Class Correspondent

Greetings, classmates! My research team and I just completed a systematic review of the evidence on the effects of decreasing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake on blood pressure and other long-term health effects. Our review findings will help guide the National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board in revising the Dietary Reference Intakes. My husband just took the California Bar Exam, so we’re both hoping for a nice vacation soon, at least sometime before my stepson’s wedding in July. Please continue to pray for classmate Millie Mendizabal and her family in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Alison Bass writes she recently visited Costa Rica with her husband, her oldest son (a lawyer) and his girlfriend: “We went ziplining over the rain forest; saw an amazing variety of animals, including monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and agouti; and had a great time.” Debra-Lee Garren says that, after being the first woman to graduate from Brandeis with a BA/MFA in directing, she worked in film in Paris, video in Jerusalem (where she also went through the seminary) and television in the U.S., before accepting a one-semester appointment at Curry College that turned into a 32-year career, from which she just stepped aside as director of the drama department. At Curry, she developed the theater curriculum from the ground up, recruiting other Brandeis alums (e.g., Jay Ginsburg and Annette Miller ’58) in the process. She adds, “The key to happiness is gratitude. I remain happily grateful to Brandeis for preparing me for such a wonderful working life.” Mindy Littman Holland announces the publication of a new book, “All My Funny Ones: A Collection of Short Stories.” She occasionally does performances based on her books and blogs. “Aside from that,” she says, “I’m living the dream in Santa Fe, New Mexico, enjoying watching my grandchildren get married and have babies.” Sondra Kaplan has lived in Houston since graduation. After 26 years of providing private-practice psychotherapy, she has returned to the University of Texas medical school as a senior clinical social worker at the adult Changing Lives Through Autism Spectrum Services clinic. Contact her at With great sadness, Frances Goldstein shares the news that Risa Hochbaum Miron passed away on Jan. 13. Frances writes that Risa maintained close friendships with her and her other Brandeis roommate, Julie Jacobson ’76, and that Frances and her husband, Jonathan Bloom ’76, had visited with Risa and her husband, Robert, at their home in Boca Raton, Florida, a week before her unexpected passing. Peretz Rodman was hosted by classmate Neal Rechtman for a short visit in March in Barbados, where Neal is currently residing in retirement. Jonathan Sarna, MA’75, reports his daughter, Leah, was married to Ethan Schwartz on Aug. 27. Leah was ordained from Yeshivat Maharat in June. Michael Schwartz is an associate professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law, where he directs the Disability Rights Clinic in the Office of Clinical Legal Education. In 2015, he spent six months at Queen’s University Belfast as a Fulbright scholar, and he just received a $200,000 grant to research access to the system of justice for deaf people in Northern Ireland. Michael has been married for 27 years and has a daughter in college.

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