Member Bios Fall 2008 through Spring 2021

Fall 2008 to Spring 2021

These thumbnail biographies from The Observer are listed here so that members can look for people with similar interests or expertise in particular fields as they develop proposals for study groups. The bios date back to 2008, however; Spring 2010 is missing.

HOW TO SEARCH THE BIOS:  For a MAC press command f and type the name of the person you’re looking for in the Search Box that appears.  For a PC press ctrl f and follow the same instructions.

JOHN COONEY. Villanova, BA; Rotary International Fellow to South India; Russell Sage Fellow, Washington U. Was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal. Has written eight books. Was a foreign correspondent and has traveled extensively. Is a mentor in a basketball program in the Bronx and has worked with a homeless shelter.

MARY ELWOOD. Mount St. Vincent, BA; U. of Chicago, MA; Bank Street College of Education, MS. Studied at NYU. Taught at nursery schools and NYC public schools.  Was involved in community activities and has spent time recently caring for family members. Is interested in literature and history. Has belonged to two book clubs.

ROBERT GERACE. CCNY, BA; NYU, MA; St. John’s University, PhD in English. Taught English at Queensborough Community College and was a field sales manager and sales trainer for Bowker Publishing. Has a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language. Has worked with foreign students and with Big Apple Greeters. Interests include travel and opera.

MARION KOSSOFF.  Hunter College, BA; U. of New Rochelle, MS; courses at University of London and Henry George School of Social Science. Has taught in Rockland County, at Mercy College and at the English School of Bregenz, Austria. Has volunteered at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum. Has lived in London and Austria.

MARSHALL MARCOVITZ. Roosevelt U., University of Chicago. Was founder and is former CEO of the Chef’s Catalog, a consumer catalog and Internet retail store. Has taught marketing at the U. of Chicago and writes a column for Gourmet Retailer magazine. Has been a member of the Olli program at Northwestern U. in Chicago and recently relocated to New York.

DANIEL MARCUS. Washington U., BA; George Washington U., MD. Was a retina specialist in northwest Ohio and a clinical professor of surgery at the U. of Toledo. Was active in the arts in Akron. Recently relocated to New York. Volunteers at New York Presbyterian-Cornell Hospital and Carnegie Hall. Interests include photography, art, music and travel.

MIREYA PEREZ. Hunter College, BA; Boston U, MA; Rutgers, PhD in Spanish literature. Was an associate professor  at the College of New Rochelle for many years.  Is an ordained interfaith minister and performs marriages. Has been a Pan American Center mentor and has coordinated many cultural events. Has taught Latino values and health to medical personnel. Has traveled widely.

MARK SCHER. NYU, Cleveland State U. and U. of Warsaw, law degrees. Was a lawyer specializing in international and immigration law. Was an administrative law judge for the state Department of Social  Services. Did pro bono legal work on immigration. Speaks eight foreign languages. Interests include literature, history, philosophy and psychology.

JERRI SHERMAN. NYU, BA, MA. Had her own company in the garment industry; earned her degrees after retiring. Is active with AIPAC, the lobby group supporting Israel. Has done extensive world-wide adventure travel. Interests include sports, politics and knitting.

CARY SPERLING. Russell Sage College, MA; New School, MA. Taught y at St. Vincent’s Hospital Nursing  School, Baruch College and Haifa University in Israel. Was a farm wife for 20 years. Worked with  Ethiopian Jewish students in Israel and helped organize a performance in New York by Ethiopian actors of a play by Wole Soyinka .

MICHAEL SWITZER. Harper College, BA; Georgetown, JD. Practiced real estate law and was an associate general counsel for AXA Equitable Life. Was a mentor for younger lawyers and volunteered in a reading program for young children. Started a book discussion group in the 1970s that still continues. Interests include literature, films, poetry and current issues.

CARTER SWOOPE. Millsaps College, BA; Yale, MPhil in theater history. Was a Danforth and Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Worked for Chemical Bank, Merrill Lynch, Arthur Andersen and JP Morgan. Has volunteered in drama programs.

EVA VOGEL. Slovak Technical U., BS, MS, PhD in chemistry. Was a technical researcher for many years with Bell Labs. Holds many patents, has served on technical review panels and published more than 80 papers. Volunteers at the St. Barnabas Hospice, the Jewish Family Service in Elizabeth, N.J., and the Drew University Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study.

Fall 2009

JOAN EHRLICH.  Co-owner of a physical therapy practice for 20 years. Has taken courses at NYU and attended lectures at the 92nd Street Y, and the Foreign Policy Association.  Volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum, the Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Society. Does photography, makes jewelry and has a pilot’s license. Belongs to the James Beard Foundation.

SUSAN FELDMAN. NYU, BS.; Hunter College, MA. Former NYC school teacher, Co-owned the Rug  Warehouse and the Loom & Weave Gallery; still works part-time. Collects and studies textile art, particularly from Central Asia. Active volunteer and board director of the Citizens Committee for Children. Member of synagogue board and parent volunteer at Trinity School. Served on a task force on issues affecting children in the juvenile justice system.

EDWARD FLEISHMAN. U. OF North  Carolina,BA, MA; CUNY, AAD in sociology. Taught in high school for 21 years and in college for 10 years. Has taken many continuing education courses in literature and philosophy. Belongs to a reading group in philosophy in Brooklyn. Interests include travel, opera, spectator sports and reading.

ALAN FLORIN. NYU, BA, MBA. Was a managing director at Bear, Stearns for 32 years. Was a trustee-director of Daytop Foundation for 10 years and was on the finance committee at Temple Sinai in Roslyn. Is a member of the Civil War Round Table. Has taken courses at NYU and the New School. Has studied many subjects including acting, but a major interest is history.

