buchwald ’65; Melissa Crane ’86; and Fred Kessler ’75, P’10.

Mark Surchin ’78
Mark Surchin ’78

Connecting the Dots

We recently established the Shared-Interest Group program for Brandeis alumni — and some of its first beneficiaries were Brandeis students.

Shortly after launching the Lawyers Network, the Arts Network, the International Alumni Network and the Alumni of Color Network this winter, we sent an email to the Lawyers Network seeking assistance for international students potentially impacted by President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel.

In true Brandeis fashion, more than 75 alumni lawyers responded, volunteering their advice, legal services and expertise on a pro bono basis. Many respondents worked in immigration or international law; others wrote just to offer whatever support they could to these vulnerable students.

The reaction was gratifying for me and also underscored one of the Shared-Interest Group program’s prime goals — to better connect our alumni and students. These networks will also make it easier for alumni to help students seeking career guidance.

Of course, the new groups allow alumni to engage with one another as well. You can use them to share best practices, provide mentorship or career advice in a particular field, expand your professional network, or simply socialize. To find out more, visit, or email alumnisigs@

This initiative, like many others over the years that improved the alumni experience, would not have been possible without Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13, the university’s senior vice president of institutional advancement.

Since arriving at Brandeis in October 1994, Nancy has dedicated significant resources to help us better connect with one another and the institution. Under her leadership, the Office of Alumni Relations has enhanced programming both on and off campus, increased support for the Brandeis Alumni Association and developed new platforms to bring alumni together.

On July 1, Nancy will transition into a new role as President Ron Liebowitz’s chief philanthropic adviser. On behalf of alumni around the world, I want to thank her for her many contributions to Brandeis.


Mark Surchin ’78
President, Brandeis Alumni Association

Eyes on the World: Brandeis Travelers Takes Off

The Brandeis Travelers program lets alumni and friends experience a region rather than simply visit it.

Each journey is led by a renowned Brandeis faculty member with deep knowledge of the region’s history and culture. Fellow travelers tend to be engaged, adventurous and well-informed, bringing an intellectual curiosity to the journey that is uniquely Brandeisian.

“We are thrilled to expand the program to allow more alumni and friends to join these trips to some of the world’s most exciting destinations,” says Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations.

For more information, visit travel, or email Alyson Saykin, director of special programs, at

2017 Trips

• Galápagos: Jan. 27-Feb. 5

• Cuba Through the Eyes of the People: March 4-11

• Dutch Waterways: Holland and Belgium River Cruise: April 26-May 4

• Southern Africa Odyssey: May 18-June 4

• Canadian Rockies: Aug. 3-9

• Italian Riviera and Chianti: Oct. 22-31

• Paradores and Pousadas: Historic Lodgings of Spain and Portugal: Nov. 6-20

Photo of travelers posing in the Galapagos Islands
Alumni and friends of all ages enjoyed the Brandeis Travelers trip to the Galapagos Islands with biologist Dan Perlman (far left).
A scene from Reunion 2016
A scene from Reunion 2016

(Lucky) 13 Classes to Return for Reunion 2017

For the first time in its history, Brandeis will host 13 classes at Reunion.

This year’s weekend event, which runs from June 9-11, will feature the university’s first 65th Reunion, as the Class of 1952 celebrates its milestone, along with the other Reunion classes, from years ending with a 2 or a 7. More than 1,000 alumni, family and friends are expected back on campus.

Reunion kicks off on Friday with Alumni College, a daylong series of courses taught by leading faculty, which allows alumni to relive their Brandeis classroom experience. On Friday night, Trucks and Tunes returns, featuring some of the Boston area’s finest food trucks and musical entertainment.

Saturday’s programming includes the Ralph Norman Barbecue on the Great Lawn at noon, followed by a variety of family-friendly afternoon activities, such as the Ice Cream Social, Ollie’s Family Fun, and Kegs and Kickball. A conversation with President Ron Liebowitz will be held from 4-5 p.m. Later that night, individual class dinners will offer classmates a chance to further reconnect.

On Sunday morning, a memorial gathering will honor members of the Reunion classes, faculty and staff who have passed away. Reunion weekend concludes with the Farewell Champagne Brunch.

For more information about Reunion 2017 or to register, visit alumni.brandeis. edu/reunion.

