Barnard 56 Connections

This is a page dedicated to the Class of 1956 from Barnard College.

Check out the alumnae pages on the Barnard site as well: our.barnard.edu

If you've landed on this page by mistake, please go back to the HOME page or the SITE MAP

Be sure to scroll to the right to see the full photo of those in landscape format.

Classmate photos and information are posted as they are received, so the most recent are at the top of this page. But here's an alphabetical list, so you can scroll down to find anyone you wish.

Sherry Autor,  Roberta Jacobson Barr, Abby Avin Belson, Natalie Twersky Berkowitz,
Barbara Blumstein Blechner, Diana Cohen Blumenthal, Dianne Woolfe Camber, Cynthia Bachner Cohen,
Toni Crowley Coffee, Sandra Comini, Isabelle Emerson,  Roberta Espie-Barry, Janet Bersin Finke,
Miriam Dressler Griffin, Catherine Comes Haight, Piri Halasz, Sifrah Sammell Hollander, Carol Cabe Kaminsky,
Alice Beck Kehoe, Phyllis Jasspon Kelvin, Corinne Endreny Kirchner ,Barbara Miller Lane,
Janet Kaback Leban, Roberta Wallace Longsworth,  Geraldine Funt Malter, Else Weiss Moskowitz, 
Doris Nathan, Lisa Billig Palmieri, Harriet Wilner Pappenheim, Carol Lewis Rifkind, Gloria Richman Rinderman,
Nancy Brilliant Rubinger, Peggy Anne Gilcher Siegmund, Barbara Brown Silverberg, Toby Stein, 
Margo Meier Viscusi, Judy Gordon Wharton, Ruth Young

You can read about me (Bobbi Graham) and see my photos on the Media Room page.

Scroll down past Reunion photos to see the latest entries.


Eleven classmates met for a mini-reunion November 22, for a private tour of the Park Avenue Armory, 
an impressive building from the 19th century, followed by lunch in the cafe at the Asia Society.
Left to right: Diana Cohen Blumenthal, Phylliss Jasspon Kelvin, Harriet Wilner Pappenheim, 
Natalie Twersky Berkowitz, Geraldine Funt Malter, Doris Nathan,  Roberta Espie-Barry, 
Nancy Brilliant Rubinger, Gloria Richman Rinderman, Carol Lewis Rifkind, Janet Bersin Finke.

Piri Halasz, Anita Maceo Creem, 
Josephine Russo Soave

Here's a "class photo" of attendees, taken on a phone so it's hard to see everyone, but gives a good idea of how many attended.

A larger photo is on the Barnard website. Look for our class, on the alumnae page:
http://www.alum.barnard.edu/s/1133/start.aspx 

 

Barbara Foley Wilson 
and Louise Kiessling-Fair

Julia Keydel, Cathy Comes Haight,
Sifrah  Sammell  Hollander.

Barbara Foley Wilson, Judith Schwack Joseph, Louise Kiessling Fair, Sara Barr Snook.

 

Campus buildings

Phyllis Jasspon Kelvin (our new President)
with Janet Williams Helman

 

Harriet Wilner Pappenheim
Phyllis Jasspon Kelvin
Arline Burstein Pacht

A model of the new site plan.

Angela Salanitro Bellizzi,
Jo Russo  Soave, Alessandra Comini, Anita Maceo Creem, Ruth Young

Hope some of you will ID the classmates in this photo.

Richard Rinderman, Julian Joseph, 
Jack Blechner, Joseph Reichel, Joel Belson

Here is Sandra Comini presenting the portrait of 
Abigail Adams Greenleaf Eliot (grandmother of 
T.S. Eliot) to the Art History Department. 

Abby Avin Belson, Geraldine Fuss Reichel, 
Gloria Richman Rinderman 


Corinne Endreny Kirchner is writing a biography of Mirra Komarovsky, who is described as a Russian-born American pioneer in the sociology of gender.

Some of us who were taught by Mirra, didn't realize that she was a Barnard alumn, class of 1926, then went on to get her Master's at Columbia followed by her PhD.

Corinne writes: "Mirra was my professor of sociology, and I am now an 82-year old sociologist, having been inspired by her. She encouraged me way back when I started at Barnard (having transferred there as a sophomore in 1954) and shortly after discovered I was pregnant (hastily married as a result) .

"That was hardly a typical situation in 1950s Barnard, but I managed to get a scholarship and to continue my studies as a sociology major and through a doctorate. I took off only half a year from school, but within the year had another pregnancy, made Phi Beta Kappa and graduated in 1957 (still think of myself as Class of 1956). My husband was also a student, became a lawyer but we divorced after 15 years of marriage.

"Now after my 30+ year career as researcher and teacher, I looked back and realized how important Mirra had been to allow that for me. One of my daughters who also is a Barnard grad (and had a course with Mirra), suggested I might want to write a biography of her.

"It’s a good project for me because it mainly involves working in the library and doing some interviews; I have had a couple of strokes and am slightly limited in my activities, having stopped teaching last summer but this project is truly engaging for me.

"I would love to hear from any Barnard grads who may have had a course with Mirra, or even just has any impressions of her and is willing to share that with me.

"Also, more broadly, I'd be glad to hear from anyone else working on any biography who would like to discuss and share thoughts on the writing process, by phone or preferably in person (I live on the upper west side of Manhattan.)"

Corinne Endreny Kirchner

Mirra Komarovsky, as many of us
remember her, at the blackboard in
her Barnard classroom.

 

You can reach Corinne via email at: ck120@columbia.edu. I don't want to publish her phone number here, but I'll send that if you email me at BFG@SimonTeakettle.com

 


Tony Crowley Coffee celebrated her 80th
with her entire family, except for one
grand-daughter-in-law who had just given birth.