VINCENT FUCCILLO. Brooklyn College, MA, MA; NYU, PhD in political science. Was a professor at Brooklyn College for more than 35 years and was chair of the Political  Science Department. Interests include classical music, Italian literature and travel in western Europe. He works part-time at the Italian Cultural Institute.

DICK KOSSOFF. Cornell U., BS, MBA. Headed his own company of international management consultants. Worked overseas and lived in Japan. Was president of the James Madison H.S. Alumni  Association and served on the Cornell U. Council. Founded the Cornell Entrepreneur Association. Has taken courses at NYU and the New  School and continues to travel to world conferences.

DANIEL MARCUS. Washington U., BA; George Washington U., MD. Was president of Retina Consultants of Northwest Ohio and a clinical professor of surgery at the U. of  Toledo. Relocated from Ohio after retirement to pursue cultural interests. Volunteers at NYP-Cornell Hospital and Carnegie Hall. Interests include photography, art, music and travel.

FRANK MONTATURO. Iona College, BA; Institut de Touraine, Tours, France, certificate d’etudes; Fordham U., MA. Taught Spanish at Friends Seminary. Has taken continuing education courses in Greek, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, history and Korean arts. Was a friendly visitor at a nursing home. Interests include art history.

BARBARA KOBRIN. Immaculate Heart College, BA, MA; Southern California U., doctor of psychology. Psychotherapist in private practice. Was director of a therapy center. Has gone on human rights trips to Cuba and Nicaragua. Gives free nutrition and cooking classes to low-income people. Was a volunteer therapist at an AIDS project and a board member of One Bright World, building schools and clinics in Liberia, and is currently a member of the mayor’s committee on AIDS programs in New York.

VINCENT NAVARRO. Brooklyn College, BA, MA. Was a teacher and principal in NYC schools. Has been a docent at the Metropolitan for 10 years. Volunteer activities also include the NY Academy of Public Education, Carnegie Hall and the Ethical Culture Society. Interests include bridge, bike riding and swimming. Has gone to many Elderhostels.

MARIANNE NELSON. Wayne State U., BA; Rutgers Law School, JD. Was a trial lawyer who worked as a public defender and then for the NYC Corporation Counsel an d as associate legal counsel to the NYC Health and Hospital Corp. Teaches trial techniques to new lawyers. Adopted an 8-year-old child from Russia. Writes plays and short stories. Has been a member of the ACLU, Tenants and Neighbors and the Democratic Reform Club. Has traveled extensively.

JANE OSMERS. BA, Fordham; MA, NYU. Was a workshop coordinator at the Young Adult Institute, then aide to the dean and director of administration at the NYU Gallatin School. Volunteered for 20 years to help a developmentally disabled woman. Belonged to a poetry writing group. Was a member of the Community Service Organization.

STEPHEN REICHSTEIN. Hunter College, BA; U. of Pennsylvania, MCP. Was a city planner in Pittsburgh, then director of community development for NYC government agencies and then assistant to the Brooklyn borough president. Has taught at St. John’s U. Headed a homeowners’ association in Forest Hills for five years. Is on the board of the Bleuler Psychotherapy  Center and is a certified citizen tree pruner. Has written several books. Spent a year traveling around the world.

SYLVIA STAUB.  Brandeis U., BA; Harvard, EdM, Doctor of Education. Was a clinical psychologist  in private practice. Has taught in elementary and middle schools and at Harvard Medical School, UMass-Amherst and Mount Holyoke. Was a clinical consultant at Hampshire College. Has organized forums on issues such as gender violence. Was a board member of a rape crisis center in Boston. Volunteered as an adult literacy teacher in Harlem. Is interested in the arts.

CAROL WINER. Mass. College of Art, BS; Rutgers U., MA. Worked for the N.J. Department of Corrections for over 30 years, teaching art and becoming the department’s director of education. Has taken courses in painting, ceramics and jewelry-making. Has traveled extensively. Was a board member of a taxpayers’ group in  Wellfleet, Mass., and a trip coordinator for the garden club there.

STEPHEN WINER. Worcester Polytech, BS; Mass. Institute of Technology, MS. Husband of Carol. Was an executive in the chemical industry, working with electronics ceramics. Is a board member of a taxpayers’ group in Wellfleet, Mass. Enjoys photography and has traveled extensively.  Interests include  early American history.

Spring 2010

NICHOLAS ALEXIOU. Columbia, MA; MPhil. Stern School of Business, MBA.
Was a senior appraiser at Arthur Young, vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase, and assistant divisional vice president at UBS. Was born in Greece. Teaches English as a foreign language and volunteers at a
hospital and an animal shelter on Long Island. Interests include history, political science and languages.

JAMES AVITABILE. NYU, BA; Cornell, MA. An architectural planner and preservationist. Worked for the NYV Landmarks Preservation Commission, the NYS Urban Development Corp. and the NYS Unified Court  System. Restored an 1832 whaler*s cottage in Sag Harbor. Interests include conversational Italian, bridge, the theater and memoir writing.

MALVA FILER. U. of Buenos Aires, BA; Columbia, PhD in philosophy. Teaches Latin American literature and advanced Spanish at Brooklyn College. Was born in Argentina. Interests include travel, reading and
listening to classical music.

NIKKI FROST. Colby College, BA; London School of Economics. Was a graphic news editor at the Wall Street Journal and an editorial administrator at Smart Money Magazine and Has been
president of her coop, a volunteer at Memorial-Sloan Kettering, a volunteer reading teacher and a deacon at Riverside Church. Has taken study trips to China and Russia.

