Barnard 56 Connections
This is a page dedicated to the Class of 1956 from Barnard
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
"Its 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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."
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 Ive learned along the way.
friend who was a professor of religion once told me that its
impossible to write well about God. Maybe I should have listened. But
most days Im glad I didnt. I can only hopeand
praythat 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
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 booksomething I never felt before. This book, which
Ive 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 havehappilydiscovered
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 friendsespecially 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.
Ive 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.
Its 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 Im at least in the same
time zone and am almost between the two.
Ive been involved
mostly in the not-for-profit world, both as volunteer and employee,
particularly in the helping sphere. Im now running
the small real estate business begun by my late husband, but luckily
its 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?
Im blessed that
my mobility permits me to enjoy weekly folk dancing and English
country dancing. Theyve introduced me to some wonderful people
and its a great way to keep the body and mind going.
Im 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
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
fathers approval and my mothers 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.
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 wasnt 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
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
Sherry Autor writes:
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.
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
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.
terrific children are grown nowand 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.
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.
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 expeditionCornwall (Isabelle),
graduating from Barnard, Isabelle Emerson began
work toward a Masters 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 Masters 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. Pauls Chapel overseeing the organ recital
series, providing the music for Baccalaureate and Commencement
programs, and inaugurating a successful concert series: the Sunday
(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.
publications include a number of essays on Mozarts 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 locationsLas Vegas, Cornell University, Prague,
and presents a session at New York Citys 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,
whats engaging me is [no surprise here] working in theatre,
directing and performing. I sing with my church choir and with the
"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 summers work
as Sound Design and Music Director for the Hawaii Shakespeare
Festivals 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-Ive-decided-to-forget-your-name-but-I-remember-your-evil-red-marks-on-my-undergrad-compositions.
for the coming season include Wait until Dark and Water by
the Spoonful, also in Honolulu. Somehow, Ill 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 didnt 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 Im not
doing is attending our reunion this year. Im 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 couldnt refuse. Ive been to
some of Ireland before but to go with family, especially these
people, will be riotously unique.
"My email address is
email@example.com classmates, please let me know if
youre coming to or through Honolulu. Dont 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!).
"Im part of the Womens
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
Elizas graduation from Colorado College, and grandson
Wills 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.
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.
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. Johns 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
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 anothers 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.
"Im 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 Dont 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 didnt 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:
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 womans version of Kinder, kuche,
kirche (translate synagogue), pretty much the same philosophy
that has always informed my life.
"Now that Im 81, my kinder and two of theirs are
adults, who dont 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 its
my job to communicate to the youngest generation the values and
stories I grew up with. Otherwise who will know
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:
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
childrens 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.
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:
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Gloria & Dick's song at:
and their company at:
Gloria says their most popular downloads are their
28 songs with popular girls names,
as people seem to like a song with their name.
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.
to learn, and my goal--not always possible--is to go to a different
museum each week!
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.
most exciting job had been as an option trader on the floor of the
American Stock Exchange in the 1980s and 1990s. About mid-1990s
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, 19181945,
National Romanticism and Modern Architecture, and
Housing and Dwelling.
Houses for a New World: Builders
and Buyers in American Suburbs, 19451965 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 Mayors 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. Its my first
peer-reviewed publication, so Im 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
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
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
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 Normans 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. Thats 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.
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.
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.
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.
largest independent, not-for-profit music center in New Jersey, and
Judy remained Director until her retirement in 1998.
many of our classmates, she now serves as an active Board member and volunteer.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
had a wonderful trip to Venice in April, which
included the unexpected treat of several days
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
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.
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
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.