       Toni lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but spends five months or more every year in Oxford, England. Toni and Donn began to spend time in England in the '70s because all her cousins were there. They liked the life there, especially in the spring and summer, and bought a flat. Toni spends more time there since Donn died. Most years she does back and forth three times and stay between six and eight weeks each time.
       Toni was involved with the League of Women Voters and was president of the School Board as she raised three children in Port Washington, Long Island. As the children grew, she also worked with Donn in his management consulting business, but chance led her back to Barnard where she became editor of the Alumnae Magazine in 1979.
       Eventually she reduced her hours to part-time, becoming associate editor, mainly writing and editing Class Notes and Alumnae Books until retiring in 2002.
       About Greek Games: “It's hard for anyone who didn't see it to understand what an amazing event it was. It involved all kinds of skills and talents, athletics, costume design and execution, program design, even management. It brought dorm students and commuters together and since it was a competition between classes we were unified as a class, too. Many of the most active students were commuters. Two of my best friends then -- and still today -- were commuting students. We met the first days of freshman orientation.”
       She continues: “Mrs. McIntosh was well known for telling us you can do everything, and that we should not feel we had to choose between career and family. We all knew she and her doctor husband had a large family and, of course, she had a demanding career. We all seemed to hear that she said we could do it all at once although we learned later -- at our 20th Reunion, I think -- that that was not what she meant. We invited her to meet with us one afternoon during the Reunion to talk about life after college.”
      One woman said, "You said we could do everything, and we did, but we are tired." 
      "Oh, no," she said, "I didn't mean all at once. Start on your career, take time off for your family, and go back (to your career)."
      Toni continues: “We had not heard it that way! Many of my classmates eventually had interesting careers, but it was a different era. At that time, if you went into publishing, you worked as a secretary or as a researcher and that was it. No one went into finance. Some did go to medical school, and a very few to law school.”
      About reunion, Toni says “The best part was seeing classmates -- there were almost 50 of us, which is great considering we're now in our 80s. We once shared an important time of our lives and have lived through the same period of history and that is a powerful bond. As always at a Reunion, we seemed to be able to pick up conversations from five years ago as if we had never been apart.”

Catherine Comes Haight has lived in Hilton Head Island since 2000. 

She's still playing USTA tennis, on 55+, 65+, 70+, and 75+ teams.  She says she's 
"gone to the SC states for the past 14 years and often to the 9-state sectionals.  Think I'm the oldest HHI woman still playing in USTA  tournaments." 

Cathy retired 18 years ago from Fortune Magazine. "When I started there in 1962, women couldn't write. I worked as a reporter, when I was expecting my children (had an 18-mos. old when I had twins), because I don't think they wanted me to be seen pregnant.  I then became their only permanent part-time employee, returning full-time when the children were ready for college. 

"I was the Deputy Chief of Reporters (had men and women doing that job when I held that position), and I was pretty pleased to retire from the Board of Editors which couldn't have happened when I first went to work there.

"While working on various articles, I interviewed Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Dean Rusk, and Lord Snowden among others which made for a fascinating career."

        The book I am writing began as an account of my religious journey, from growing up in a secular but ardently Jewish home to ten very happy years as a Catholic, to my life today as a Conservative Jew. As I wrote and rewrote and lived and revised the manuscript, the book turned out to be not merely about my personal journey but also about the unexpected things I’ve learned along the way. 
        A smart friend who was a professor of religion once told me that it’s impossible to write well about God. Maybe I should have listened. But most days I’m glad I didn’t. I can only hope–and pray–that God thinks I made the right decision.

  I continue to be grateful to Barnard. In the summer between our sophomore and junior years, when I lost my mother and my home overnight, Barnard saved my life. I have not forgotten.

Toby Stein writes from New York City:

      Two pieces of information it would have been useful to know several decades ago: first, if you don't have children, you don't get to have grandchildren; second, writers don't get to retire (except Philip Roth, apparently).  Both issues, it turns out, have advantages as well as disadvantages. I get to spend time with friends’ grandchildren, who seem to like that they get my full attention. As for not retiring, the truth is that when I am writing, I am utterly absorbed: I am inside the work and nothing bothers me. Nothing hurts.

      Not incidental to my joy in having to keep writing is that I feel I am writing an important book–something I never felt before. This book, which I’ve been working on for some seven years, interrupted for over a year by problems caused by my fantasy that I could write nine or ten hours a day, the schedule I cavorted through when I was writing my first novel at age forty. I have–happily–discovered that,  allowed to work only three hours a day, divided into three sessions, I get as much done as when I tried to work nine as I did half my life ago.

     In addition to writing, I continue to work as an editor. For a while, I made a specialty of working with writers of business books, a category for which I had a knack. Now, I work again on fiction and memoir as well. But only take on a couple of projects a year.

     Because there are things to do: listen to music, read theology and thrillers, and most of all spend  time with friends–especially those who disagree with me. How I love those conversations! 

 

   


Janet wearing her Class Officer badge at reunion.

She did a wonderful job of organizing the reunion, and now now moves into her new position as Co-Vice-President of our class.

Janet Bersin Finke writes:
       I have had the good fortune to live in the NY Metro area all my life, which enabled me to keep close ties with Barnard, particularly in recent years.
       I’ve been active in the Alumna Association and have enjoyed seeing the College grow into an even more impressive institution than it was when I arrived in 1952. It’s also a great benefit to be close to city to enjoy its cultural offerings, and to attend events at Barnard.
       My two sons’ families live in the Boston and D.C. suburbs, so I’m at least in the same time zone and am almost between the two.  
        I’ve been involved mostly in the not-for-profit world, both as volunteer and employee, particularly in the “helping” sphere. I‘m now running the small real estate business begun by my late husband, but luckily it’s not full-time.
        My congregation and the study of Judaism have come to occupy much of my time. Three book groups also keep me learning and pondering. I fit in some tennis and platform tennis. Has anybody started playing Pickleball? 
        I’m blessed that my mobility permits me to enjoy weekly folk dancing and English country dancing. They’ve introduced me to some wonderful people and it’s a great way to keep the body and mind going.
       I’m proud of an important project I helped to found, a medical facility that provides free primary care to working residents of our county, Bergen, NJ., who have no other health insurance or entitlement. Most of our doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners are volunteers. The professionals are happy to work where a patient receives as much time as is needed and is treated with care and dignity. We receive no funding from government sources and are totally dependent on individuals, foundations and grants. Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI.org) serves over 1000 patients with multiple annual visits and is now expanding.