MILDRED GREENE. CUNY, BA. Was a sales representative for American Airlines, a travel agent, and a coordinator at a spa. Has done archeological research in Israel and has been a Sunday school teacher.
Interests include biblical art and history.

LARRY KOPEL. Brooklyn College, BA. Studied textile engineering at Lowell Technical Institute. Was president of ITM Ltd. Has headed his condo associations and a health care society. Has had shows of his
photographic works and has sailed around the world.

ARLYNE LE SCHAK. Queens College, MSE; Bank Street, MEd. Was a business writer and a teacher in the NYC schools. Has participated in book clubs, study groups and film courses. Is president of her condo board and has been president of her Hadassah chapter.

JOSEPH SHERMAN. Penn State, BA. Was a financial planner and wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch and in private practice. Has written two books on his field. Was active on nonprofit boards in Los
Angeles. Relocated to New York after retirement. Motorcycled across the country for charity. Interests include  travel, history, art, flower arranging and cooking.

COLETTE SIEGEL. Brooklyn College, BS; CW Post, MS. A CPA and senior manager at Margolin, Winer & Evens. Was chairwoman of the Nassau CPA Association and was active in her temple sisterhood and the American Jewish Committee. Was born in France.  Interests include travel, the theater, history, politics and literature.

CHARLES TROOB. Harvard, BA; London School of Economics, MSc.; Yale, MPhil. Was assistant commissioner of the NYC Department of Health/DOHMH. Has led a tenants* association and was on a school-community council. Has traveled in Europe and has subscriptions to the opera and theater.
Interests include history, art, languages and gardening.

Fall 2010

HAROLD BERKOWITZ. CCNY, BA; NYU, MA; Rutgers U., post-grad course work in Latin American history, focusing on slavery. Was chief of information technology for the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services. Has taken courses in acting, art appreciation, literature and photography. Interests include cycling.

MARY CONNELLY. Catholic University, BA; NYU, MBA. Was director of brand and online risk management for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Chairs the board of the Carter Burden Center for the Aging and has managed the financial affairs of a small art gallery. Interests include travel, theater and music events.

LOWELL DIAMOND. Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, BA; NYU, MBA. Was president of East Village Catalog Sales. Is the husband of IRP member Hedy Diamond. Has tutored special ed students. Has traveled extensively. Interests include yoga and reading history, biography and novels.

MARK FISCHWEICHER. Hobart College, BA; CCNY, MA. Taught English at Seward Park HS and Brooklyn Tech HS. Is a member of New York Cares, has taught on a volunteer basis and has directed writing workshops. Is particularly interested in music and poetry. Swims regularly and enjoys hiking and Tai Chi. Has traveled extensively.

SUSAN GOLDMAN. Barnard, BA; Columbia U. Teachers College, MA, MEd. Research scientist and director of the Japanese Information Sciences Project at NYU, where she translated Japanese technical information and developed NYU’s Japanese language curriculum. Taught in Japan for many years and continues to study Mandarin Chinese. Has volunteered in NYC public schools.

CAROL GRONEMAN. U. of Cincinnati, BA; U. of Rochester, MA, PhD in history. Was a professor of history at John Jay College for many years; was executive director of the NY Council for the Humanities for six years. Has taught in Italy and traveled in Europe and the United States. Raises oysters on Long Island. Interests include reading, biking, yoga, movies, gardening and kayaking.

RAOUL ORESKOVIC. MBA, Ecole Superieure de Commerce in France; MA, PhD in economics, NYU. President of RSO Consulting. Was born in France. Has been a board member of an oil coop and of a block association. Interests include the humanities and current issues, as well as sports and travel. Speaks several languages.

JOHN RILEY. St. Francis College, Latin American studies. Was director of corporate risk management at Dun & Bradstreet. Was active in local politics in Brewster, where he ran for the town council and helped to create a day worker site. Is a mentor to kids involved in the criminal justice system or whose parents are. Has taught courses on immigration issues and started a book club and a men’s lunch group.

MARY ANN RYAN. U. of Wisconsin, MS; Cleveland State Law School, JD; Temple U., MS. Was a trial attorney for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for many years and now has an internet book business. Was a legal board member of an AIDS hospice in Philadelphia. Has traveled in Asia and the Mideast and is interested in Buddhism and kabuki theater.

JAMES SMITH. Amherst, BA; Boston U., MBA. Was executive director of the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education. Board memberships include a senior volunteer organization, a family and children’s services group, a public library and the Harvard Square Business Association. Was a Vista volunteer. Has taught courses on classical music and other cultural topics.

DOLORES WALKER. Wayne State U., BA, MA; Brooklyn Law School, JD; NYU, MSW. Was a psychotherapist, attorney and family and divorce mediator. Has taught at the college level and has been an actress, playwright and theater administrative director. Was a board member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council and of the Encompass Theatre.

Jan. 2011.

BARRY COOPER. City College, BEE; George Washington U., JD. Is a lawyer specializing in intellectual property issues. Was a managing partner at his firm and plans to retire at the end of the year. Has traveled to Turkey, Eastern Europe and South and Central America. Enjoys reading biographies, history and fiction .

STEPHEN KALINSKY. City College, BA; Brooklyn Law School, JD. Is an administrative law judge for the New York City Environmental Control Board and a former attorney for the New York State Liquor Authority. Was a board member of a housing coop. Is an avid theater-goer. Interests include science, economics and politics.

LILIANE LAZAR. Hofstra, BA; Columbia U., MA, PhD in 20th century French literature. Is an adjunct associate professor at Hofstra and has taught at NYU and Pace. Was born in France. Has focused her research on Simone de Beauvoir and has written two books in French, many book reviews and  interviews with famous French writers and personalities. Enjoys tennis and swimming.

