Class Correspondent

Laura Abrams has been named chair of the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Owen Fighter, and two sons, Eli, 14, and Noah, 12. Michelle Cohen reports she (Mich) and Michelle Fiddler (Mich-Mich) stay in touch. She and Lori Bring also have frequent meals together, and have explained to their husbands these mandatory meetings really should have been covered by marriage-contract disclaimers. Michelle’s older son is graduating from college, and her younger one is a college sophomore. Battling empty-nest syndrome, she has started a knitting club and a mahjongg group, belongs to a book club, chaired a couple of large events recently and joined a few boards. John Farr, a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a year to work on a project with the Saudi government. He hopes to travel and visit other Brandeisians who live in the Middle East. Isaac Fossas ’21, son of Nicole Fogarty Fossas and Misa Fossas ’85, P’21, is a Brandeis freshman, majoring in business and playing baseball for the Judges. Nicole and Misa both ran cross-country and track at Brandeis for Coach Norm Levine. Eileen (Schmerler) Kaplan lives in Brooklyn with Yosef, her husband of 20 years. They have six children. Eileen is a practicing attorney, and Yosef is a dentist at NYU School of Dentistry. Rachel Lucas runs a boutique PR/marketing firm in Boston, Rachel Lucas PR. Clients include the Reagle Music Theatre, the Nature Connection and the Healing Garden. She enjoyed her mini-reunion with Usen and Ziv roomies Alyssa Sanders and Sara Joseph. Estee Neuwirth and Michael Stein ’86 have two kids, Rachel and Simon. Estee is senior director for design at the Center for Health Systems Performance at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Cornelius Salmon writes, “Our most recent Atlanta New Student Send-Off was the best I’ve experienced. Trustee Curtis Tearte ’73 and his wife, Jylla, continue to represent our alma mater in the best way.” Melissa Silverstein was profiled in The New York Times. She is the founder of Women and Hollywood, a 10-year-old nonprofit that advocates for gender parity in the film business. Melissa told the newspaper, “I didn’t trust my voice at first, but I slowly put myself out there and started to get noticed. Now I’m kind of a rabid dog.” One of her supporters referred to her as the entertainment industry’s “chief agitation officer.” Ellen Swartz-Scumaci lives in Buffalo, New York, with her husband of 24 years, Robert. She is an independent college consultant and educator who runs her own business, Get Into the Right College. Daughter Emma is a sophomore at Nazareth College, and son Ben is a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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