I loved Barnard and still do, it's where one learned about excellence and quality and standards and made friends whom one now knows for
64(!) years.

Else Weiss Moskowitz writes:

           So here we are, sixty years (or is it five minutes) later.  Happily married for 53 years to Dan; two wonderful daughters, Luise and Marina in Philadelphia and Glasgow, respectively; and two adorable grandchildren, Triona 12 and David 16.

           We've lived in DC for fifty years, watching it become a more cosmopolitan city than when we first arrived.  I'm still working and have no intentions to stop.  I love what I do and it happens out of two home offices, one for the free-lance translator whose name is Moskowitz and the other office for Vacations at Sea, my tiny little 25-year-old cruise travel agency, run by Else "Daniels". Keeps me very very busy. 

           In between, I read voraciously, practice piano a little and entertain as much as possible to keep up with our friends.


Carol, as we all remember her, in 1956, on the S.S. Independence en route to Italy.

Carol (Cary) reuniting with Reiner
more than 50 years later. 

" It is quite wonderful to hear how much how much one was loved!"

Carol (Cary) Cabe Kaminsky writes:        

   Three weeks after our graduation I sailed to Italy. Professor Gladys Meyer, my mentor as a Sociology Major, had encouraged me to follow my dream and study sculpture. She told me that I could always go to Social Work School later. With my father’s approval and my mother’s dread I set off for a 3 month intensive Italian program in Perugia to be followed by study at an international school of sculpture on the Via Marguta in Rome.
            Whether through eagerness to embrace adventure, or through chemistry or fate, I met a young German graduate student studying theoretical nuclear physics at UCLA and fell madly in love. While he was visiting his family in Berlin, we traveled in Germany and when I returned home 9 months later, he came to meet my parents in Baltimore. They lent us the family car and we drove to Rangeley, Maine and visited Professor Meyers at her cabin in the woods and received her approval. Later I traveled to California to visit him.
           I moved to Boston and tried to enter the field of commercial art knowing only the words “paste up” and “layout” and was finally hired, mainly out of pity. I worked at Boston State Hospital in the OT Department in the Admissions Building (pre-medications), went to the Art Department at Little Brown and started one of the first three coffee houses in Boston with friends that I had met in Italy.
           Reiner and I wrote to each other but it wasn’t the right time for us to commit our lives to each other. I met my husband, a Canadian economist and we married in 1959. My daughter Rachel was born in 1961 and on the day my mother was coming to meet her for the first time at 2 weeks old, Reiner came through Boston on his way back to Europe and Post-Doc study in Copenhagen. We were all together for a short while for a lovely reunion. We wrote to each other after our family went to Ankara, Turkey where, for two years, my husband Ralph worked for OECD in a Turkish regional planning office.  Then we lost touch.
          In June of last year Rachel received an email that started “You may or may not have heard of me&ldots;” and went onto describe “how (Reiner and I) irresistibly fell in love” in 1956 and asked of news of my whereabouts. He had saved all of my letters in “a treasure box”. Many emails later, Rachel and I combined a trip to Budapest and Cracow with one to Berlin to meet Reiner and his wife. The years dropped away and we talked non-stop for three days about EVERYTHING and have continued to fill in the intervening years since our being together.



Above, self-portrait; below
"Adolescent Dreams." 

Sherry Autor writes:

          As a clinical psychologist with the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Department for close to 30 years, I worked primarily with children and families. For many of those years, I also had a private practice working with adults and couples. I retired from my practice 1 1/2 years ago — a combination of family health issues and the brutal New England Winter which made commuting to my office in Somerville, MA a hazardous business.
          Since then, I have been able to devote more time to painting. My studio is in the Brickbottom Artists Building, an artist-owned live-work space in a former A&P canning factory in Somerville, MA; it is a privilege to be part of the Brickbottom Artists community. Although I have made art on a range of subjects, my primary focus has been ecology and the wonders of the natural world. The effects of global warming, environmental change, and loss of species due to human behavior are primary concerns.
          I have spent time in the rainforests of Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon. I am currently exploring the colder regions of the planet to learn about the role of ice and glaciers in our weather and the state of our planet, and to see the the flora and fauna of that part of the world.
          My three terrific children are grown now—and I am fortunate that my sons, Rob and David and their families live nearby. My daughter, Deb (a Barnard graduate) and her family live in western Pennsylvania.  
          All three are pursuing very demanding careers which involve altogether too much travel (most recently India and Korea) and because of their responsibilities they have to be reachable 24/7. But as Deb tells me, all jobs are global now.
          I have seven very special grandchildren. . My oldest granddaughter just finished her first year at Tufts University. They are all growing up much too quickly!


Robbie Green Schaffer, Ruth Young, Debbie Ackerman Blum and Barbara Blumstein Blechner in San Diego.

Barbara begins her comments with: Time flies - Sixty very good years in an afternoon!|

and ends with: I hope you all feel fulfilled as you look back and we all are ready to move forward into an interesting, hopefully fascinating, and engaging eighth decade.