IVAN POKORNY. Columbia College, BA. Was president/owner of Pacific Footwear, Inc.  Has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia for business. Has studied history, world politics and literature and is interested in poetry, painting and science.

CAROLYN PREISS. Boston U., BS; U. of Pennsylvania, MS. Was executive director of corporate benefits for Estee Lauder. Has served on her coop board. Has traveled in the United States and abroad. Interests include gardening, crafts, design and architecture as well as bike riding and other physical activities.

DIANE REYNOLDS. U. of Maryland, BA; Hofstra, MS. Is a career coach consultant for the Nassau Library System and the 1199 Job Security Fund. Has taught at Queensborough Community College. Has studied in continuing education programs on a variety of subjects. Interests include literature, history and film, and particularly leisure in American life.

WINTHROP THIES. Princeton, BA; Harvard Law School; NYU Graduate School of Law. Was a financial and tax consultant and a tax attorney. Was founder and president for 10 years of the Hemlock Society of New Jersey and was active in the Ethical Culture Society in New Jersey. Interests include 20th century history, economics and end of life issues.

Fall, 2011

NADINE COWEN. NYU, BSN, MSN (nursing); Greenwich Psychoanalytic Institute, certificate. Was a nurse psychotherapist in private practice and a health care consultant for the homeless and for the Day Care Council of New York. Was a church choir member and worked with senior citizens. Interests include drawing, writing poetry, dancing, drama, music and train travel.

ROBERT FISHER. Columbia, BA; Harvard, JD; NYU, LLM. Was a lawyer in private practice. Won a Fulbright fellowship in Israel. Is counsel to the Holocaust and Tolerance Center of Nassau County and works with patients at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. Interests include sailing, skiing, gardening and playing the piano.

MICHELLE HARRIS. Hunter College, BA; Queens College, MA. Was director of instructional staff relations at the NYC College of Technology. Has coordinated workshops on preventing workplace violence, contract compliance, customer service, performance review and affirmative action. Belongs to a book group. Interests include fiber arts, painting, hiking, gardening, cooking and theater.

PETER HOUTS. Antioch College, BA; U. of Michigan, PhD in social psychology. Was a professor at Penn State’s medical school. Has provided free graphic design services for nonprofit groups. Was active in his church and served on the board of a chamber music society. In addition to graphic design, interests include photography, oil painting and astronomy.

CARLOS JOHNSON. California Institute of Technology, BS; U.Mass, PhD in mathematics. Was director of equity derivatives at Citigroup and taught math at Baruch College. Has tutored formerly incarcerated persons for college entry. Is a member of the New Horizons Band. Plays the tuba and guitar. Is a certified dog trainer. Has studied wildlife in the Galapagos, Costa Rica, Greenland, Belize and Kenya.

ALIX KANE. Marymount/Manhattan College; Baruch College. Was senior human resources consultant for Corporate Express/Staples and human resources director and an assistant vice president at the Guardian Life Insurance Co. Has volunteered at the AIDS Service Center of New York. Has traveled extensively. Hobbies include reading, crossword puzzles and golf.

DAVID MEYER. Yeshiva U., BA; NYU Law School, JD. Was senior counsel to the IDT Corp., vice president of Business Affairs in Demand and practiced in the field of legal and business affairs. Has volunteered as a Better Business Bureau mediator and as a counselor in college guidance for the NYC schools. Is an avid reader and has recently taken classes at Hunter College.

SARA PETITT. Bennington, BA. Is a coordinator in fabric styling at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Taught at Parsons and at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and was an executive in the textile industry. Is a practicing artist and has taken courses at the Center for Book Arts and the Art Students League.

ANTHONY PICCOLO. Dartmouth, BA; NYU, MA, PhD in English and American literature. Was a professor of English and American literature and rotating department chair at Manhattanville College. Has been a volunteer teacher of English speaking and writing. Interests include travel, fitness, music and musicianship (brass).

DONALD RAY. Stanford, BA; Rutgers, MLS, PhD in English. Was librarian and head of collections at Mercy College; earlier had held posts at Manhattanville and Allegany Community College. Has been a volunteer in elections. Has lived in Italy and Turkey. Interests include language study, classic films and music.

CLAUDE SAMTON. Columbia U., BArch; U. of Pennsylvania, MArch. Is a practicing architect. Has volunteered at the SoHo Alliance, the Shul of New York and God’s Love We Deliver. Has taught at NYU, A direcrtor at the SoHo Loco improv company and has led improv workshops in schools, senior centers and other places. Other interests include photography and travel in Europe and the Middle East.

IRENE SAX. Bryn Mawr, BA; Columbia, MA. Was a restaurant reviewer for the Daily News, food editor for and a food editor and writer at Newsday. Teaches food writing on the graduate level at NYU. Interests are focused on writing and literature.

NINA TORNABENE. Fordham, BA; Brooklyn Law School, JD. Was deputy director of legal services for the state Department of Education’s office of professional discipline; previously served in other state departments. Is a docent at the Bronx Zoo and was a PTA president. Interests include ice skating, rollerblading, cooking, history, Italian, politics, photography, baseball and film.

NANCY YATES. U. of Manitoba, BA. Worked for the UN Development Program both in New York and in three-year assignments to field offices in Brazil, Ethiopia and Barbados, starting in 1968. Has served as union president and has volunteered in the field of landmark education. Has taken courses in photography, poetry, Irish history and Irish dance, and Native American flute.