President’s Days

Hundreds of alumni and friends gathered at events in Tel Aviv, Israel; Los Angeles; London; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco to welcome President Ron Liebowitz to Brandeis.

In Tel Aviv:

Photo from Tel Aviv event.

Johanna Silverio ’07, IBS MA’08, MBA’11; Eva Rybar ’07; and Nuia Mana ’04.

In Los Angeles:

Photo 1 of 3 from Los Angeles event

Liebowitz with Trustee Leslie Aronzon ’84 and Amy Cohen ’85, president of the Alumni Club of Southern California.

Photo 2 of 3 from Los Angeles event

Richie Silverman ’54, Evelyn Sheffres ’55 and Mark Aronson ’55.

Photo 3 of 3 from Los Angeles event

April Silton, P’17, and Susan Steinberg, P’18.

In London:

Photo 1 of 2 from London event

Jeminatu Alabi-Isama ’10 and Carissa Ramkissoon, IBS MBA’09.

Photo 2 of 2 from London event

Juan Custodio, IBS MSF’11, and Lara Custodio.

In Washington, D.C.:

Photo 1 of 2 from Washington, D.C., event

Liebowitz with Jackie Zais ’13.

Photo 2 of 2 from Washington, D.C., event

Seth Coburn, Ria Roberts, Lital Shair Nada and Garrett Nada, all ’10.

In San Francisco:

Photo 1 of 2 from San Francisco event

Ian Christie, Tove Freeman, Elizabeth Villano, Rebecca Balk and Grady Ward, all ’16.

Photo 2 of 2 from San Francisco event

Daisy Dong ’14, David Garson, Shuo Diao ’12, Hao Le and Debbie Adler ’99.


Photo of Blumenband wedding

Lisa Aremband ’11 and Brian Blumenthal ’12 celebrated their wedding on Sept. 4 in San Rafael, California.
Lisa and Brian have combined their last names to create a new one: Blumenband.

Photo of Faigen wedding

Jordan Faigen ’09 married David Zucker ’09 on June 4 in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Photo of Mandell wedding
Former members of Brandeis’ TRON and Banshee ultimate Frisbee teams celebrated with Josh Mandell ’11 as he married Jillian Weisman on Oct. 30 in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Photo of Davis b'not mitzvah

A number of Brandeis alumni and their families witnessed the b’not mitzah of twins Abigail and Grace Davis, daughters of Rachel (Stern) Davis ’92, on May 16, 2015.

Photo of Waldman wedding

Twenty alumni helped Brian Waldman ’03 celebrate his marriage to Brooke Heidecorn on Aug. 6 at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Photo of Allgaier wedding

Josh Allgaier ’12 married Holly Spicer ’13 on Sept. 24 at the Captain Linnell House, in Orleans, Massachusetts.

Photo of Gurr wedding

When Danielle Gurr ’11 married Zachary Cohen on Nov. 13 at the Village Club at Lake Success, in Great Neck, New York, the many Brandeis alumni attending included Danielle’s mother, Robbin Schneider Gurr ’78, P’11; Danielle’s cousins Robert and Jeffrey Culver, both ’11; and Zach’s cousin Joseph Corsello ’12.

Photo of Fleisher wedding

Ari Fleisher ’07 married Jonah Kaitz ’07 on Aug. 20 in Boston. Alumni in attendance included Ari’s parents, Helen (Zelitch) and Michael Fleisher, both ’70, P’07.

Photo of Steinkohl wedding

Bryan Steinkohl ’07 married Sydney Reuben ’10 on June 26 at the Kyoto Gardens in Los Angeles.

Photo of Steinman wedding

Claire Steinman and Andrew Ng, both ’10, were married on Aug. 20 at the Union Trust in Philadelphia. Attendees included Claire’s parents, Lisa Barnett ’78 and Jed Steinman ’79, P’10.

Photo of Gordon wedding

Traci Gordon ’12 married Michael Baum ’12 on May 29 at Reunion Resort, in Kissimmee, Florida.

Photo of Shutak wedding

Chase Shutak ’08 married Hannah Ramer ’08 on July 2 in a ceremony in Minnesota.

Photo of Owen wedding

A total of 30 alumni, most of whom were members of the Brandeis cross-country and track teams, celebrated the marriage of Emily Owen ’11 and Michael Stone ’09 on Nov. 4 at Dibbles Inn, in Vernon, New York.