Barbara Blumstein Blechner writes: 

      I am grateful to Barnard for wonderful years, for friends who are still a very important part of my life, for the tools that allow me to continue to find challenging ways to spend time into my eighth decade, and for the Columbia friend who long ago became my mate.
      After raising a terrific family and having an exciting professional career in health law and ethics, I am now enjoying time more than ever.  Reading fiction - never time when I was busy reading only for information, writing short vignettes, serving on a hospital ethics committee, enjoying all of my family, becoming a gym rat, inhaling theater programs in Hartford, in Connecticut (there are many excellent regional theaters in our area), in NYC, Sarasota, and Chicago - so far. 
      Yes, I worry a lot about the political situation and many other things, but I try to work as much as I can for my candidates and causes.  My unrealized dream is to savor every minute and be constantly mindful, but as a fall back position I try to appreciate each day.


      Isabelle lives in a small Colorado villagem Pagosa Springs, with her partner, retired professor of mathematics, George Miel; their lives are enriched by the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and the New York Times.
      Isabelle and George share a yen for travel: after four months in Provence and three months in Ecuador, they are debating the next expedition—Cornwall (Isabelle), Africa (George).

           After graduating from Barnard, Isabelle Emerson began work toward a Master’s in Sacred Music, at Union Theological Seminary. In 1960 she won a Fulbright grant to study organ with Helmut Walcha at the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt/Main. Three years in Germany and a brief marriage left her with a daughter and son. She then completed her Master’s at Union Theological and moved back up the street to Columbia, where she was awarded the Ph.D. in musicology in 1977. As a TA she taught music appreciation at Columbia College, the School of General Studies, and, to her delight, at Barnard. During her studies she also served as Organist and Music Director at St. Paul’s Chapel overseeing the organ recital series, providing the music for Baccalaureate and Commencement programs, and inaugurating a successful concert series: the Sunday Evening Concerts.

           Ph.D. (and offspring) in hand, Isabelle taught music history for two years at the University of California, Riverside, before moving to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she taught and performed until her retirement as Professor emerita in 2006.

          Her publications include a number of essays on Mozart’s music; a bibliographic work:  American Music for the Dance; and a study of women in music: 500 Years of Women Singers. She is proudest, however, of having founded in 1996 a national organization, the Mozart Society of America. The Society, now in its twenty-first year, holds biannual meetings at the American Musicological Society and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, biennial conferences in various locations—Las Vegas, Cornell University, Prague—, and presents a session at New York City’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
           

LEFT, Isabelle Emerson's son Benjamin, an engineer living with his family in London,

and daughter, Consuelo, an artist-musican who lives in Las Vegas, where grandon, Dash, is a superb young flutist.

This summer Isabelle will assemble her family in Normandy, where in addition to frolicking on the beach and eating joyfully, they will visit the D-Day landing beaches and spend a day with the Bayeux Tapestry.

 

 


Peggy, above, accepting an award, 
and with husband, Harry, below.

 

Peggy Anne Gilcher Siegmund writes:
      "After 25 years with a Performing Arts Center at a public high school in Honolulu, what’s engaging me is [no surprise here] working in theatre, directing and performing. I sing with my church choir and with the Symphony Chorus.
       "As we were advised at an earlier reunion to become rewired rather than simply retired, it seems that retiring for me has not exactly been rewiring but rather moving the plug to a different socket on the same power strip. The luxuries of choosing my projects, making my own schedule, and not having to be somewhere every day, are very enjoyable.
        "Most recently I directed a very successful production of The Realistic Joneses with a talented and racially diverse cast, which ran a limited engagement in Honolulu, February/March 2016. Last summer’s work as Sound Design and Music Director for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival’s production of Othello allowed me to create some vocal arrangements and incidental music. With malicious glee I wrote parallel fifths for a chorus of monks, so there, Mr-I’ve-decided-to-forget-your-name-but-I-remember-your-evil-red-marks-on-my-undergrad-compositions.
        "Directing gigs for the coming season include Wait until Dark and Water by the Spoonful, also in Honolulu. Somehow, I’ll be working with the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival again this summer when I return to Hawaii after the Ireland trip and visiting family.
        "Surviving as a music major at Barnard was one of the most challenging and frustrating experiences in my life. I had been told by a music teacher [not at Barnard] that I was as ill-prepared to be a music major as a prospective English major who didn’t speak English. Was that 65 years ago???  Well, I survived and graduated and learned that what seems impossible will be difficult. Music is part of my life, every single day.
       "One thing I’m not doing is attending our reunion this year. I’m sad to miss it but looking forward to 2 weeks in Ireland with a bunch of Sullivan cousins. There were 2 openings in the group, leaving June 1, which was an offer my sister and I couldn’t refuse. I’ve been to some of Ireland before but to go with family, especially these people, will be riotously unique.
       "My email address is peggyannesiegmund@gmail.com – classmates, please let me know if you’re coming to or through Honolulu. Don’t plan to look us up in the phone book as we no longer have any land lines."



You might have seen Roberta as an extra in Next Year in Jerusalem which was filmed in Tel Aviv, or in Recount 2000, filmed in Jacksonville.

      Roberta Jacobson Barr has called Jacksonville, Florida, home for the past eighteen  years, where she's been working on the final draft of the last chapter of the historical novel she began writing in Tel Aviv thirty five years ago!
      She writes: "I shlepped  600 typewritten pages to Sydney. Australia, where I lived long enough to become a permanent resident.   Three drafts of the novel later I returned to the states for a year, saw my son married, then back to Israel, still schlepping  600 typewritten pages.
      "In 1998 I joined my dentist daughter in Jacksonville and  reluctantly settled down with a mortgage and an HR job at an outsourcing company. Along the way I enjoyed many adventures, two divorces, working for a drillship anchored offshore Gaza where I once rode a chopper out to the rig and served as an  armed  member of the Civil Guard in my Tel Aviv neighborhood ( we trained on and carried WWII M5 rifles!).
     "I’m part of the Women’s Health Initiative study on Exercise and Aging, and do about 10,000 steps a day and core and weight training 3 times a week, and am a Red Cross Disaster Assessment and Sheltering Volunteer.
     "Anticipating my granddaughter Eliza’s graduation from Colorado College, and grandson Will’s from Weslayen, Connecticut."