Spring 2012

CAROL BORELLI. Cornell, BS; Manhattanville College and Wesleyan U., MA. Was an art teacher in the New Canaan Country School and has exhibited in many venues. Has been a backstage tour guide at the Metropolitan Opera and volunteered for community service projects for high school students in Mexico. Has studied in Italy and Mexico.

ARLYNN BRODY. U. of Florida, BA; Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges. Was a math teacher, principal and administrator in the NYC schools. Has been active in the Prospect Park Alliance and the Park Slope Civic Council and continues to mentor new administrators and teachers. Interests include reading, mah jongg, bridge and tennis. Has traveled in Asia and South America.

FRANK CARDEN. Seton Hall U., BA; Fordham, MA, PhD in clinical psychology. Was a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist specializing in treatment of the deaf. Was a volunteer teacher of English to immigrant Spanish-speakers. At age 50 began to study classical piano. Lived in Spain to learn Spanish. Has audited courses at Columbia U.

MARY HOUTS, Radcliffe, BA; U. of Michigan, MS. Was an educator and an administrator at the Hershey Museum in Hershey, Pa. A master gardener, she has volunteered at the Hershey Gardens and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Has sung is several choirs.  Other interests include reading and knitting. Is the wife of IRP member Peter Houts.

HELEN LOWENSTEIN. Vassar, BA; Manhattanville, MAT; Columbia, MSW. A psychotherapist and clinical social worker. Was a board member of I Care in Westchester and of Double Discovery at Columbia and volunteers in literary discussions with formerly homeless women. Has taken long bicycle trips in the United States and abroad. Has traveled to East Africa, China and Turkey.

INA MEIBACH. U. of Michigan, BA; NYU Law School. Was senior partner at an entertainment law firm and executive vice president of Warner Music Group (U.S.) and is a theater producer. Was on the Board of New York Stage and Film. Has traveled extensively, including working in England and Ireland and visiting in  Asia, Australia, Europe and Israel. Is the sister of IRP member Doris Wallace.

JOAN ROSENBAUM. Boston U., BA. Was director of the Jewish  Museum for 30 years. Has served on the boards of several arts groups and worked on the last two Democratic presidential campaigns. Has studied the piano, is in a five-woman singing group and attends many musical performances. Has traveled for work in Israel and Europe.

HOWARD SEEMAN. SUNY-Albany, BA.; New School, MA, PhD in philosophy and social psychology. Was a professor of educational psychology at Lehman College and a consultant to schools and teachers. Was on the board of his Jersey City neighborhood association. Interests include astronomy and other sciences.

Fall, 2012

SOPHIE BALCOFF. BA, U. of Pennsylvania; MA, Cambridge in England, Columbia U. and CUNY. Taught English as a second language and other subjects in high schools. Volunteered as a teacher for Literacy Volunteers. Studied many foreign languages, sang in a classical choir and has belonged to a book group for 20 years. Is also interested in dance.

CARL BINDER. BS, LIU; JD, Brooklyn Law School. Practiced law, specializing in litigation. Taught business ethics at Baruch  College. Managed political campaigns and served in advocacy organizations on Long Island. Has taken courses at Columbia, NYU and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Interests include photography, sports and bridge.

ANNE-MARIE BOURBON. BA, MA, Queens College; PhD in French, CUNY. Was born in France. Taught French at the UN International School and Queensborough Community College. Volunteered as a visitor to prospective heart patients. Has been a book club member for many years. Has been in choral groups and has traveled to Egypt, the Baltic Sea, the Danube, Greece and Turkey.

LAURIE LEINER. BA, Goucher College. Was an administrator for two major law firms. Owned and ran a jewelry company. Volunteers for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and has assisted at a senior citizen residence and a museum in Florida. Has traveled to Israel, the Galapagos, the Amazon  and Southeast Asia. Enjoys yoga and mahjongg.

LYNNE SCHMELTER-DAVIS. RN, Queens Hospital Center; BS, Upsala College; MA, Fairleigh Dickinson U.;  psychology studies at Rutgers. Was a psychology professor at Brookdale Community College, a college administrator and a corporate trainer. Was a state ombudsman for the institutionalized elderly. Worked in a political campaign. Has traveled widely in Asia.

HANNAH SHEAR. BS, Brooklyn College; MS, PhD in medical science, NYU. Was an associate professor at NYU and Albert Einstein medical schools, specializing in immunology. Also taught science in high school. Has volunteered for a youth program and the Coalition for Jewish Life in Connecticut. Recently traveled to Peru. Interests include reading, gardening and cooking.

BRUCE SMITH. BA,  George Washington U; MA, Catholic U., UC Santa Barbara; PhD in higher education and adult development, UCLA. Taught and directed theater at the college level and was dean of liberal arts at the City College of San Francisco.  Blogs on theater; other interests include classical music and opera. Has traveled in the United States, Europe and Southt America.

GERALD VOGEL. BS, Clarkson U.; MS, Columbia. After a long career as a technical manager at Bell Labs, became chief technology officer for a successful information tech startup. Is the husband of IRP member Eva Vogel. Has volunteered for Jewish Family Services in New Jersey and for the Drew U. Center for Genocide Study. Interests include photography.


MARILYN EVANS. Colorado State U., BS;  U. of Wisconsin, MS. Was a speech pathologist. She also worked in five Muslim countries and in Armenia developing and managing democratic development projects. Was active in politics and state government in Arizona before retiring to New York. Has traveled to about 50 countries, many of them in the Third World. Enjoys skiing and hiking and has been a pilot.

JONATHAN GAINES. Tufts U., BA; Cornell Law School, LLB. Was an assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission, where he conducted anti-trust investigations, and a lawyer in the life insurance industry. Served on a local zoning board and helped establish a new synagogue. Interests include history, photography and travel.

RONDA GELB. Barnard, BA; Fairleigh Dickinson U, MA. Was a teacher and an asset manager in the financial industry. Has been active in alumnae affairs at Barnard, where she conducts seminars on retirement planning. Has been a book club member for more than 20 years. Interests include opera and politics.

CHRISTINE GODEK. Hunter College, BA; Pace U., MBA. Had her own public relations company. Was communications director for the Hospital for Special Surgery and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Was the first female deputy fire commissioner for the NYC Fire Department. Has studied Italian and is interested in current events, ancient history, art and opera.

RITA SILVERMAN. U. of Pittsburgh, BA, EdM. PhD in education. Taught at Rutgers and Pace, where she was a professor, department head, and associate dean. Had federal grants to work with college and university faculty on improving teaching. Is a public school guest reader. Interests include travel, sports  and the performing arts.

LORNE TAICHMAN.  U. of Toronto, MD; U. of Wisconsin, PhD in molecular biology. Was a professor at SUNY-Stony Brook, where he managed a research laboratory. Has organized international conferences on medical research topics. Is the husband of IRP member Ettie Taichman. Has taken art-related courses and is learning to fly.


FALL 2013

TED AUERBACH. Queens College, BA; Hunter, MEd. Taught English as a second language at the high school level. Has studied philosophy at the New School. Has been active in progressive politics and as a labor organizer, including getting the first union contract for bodega workers. Has visited the Middle East to work on peace between Israel and Palestine.

FRANCES DE LOTT. Simmons College, BS; Ohio State U., MA. Worked in community mental health and then became an administrator in public health, including the NYC Bureau of TB Control. Was president of the tenants association at Lincoln Towers and was on the board of the West Side Coalition Against Hunger. Has volunteered in an adult ESL program.

SANDRA FREEMAN. Syracuse, BS; Teachers College, Columbia, MA; NYU, PhD in speech pathology. Was chairman of the speech department at LIU. Volunteers in the emergency room at New York Hospital and has served on many theater boards. Interests include theater, needlework, reading, history and travel. Is the wife of IRP member Burt Freeman.

MAYER PERELMUTER. U. of Chicago, BA; U. of Illinois (Chicago), MSW; Hebrew Union College, DMin. Was senior rabbi at the Reform Temple of Forest Hills and is an adjunct associate professor of theology at St. John’s U. Volunteers as a chaplain for Disaster Spiritual Care of NY. Interests include swimming, movies and reading.

ERIC ROPER. U. of North Carolina, BA; London School of Economics and Political Science; Northwestern U. Law School. Was a lawyer in several firms. Cofounded an international charity focusing on child abuse. Was active in NYC settlement houses. Interests include bee-keeping, gardening and tinkering with old Ford trucks.

EILEEN SULLIVAN. Marymount, BA; Columbia, PhD in political science. Has taught at Columbia and Rutgers, has been research director for the Vera Institute for Justice and has worked for the federal government. Is writing a book on the experience of Irish Catholic immigrants to the United States in the 19th Century.

FLORENCE TAGER. Brooklyn College, BA; Ohio State U., PhD in history and philosophy of education. NYU, MSW. Was a professor of education and department chair at Medgar Evers College of CUNY, where she developed the African Resource Center and a curriculum on black history. Is working on a children’s book about fire escapes.  Volunteered in both Obama campaigns.

IRIS ZEVIN. Wayne State U. Detroit, BA; U. of Michigan, MA; St. John’s U., MLS. Taught social studies at the Dalton School and at the Queens High School for Teaching. Was a union delegate to the UFT. Helped to found a women’s study group at the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. Hobbies include photography, reading and travel.


Spring 2014

MYRIAM BUCATINSKY.  Westchester Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, certified psychoanalyst. Studied at the University of Buenos Aires, City College and Adelphi. Was born in Argentina. Is in practice as a psychotherapist. Is a trustee of her synagogue and has been on her coop board. Interests include music, art and travel.

MARK DICHTER. MIT, BSEE. Columbia U., MFA. Was an independent sound recordist and film producer-director. Has been a pro bono video producer for classical music organizations including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic. Interests include art history, architecture and travel.

JAMES GOULD.  Penn State, BS; U. of Pennsylvania, law degree. Was a patent litigator. Was a member of the White Plains Planning Board and is on his coop board. Is planning a two-month motorcycle camping trip across North America to reprise a similar trip at age 18 and hopes to write a book about it. Has self-published 12 e-books.

MICHAEL HILL. Quincy College, BA; U. of Kansas, PhD in modern European social and intellectual history. Was president of News Broadcast Network, which supplies public relations and marketing content for broadcast and digital media. Taught history at the college level. Was active in political campaigns and was on his coop board. Has lived abroad.

DEREK HUGHES. Studied at the College of Insurance—Business Studies. Was CEO of Western World Insurance Group. Volunteered at a soup kitchen in New Jersey. Was on the board of the Shakespeare Society.  Published a book titled “Absolute Beginningqws.”  Has traveled to World  War I sites in Europe. Interests include literature, politics, theater and cabaret.

ROGER MULVIHILL. Georgetown U., BA; Yale Law School, JD.  Was a lawyer in private practice. Served on local government boards in Bronxville and has done pro bono legal work for several organizations.  Has been active in political campaigns.  Has traveled extensively. Interests include military history, philosophy, literature, cosmology and baseball.

RENA SHAGAN. NYU, BA, MA. Has her own company promoting dance tours and other arts productions. Has worked in political campaigns. Founded Dance/USA, a national service organization for professional dance companies. Serves on several boards in the performing arts. Interests include travel , politics and archeology.