Cynthia with daughters Beth, left, and Holly,
right, and son Chris.

Below with three of Cynthia's grandchildren: Alec, Teo, and Sarah.

 

 

       Cynthia Bachner Cohen finally retired  retired from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown  although she still teaches a bioethics course at her retirement community and is sometimes consulted by the Kennedy Institute, the National Academies of Science, the National Institutes of Health, and the Canadian Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee about ethical issues raised in patient care, medical research, and public policy. 
       Cynthia attached an article about cloned babies from the Washington Post, where she was quoted and pictured along with the Pope!
       Cynthia writes: "My family has become my primary concern in recent years, especially since my husband, Pete,   an academic anesthesiologist and health policy lawyer, passed way in 2010.
       "My oldest child, Holly, is a lawyer (we went to different law schools – Harvard and Michigan – at the same time!) who pursued the first fair housing case at HUD.  She has also worked on private sector cases directed toward getting kids with disabilities into appropriate schools, among other issues. 
       "My daughter, Beth, is a documentary film maker who travels around the world to depict and expose poverty and injustice.  She has had some narrow escapes from war zones – headed for the airport in Kampala, Uganda, on a side road to avoid bullets. 
         "My son, Chris, is senior director of pharmaceutical safety for Glaxo Smith-Kline after pursuing a career in academic medicine at Childrens’ Hospital of Philadelphia,  which is associated with the University of Pennsylvania.
         "I have six grandchildren whose interests include mathematics (at the department of Defense), environmental engineering (currently studying in Krakow, Poland in a Swarthmore College program), computer psychology (a new kind of focus in computer studies at Tufts University), economics and social justice (wants to be a politician!), theatrical productions,  sports – lacrosse, horseback riding, and soccer – and guitar.
        "I've been on several Road Scholar trips (a take-off on the name of Rhode Scholars) with close friends to learn more about music and theater and have headed into D.C. with them or with my family for concerts, plays, lectures, and restaurants.
        "Still see friends from Barnard.  Liz Heavey Hoxby and her husband, Gerald, came through on their way to his alumni reunion at St. John’s in Annapolis, and Barbara Foley Wilson and her husband, Paul, live nearby.  It has been a delight to get together with them."


Here's a photo of most of the members of the committee planning our 60th reunion.

Left to right: front: Julia, Jessica, Doris, Sifrah, Phyllis and Harriet.

Back: Diana and Janet.

Missing: Toni and Bobbi.




Roberta on a recent
hike. 

       Roberta Wallace Longsworth retired as Director of Lay Ministries at a large church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and was then invited to join a fledgling organization called the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding (IJCU) of Muhlenberg College, a four-year liberal arts college located in Allentown.
       She writes:  "I learned that the purpose of the IJCU is to help Jews and Christians understand one another’s faiths more clearly, more deeply and more appreciatively, and to promote Jewish-Christian understanding on the Muhlenberg campus and in the wider community.
       "This mission had a strong appeal for me because one of the things I enjoyed most about my Barnard years was the pluralistic, interfaith environment.  I joined the IJCU and became co-leader of the first living-room dialogue group.  This led to chairing the Interfaith Studies committee, which developed a luncheon-speaker program for a Jewish-Christian audience, as well as an annual “mini-course” on a subject of mutual interest to Jews and Christians.
       "The Program Committee expanded IJCU programming to include Youth and Prejudice workshops which give high-school and middle-school students the opportunity to spend a day on campus, where they meet Holocaust survivors and children of survivors and hear their stories.  A facilitator then helps the teenagers discuss the challenges they face in dealing with “the other” in school and in the community.
       "The IJCU has brought a sense of fulfillment to my “active retirement” years and I continue to participate in and support its new ventures.


  Abby says:  "Religious observance, to which I was always drawn, has played an increasingly important role in my life.  Facing a  changed world, I take comfort in the idea that the prayers and rituals I know comforted people who were here long before me.
           "I’m not sure such a  “personal statement” would get me into Barnard today.  But Barnard has helped me live the life it describes.   When, as a stay at home mom, I began writing  for magazines,   I did a piece called “Why Don’t They Educate Women to Stay Home?”  Its thesis was that if your education gave you the skills to think and enough to think about,  you didn’t need a career to “ keep your mind alive.”   Barnard gave us that kind of education.  Sixty years after graduation, I am still grateful. "    

Abby Avin Belson writes:
          "Sixty years after graduation, I find myself  in a world where the values, customs, technology, language and weather are no longer familiar.  I am trying to navigate this strange place  in a body that works differently than it did in 1956, from a vantage point three inches lower.
           "So how do I cope?  Thus far my strategy has been to focus on an aging Jewish woman’s version of “Kinder, kuche, kirche (translate synagogue),  pretty much the same philosophy that has always informed my life.
           "Now that I’m 81, my kinder and two of theirs  are adults,  who don’t require my care.  But I consider it a privilege  to be available  when anyone of them needs  help  or a listener.  And I also think it’s my job to communicate to the youngest generation the values and stories I grew up with.    Otherwise who will know about them?"

        Abby and husband Joel, who still live in the four level house they bought over 50 years ago.
        Keeping it up it is hard work but, Abby says, "Like my mother, who regarded housework as her exercise regimen till she was 98, I am trying to do it.  I am also trying to maintain  a garden containing over 60 trees and even more shrubs, most of which I planted."       


Sifrah holding her younger son's daughter, Adina Miriam Hollander.

And with Avraham and Yakir, her older son's children.

Sifrah Sammell Hollander writes:

        "Friends have become more and more important in my post-retirement life.  In addition to the friends dating from my time at Barnard, I am still in close contact with some I met in the first grade. The closest ones, however, are those that met through my children, sharing car pools, play dates and birthday parties. These are the friends at whose children’s weddings we danced, and with whom we rejoiced upon the birth of grandchildren, with whom we mourned upon death of a spouse, and who now form our primary support group.

        "I have been retired for 25 years.  This gave me the opportunity to travel both in the United States and abroad. Volunteering in civic and communal and organizations was a logical follow-up to my career in education.  Writing magazine articles and editing newsletters forced me to become computer literate with the help of my sons, who became my instructors – a bit of role reversal!

        "Though I have been widowed for five years, I am fortunate in that I am still living in the home that we bought over 40 years ago and in the community where we have lived since we married, and thus have many long-time friends nearby. I now look forward to visiting my grand-children, who range in age from 4 months to 10 years of age and providing coverage for working moms.

         "Looking back on my Barnard experience, my major regret was that as a commuting student, I could not participate in extra-curricular activities as much as I would have liked.  On the other hand, meeting students from out of my neighborhood and cultural milieu gave the ability to work with people who have different values and experiences in order to achieve common goals."

Harriet has remained very engaged and busy professionally in the last five to ten years. She still practices as a psychotherapist/psychoanalyst in Manhattan, and runs a Couple Therapy Service in NYC which currently manages the practices of about 12 affiliate therapists. Harriet says she also enjoys being a member of a professional reading group and attends many professional conferences which definitely keeps the juices flowing.

Harriet Wilner Pappenheim  writes:

          "After many years, I retired from faculty posts where I had been teaching student psychoanalysts at several Analytic Institutes in NYC. At the same time,  I remained active until recently on the Executive Board of my Psychoanalytic Society. One of my  roles was to produce and manage large scientific conferences for the larger New York Mental Health community, so I did seven of them during the last ten years, and that proved to be extremely interesting and stimulating. It was also very time consuming, but well worth the effort.
          "Two years ago I was invited to become a Contributing Editor for a national psychoanalytic journal. I am currently working on two editions for them, one having to do with an aspect of psychoanalytic technique, and another relating to the Holocaust.  The latter Journal will feature a series of articles by  distinguished psychoanalysts, examining the unconscious causes for the collusion of many members of the German populace at that time.
           "All in all, I have a lot to do. I think too much at this point in my life, but it all remains fascinating.  I credit my Barnard education as being a major reason for everything I may have accomplished and enjoyed professionally and personally."


Gloria and her family, left to right:
Bruce, Marissa, Ryan, Gloria, Rob, and Dick  

Gloria would love to hear from other classmates. 
Email her at: rrinderm@optonline.net

Find Gloria & Dick's song at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or7WPUtUnRo

and their company at:
Facebook.com/pages/Rymar-Publishing-Co/224655124220361

Gloria says their most popular downloads are their
 28 songs with popular girls’ names,
as people seem to like a song with their name.

 

         Gloria Richman Rinderman writes: My family has been my primary concern. My husband and I celebrate together with family every birthday and holiday. 
         They have a house in a suburb of Long Island, but also own an apartment in Greenwich Village, as kids and grandkids live in NYC.
          I love to learn, and my goal--not always possible--is to go to a different museum each week!
          My husband and I had  travelled in the US, Europe, Asia, but now mostly travel in the US. I enjoy making albums/scrapbooks of trips and family events.
           Writing has always been an important part of Gloria's life, and she continues to write poems and songs. She and Dick put their  Be a Buddy, Not a Bully song on YouTube, so others can use it free of charge to promote kindness and tolerance. She sends out information about the song to schools and newspapers, and there are over 7200 hits so far.
           My most exciting job had been as an option trader on the floor of the American Stock Exchange in the 1980’s and 1990’s. About mid-1990’s my husband and I began to use our creative sides by writing songs (trained at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop).         


Here is Barbara at her 80th birthday party, with her husband, two grand-daughters and two grandsons.

Her favorite photo was taken in 2011,  when granddaughter Lucy Webber was just two:

     Barbara Miller Lane won the 2016 PROSE award in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Association of American Publishers, as well as the 2015 Literary Award (for Art and Architecture) from the Philadelphia Athenaeum.
     The Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, and Research Professor in Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr College, Barbara's books include Architecture and Politics in Germany, 1918–1945,
National Romanticism and Modern Architecture, and
Housing and Dwelling.
      Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945–1965 is the first comprehensive history of this uniquely American form of domestic architecture and urbanism. Based on a decade of original research, and accompanied by hundreds of historical images, plans, and maps, this book presents an entirely new interpretation of the American suburb. The result is a fascinating history of houses and developments that continue to shape how tens of millions of Americans live.

The photo below shows Barbara with two of her former grad students at Bryn Mawr.


Piri Halasz writes:
       I am still hanging in there, writing my online column of art criticism and art comment, (An Appropriate Distance) From the Mayor’s Doorstep.   I started it in November 1996, and the print edition is now at issue #120.
       Also assorted other writing. In December, 2015, I published Transition from Mystery into History: How the Internet Revived My Faith in ‘Swinging London, in The Independent Scholar. TIS is the online publication of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, and the article is based on the talk dealing with the same subject that I delivered at the NCIS conference in New Haven last June.  It’s my first peer-reviewed publication, so I’m particularly thrilled about it!
       Spare time (what there is of it): love bridge, also silly games with my Mensa “special interest group” or SIG. We play Boggle, Quidler, Taboo, Scattegories, charades and games with funny names like “Bass Ackwards” and “Smart Ass.”


   Ruth sent along this photo and the poem she wrote about finding the new man in her life.

Just when I thought life
Was about growing old gracefully
And taking joy from family--
An amazing thing happened to me
It was Donald Rice !!