Fall 2014

SYDNEY BABUSH. U. of Rochester, BA; CW Post, MA; NYU, MBA. Taught social studies at George W. Hewlett High School on Long Island for over 30 years and led extracurricular activities there. Has studied abroad. Interests include history, particularly the Renaissance and the period between the two world wars, as well as art history and international politics.


LENORE COONEY. Chestnut Hill College, BA; Temple U. graduate study. Was founder and CEO of a public relations company, working in science for 30 years. Has volunteered for many health-related organizations and was director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Has traveled to India, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.


LISA CRISTAL. Tulane U., BA; Washington U., JD. Was a lawyer specializing in trademark , licensing and Internet issues. Has published books and articles in that area. Was involved with PTA and other community organizations in Scarsdale.  Is currently working at a Medicare rights center. Interests include reading, photography and travel.


LARRY FELDMAN. NYU, BA. Is president of Loom & Weave LLC, a wholesaler of collectible antique textiles and rugs. He was president of the Rug Warehouse for many years. Has volunteered as an English and math tutor at an elementary school and been a board member of the NYU-Langone Medical Center for the Study and Treatment of Pain.


AILEEN GITELSON. Smith College, BA; Columbia, MSW. Was CEO of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging and was director of social work/discharge planning for the Hospital for Joint Diseases. Was a docent at the Museum at  Eldridge Street. Has traveled to Israel and to Budapest in connection with programs for seniors. Is interested in photography.


HARVEY SCHMELTER-DAVIS. Montclair State College, BA; Rutgers, MA and doctoral studies. Was director of career services at Brookdale Community College and is currently a mentor/instructor at Thomas  Edison State College. Has volunteered at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. Is interested in starting a cycling group at the IRP. Is the husband of IRP member Lynne Schmelter-Davis.


KENNETH WITTY. Yale, BA. Was executive producer of the Consuelo Mack  Wealth Track public television show and for Wall Street Journal  Television. Is working on a book about how to survive financially in retirement. Has traveled to  Beerlin, Morocco, Argentina, France and South Africa. Interests include painting, tennis and golf.


Spring 2015

ELAINE GERALD. Long Island U., BS; Fordham, MS, doctoral studies. Was dean of admissions for the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham; later worked on programs to help the homeless and was a mentor for female survivors of domestic violence. Belongs to two book clubs and is interested in philosophy, memoir writing, history and politics.

DAVID GROGAN. Williams, BA, junior year at London School of Economics. Was an editor at This Old House Magazine and Discover Magazine, and executive editor at the Weider History Group. Worked for three years in Asia, where he traveled widely. Coached group riding for the NY Cycle Club. Is interested in autobiography writing and jazz.

PHYLLIS HOLLOWAY. Lehman College, BS, graduate studies. Was a nutritionist for Health Care in NYC for more than 15 years. Volunteered as a teacher of English as a second language and at the Botanical Garden. Belongs to a book club and has studied conversational Spanish. Interests include classical and new music, early 20th century art and international politics.

SHARON RILEY. NYU, BA; Brooklyn Law School; Hunter School of Social Work. Was a deputy bureau chief in the City Comptroller’s Office, supervising 100 lawyers and claim examiners. Was a volunteer teacher of English as a second language. Served as president of her coop board. Plays the piano and flute and is studying viola. Plays in chamber music groups. Is the wife of IRP member John Riley.

DOLORES SEILER. Syracuse, BA; U. of Miami School of Law, JD. Practiced law in Miami and was president of a property company there. Was a delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention and was chairman of the League of Women Voters. Taught English at Miami Dade Community College. Is planning a trip to the  Faroe Islands in March to experience the total  eclipse of the sun.


Fall 2015  

LINDA ANSTENDIG. Connecticut College, BA; Harvard, MAT; Columbia Teachers College, EdD in English and higher education. Was an English professor and associate dean at Pace U. Has volunteered with the Westchester library system, literacy programs and the Metropolitan Museum. Has traveled extensively. Was in a Spanish immersion program. 

CHARLES BRONFELD. Kenyon College, BA. Had a 50-year career in the garment industry; was CEO of Paramount Apparel. Is a member of his condo board. Volunteered at the Rockville Centre Education Foundation. Has been a college alumni mentor since 1980. Interests include movies, theater, football and baseball.

BOB FEINSTEIN. CUNY, degrees in sociology and administration. Was a history teacher and principal at public and independent middle schools. Leads student groups at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and is a friendly visitor with Dorot. Interests include American history, current events and documentary films.

CAROLYN GROSSNER. U. of Houston. BA. Had long career with Citibank. Was an IRP member from 1998 until 2009, coordinating study groups on subjects from the concept of time to art to death and serving on the advisory board and curriculum committee. Is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum and also volunteers at MOMA and the NY Botanical Garden.

MIRIAM JOSEPHS. Brandeis, BA; Columbia Teachers College and the New School, MA. Was an analyst and deputy assistant director of the NYC OMB, working with community boards. Volunteered with school parents associations and was on the board of the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. Has traveled widely and has studied Jewish theology.

DAVID LERNER. Apprenticed at WBAI-FM. With two partners, designed and manufactured Acoustiguide cassette players in Manhattan. Co-founder and CEO of Tekserve, a retail sales and service of Apple computers, and solution provider to the creative communities. Is interested in Italy and enjoys art, theater and acoustic music from early to baroque to bluegrass.