Two aging would-be poets
Sat next to one another 
At a writer's workshop one day-
And became one of God's
Small unnoticed miracles ...
Happy to have found each other
After years of loneliness
And ill fated relationships !!

Ruth Young writes:
      I am passionate about life -- my own personal dream engages me!
      I'm still in good health, able to run a few times a week and practice yoga almost every day.
      I work as a volunteer for Adult Literacy as I have for nearly 20 years.
      Recently I've become a political activist, speaking and writing as much as possible about institutionalized racism and particularly  the inequality of our justice system.
      I'm concerned about what's happening to our country and worry about the world we are leaving our grandchildren so I try in my own small way every day to make it a better one.
      Ruth sent along this photo and the poem she wrote about finding the new man in her life.
      And here is Ruth showing off a yoga pose:


Phyllis has always loved taking photographs, and sent some wonderful examples of her work, but there's room for only
this one of Central Park:

 

Phyllis Jasspon Kelvin spent a week in the Bay Area visiting Janet Kaback Leban and Barbara Brown Silverberg, reporting, The ties were still firmly knotted and the three of us spent a day in St. Helena having a fantastic lunch- see the picture of out happy, sated faces.
      Barbara is on the left, Janet in the middle, and Phyllis on the right.
      Phyllis has been living in New York near her two daughters, with summers in Maine. She writes: 
       "I have lead a very private life. I married young, still in college, worked at various jobs using my math degree, mostly routine insurance work while my husband got his Ph.D. I went to England with him and helped him with his research.
        I taught in the New York City public schools, but did not like teaching. So I  stayed home with my daughters, enjoying myself immensely. 
        Then came computers, and I earned a degree in Computer Science. I liked the all-nighters when systems went down. I liked the comradery of dealing with “the y2k” problem. In 2000 I retired. My husband and I spent more time in our summer home in Maine; I gardened and read more. We did some traveling.   
        Norman did not retire - he liked teaching and writing. I volunteered  at the Museum of Natural History until Norman’s health required more of my attention. After he retired we did more travelling and spent more time in Maine.
        The important things in my life have been the people in it. I have made friends from each stage and I have learned that friendship must be cultivated, like the garden. And like the garden, the rewards far surpass the effort that you expend. Each hole left by the death of old friends and loved ones has been filled with new friends. 
        As I look back, knowing what I knew then, there is nothing I would have done differently. There have been mistakes but I try not make the same mistake twice. Je ne regrette rien.


Alice at the head of the table, with her host, Jos Eggermont, the Eggermont's son-in-law, a guest, and daughter Marjan. Jos and Mary Eggermont's house used to belong to Ted Cruz, and has been featured in many newspapers and magazines.

Also in Canada, Alice enjoys hiking in Banff. She says, “At my present pace, I should say walking, not hiking, 11 miles roundtrip is about my limit.  That’s enough for many hours of pure bliss.”

Alice still lives in her Federal-style home near  Olmsted park on Lake Michigan, enjoying walks, her garden, the company of two cats, and writing.

 

     Alice Beck Kehoe is presently revising, for history courses, her North America Before the European Invasions, and has just published Traveling Prehistoric Seas.  These books, and her 2014 A Passion for the True and Just:  Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen and the Indian New Deal, fit together in elucidating the context and politics of the myth that Columbus discovered a wilderness of savages. 
     Alice remains active in archaeology, though not doing excavations. She writes: “American archaeology, dominated since 1970 by pseudo-scientific dogma, is shifting with the deaths of its big men.  Out on the fringe, I found many colleagues concerned, like me, with seeing the past as histories, not laboratory exercises, and some of us also do ethnography with non-Western communities to help interpret archaeological data.  We're calling our approach Archaeologies of Listening, presented it at Society for American Archaeology meeting last year and will do so late August in Kyoto at the World Archaeology Congress.” 
     Alice is also active in the Association of Senior Anthropologists within the American Anthropological Association, and continues to go out each summer to the Montana Blackfeet Reservation, observing Indian Country firsthand and helping at the tribal college. Collaborating with them, she wrote the history Amskapi Pikuni:  The Blackfeet People (2012).


Judy and Lennard Wharton

 

         Judy Gordon Wharton reminded me that we worked together on Junior Show, along with Toni. Judy claims she was "a novice composer of the music" but that was a portent of what was to come.
         After studying piano and musicianship with Jean Casadessus and Nadia Boulanger the summer after graduation, she married Lennard Wharton and taught
9th Grade English/Social Studies in Newton, Massachusetts,  for three years while Len finished his PhD in Physical Chemistry at Harvard.
         "I loved teaching, but missed music, so I applied to and received a Fellowship to Brandeis in Music Composition and Theory." After the birth of two  daughters, she wrote a second movement to a Twelve Tone String Trio, her thesis, took four comprensive exams and finally received the degree in 1970, the same year her son was born.
          The Whartons eventually settled in New Jersey, 
where Judy founded a music school that opened its  doors with 13 students in January, 1986, and grew over the years to become "The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts".  It includes the music school for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds, the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Paterson Project, an El Sestema String Program that originated in Venezuela.
          It's the largest independent, not-for-profit music center in New Jersey, and Judy remained Director until her retirement in 1998.
          Like so many of our classmates, she now serves as an active Board member and volunteer.
          Daughter Ruth is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of New Hampshire and has two sons. Rebecca is a Senior Producer of Open Mind on PBS, formerly with Bill Moyers, and son  Nat is working in Information Technology in Paris.  
          The family photo was taken at Rebecca's wedding  to Elliot Jurist in 2011.
          Ruth's husband, Stephen Macdonald, is in the family photo with their two sons, Andrew and Ben.
          Nat is also married and lives in Paris with his wife,  Sophie.   
          The adorable grandchild to the left is Joshua Jurist,
Rebecca & Elliot's toddler, taken in the fall of 2015. 


         Lisa Billig Palmieri  still quite active as the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Representative in Italy and Liaison to the Holy See, as Rome correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, and for Vatican Insider, the online publication of the important national daily, La Stampa.  She gives talks, speaks on panels, and travels to meetings of various sorts.

         Lisa participated in the Catholic-Jewish celebrations of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate and also led a media workshop aimed at overcoming bias in reporting, entitled Context, not just Close-ups, at the European meeting of Religions for Peace/Europe at Castelgandolfo outside Rome.

      She  was Vice President of the European RfP section for nearly 30 years and am Honorary President and co-founder of the Italian RfP Chapter.


Director Emerita Diane Woolfe Camber 
in front of Bass Museum of Art, celebrating 
the museum's 50th Anniversary (2014.)

     Diane Woolfe Camber was for twenty-seven years Director/Chief Curator of the Bass Museum of Art, during which time she doubled the size of the Museum facility,, increased the collection five-fold and organized and traveled numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has contributed to and overseen publication of scholarly catalogs on Museum collections well as exhibitions and books distributed world-wide on Miami Beach's historic architecture.
      Since retirement from Museum in 2017 she has been working primarily with emerging and mid-career women artists--mentoring, writing catalog essays, editing catalogs,and organizing traveling exhibitions.
     The Bass Museum recently established the Diane W. Camber, Director Emeritus Exhibition Fund to honor her.

A photo from Diane's album: taking Andy Warhol on tour of Miami Beach's Art Deco architecture (1980)


Sandra has two websites: alessandracomini.com
and megancrespi.com.

 

Sandra Comini has turned her attention to writing art history murder mysteries.  Three are already available, Killing for Klimt, The Schiele Slaughters, and The Kokoschka Caper. Look for them on Amazon. The latest two are shown below:

Sandra says she's having lots of fun mixing fiction with fact.


Available on Amazon

Sandra's memoir, In Passionate Pursuit, was described by Booklist as:

        This erudite, mostly engaging self-portrait charts the making of an art historian and professional "seer," whose passion and wit enabled her to become a noted teacher and scholar at Southern Methodist University.
        Comini helped unearth centuries of overlooked women in art and wrote landmark studies of the Austrian painter Egon Schiele and of musical iconography. For someone engaged in a life of the mind, she has lived much of it in motion, and the art of travel and close consideration of cultural context have been her keys to learning and teaching.
         She is at her riveting best when she reveals her discoveries about Schiele in his Vienna prison cell, Winckelmann in Rome and Trieste, the composer Edvard Grieg in Norway, and the painter Akseli Gallen-Kalella in Finland.
         Her short essays dazzle the most when they reveal her keen eye, such as when she discerns how the German artist Kathe Kollwitz, in a bust of herself, "used the resolute features of her own aging face as a spiritual topography for courage and resignation."

Written by Steve Paul. Copyright © American Library Association. 

Here is Sandra's flute part from the Greek Games dance music she and I wrote for the 1954 Games.

Here's Sandra with her flutes. She
still plays several instruments, and 
you can hear her singing and playing
the guitar at: 
https://twitter.com/megantino/media

 


Four happy class members met for lunch and a dance performance at Columbia's Miller Theatre.

Left to right, back row : Janet Bersin Finke, Diana Cohen Blumenthal.

Front row: Harriet Wilner Pappenheim, Phyllis Jasspon Kelvin.

Thanks, Diana, for sending the photo! 

 


Toni Crowley Coffee and Janet Bersin Finke 
had a wonderful trip to Venice in April, which 
included the unexpected treat of several days 
in Padua. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I always 
smile when I hear the name of that city, thinking 
of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from "Kiss 
Me Kate."

Here they are in Venice, in a gondola in front of 
the Doge's Palace in Venice.

 



Dianne Woolfe Camber speaking at American University Museum opening of Sandra Ramos exhibition she organized.  Dianne lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and writes about how she first met the artist: "In 2012  met artist Sandra Ramos in Havana and  I suggested to her that her work, while known in the US and abroad,  deserved a major retrospective.designed for US museums and that I would like to curate this..  The exhibition, accompanied by the first English  language catalogue of her work,  opened at the American University Museum September 5th and just ended there but will continue to travel. Her exquisitely rendered autobiographical work in graphics is poignant and exuberantly witty  and her sculpture, painting and video also reflect her craftsmanship. Her work offers a critical feminist perspective on Cuban life post- Revolution.


Janet Finke, Toni Coffee, and Miriam Dressler Griffin 
                    in Oxford, U.K.  - June, 2013

Margo Meier Viscusi, Toni Coffee,  Janet Finke, Phyllis Kelvin, Diana Blumethal and Piri Halasz
at Poet's House in New York's Battery Park in May, 2013.  

 

 

This lovely photo shows Miriam Dressler Griffin, who retired as a Fellow in Ancient History from Oxford.  Her college, Somerville, hosted an 80th birthday celebration party for her, which a great many former pupils attended.   Several of them gave talks in ancient history and the dinner that evening was attended by the Principal and her husband, Miriam's family, the organizers and the speakers, two of whom,  philosophers Jonathan Barnes and Martha Nussbaum, had come from overseas.

 

I had considered including email addresses for classmates featured on this page or in Class Notes,
 but was advised that there might be privacy concerns. 
If you want your email listed here, so other classmates may contact you, just let me know. 

If you want to contact a classmate I've included in Class Notes, just email me and I'll send you the address.

This page is maintained by Barbara Florio Graham
Class Correspondent for the Barnard Class of 1956

To add a photo to this page, send photos in jpeg format, to BFG @ SimonTeakettle.com, with Barnard in the subject line. Include a brief caption with the location and date. Be sure to identify everyone in a group picture, including first and last names. As time goes on, you can always a newer photo to replace an older one on the site.

Bobbi's News