 CELIA LICHTMAN. Brooklyn College, BA; NYU, PhD. Was a professor of foreign languages and literature at LIU-Brooklyn for 50 years, eight of them as department chair. Taught Spanish at all levels. Volunteers for Families First. Interests include music, art, design, theater, travel and films.

 GRAZIA MONTESI. U. of Rome; Oxford U., PhD in biochemistry.  Was born in Venice. Worked in regulatory affairs at Merck and at Johnson & Johnson. Founded the nonprofit Italian America Communicator, Inc., to promote cultural exchange. Was president of the Dante Alighieri Society of NY and started an Italian book club. Interests include art and opera.

 BRUCE REZNICK. Brooklyn College, BA. Was a broadcast journalist and producer for the major news networks, at NBC for many years. Won a national Emmy for 9/11 coverage for NBC. Has taught journalism at the college level and was a consultant for FEMA. Served as a youth mentor and athletic coach.

 ISTAR SCHWAGER. Barnard, BA.; Bank Street Graduate School, MS; CUNY, PhD in educational psychology. Worked with media companies on issues related to children and parents. Was an IRP member in 2005-6 but dropped out for a consulting job. Creates and shows visual art work. Has traveled widely. Is the wife of IRP member Dave Sarlin.

 GUSTAV SELIGER. Columbia College, BA.; SUNY-Upstate School of Medicine, MD. Was director of radiology at Mercy Medical Center and a radiologist at Mount Sinai-Beth Israel Medical Center. Was on the board of his synagogue. Is interested in intellectual history, art, philosophy and Yiddish and Israeli literature.

 DENISE WAXMAN. St. John’s College, BA; NYU Law School, JD; Pratt, MLIS. Was a supervisor of appeals at the state Department of Public Service and communications director for a synagogue. Also volunteered at her temple for many years. Has been in a book group for over 20 years. Interests include art-making, travel, film and Scrabble.

 SPRING 2016

 ANDREA ARNOLD. California State U., BS. Was office manager for an orthopedic surgery practice. Played competitive tennis on an amateur basis and has supervised athletic teams. Volunteered as a court-appointed special advocate in Los Angeles. Interests include literature, history, philosophy and the arts. Recently relocated to New York.

 ASHTON HAWKINS. Harvard, BA, law degree. Was secretary and counsel to the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for many years and more secretary of the advisory board of Christie’s. Volunteered on many boards in the arts field, including the Municipal Art Society, the Alliance for the Arts and the New York Studio School.

 LESLEY HERRMANN.  U. of Michigan, BA; Harvard, MA., Columbia, PhD in the Slavic department. Was executive director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Has taught at Manhattan College, Hunter College and the New School and teaches yoga at the World Yoga  Center. Was on the board of the National Museum of American History.

 FREDA KERMAN. Reed College, BA; Medical College of Pennsylvania, MD. Was a physician at Kaiser Permanente. Has worked overseas as a medical volunteer and lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa for many years. Interests include hiking, gardening, knitting, baking and photography.

 GREG MCCASLIN. Webster U., BA. Was education director for the Roundabout Theatre Company, program director of the Center for Arts Education and director of education and information at the NY Foundation for the Arts. Is on the boards of the Partnership for After School Education and Dancing Classrooms Long Island.

 SUSAN SABATINO. Empire State College of SUNY, BA; Columbia Teachers College, MA. Was a high school teacher in New York schools and developed an ethics curriculum there. Has kayaked and camped in remote Canadian and Alaskan waters. Also enjoys scuba diving, ballroom/salsa dancing, indoor gardening, Tai Chi, Pilates, reading and word games.

 Member Bios Fall 2016

BETTE COHEN. Juilliard, BS; Hebrew Union College, master’s, honorary doctorate. Was a cantor and music director, a bar and bat mitzvah tutor and an officiant at weddings and funerals. Is a docent at the Eldridge Street Museum. Has done a radio show for the blind and volunteered for the Bloomingdale Aging in Place program.

TED DREYFUS. Connecticut Wesleyan, BA; University College, Oxford, MA. Was an international banking executive and ran various projects in Latin America for the Clinton Foundation and other organizations on renewable energy, agriculture and land development. Was also a cattle rancher in Argentina. Was a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil.

JEAN DUBIN. With her late husband, operated Iris Films, a producer of television commercials. Was a marketing director for cosmetic companies including Estee Lauder, Clairol and Revlon. Has traveled in India, China and Europe as well as in the United States. Went to Ireland with the Lawn Bowling Club.

RICA FUJIHIRA. The New School, certificate in teaching English as a second language. Worked in investor relations, helping Japanese companies communicate with American institutional investors, and did marketing for Estee Lauder and RCA Records. Volunteered teaching English to immigrants and refugees. Grew up in Japan. Is an avid jazz fan.

PEGGY HAYDEN. Georgetown U., BS; Rutgers Law School, JD. Was a deputy NY state attorney general, senior attorney at the Rutgers environmental law clinic and a judge in the New Jersey Superior Court. Volunteered in the area of public interest law.  Interests include painting, singing and Japanese flower arranging. Traveled recently to Myanmar.

SUSAN HERMAN. McGill U., BA; Columbia, MS; Cardozo Law School, JD. Worked for 25 years as a public defender in New Jersey. Is on the board of an affordable housing group. Has exhibited fine arts photography in solo and group shows. Is in a writing group and is working on a family history involving photos and memoirs.  Recently traveled for four months in Southeast Asia.

ZUZANA JUSTMAN. Vassar, BA; Columbia, PhD in Slavic languages. Was a writer, a translator and a documentary filmmaker. Many of her films are on Czechoslovakian subjects. She received an Emmy in 1999 for “Voices of the Children,” a PBS program about three concentration camp survivors. Does cross-country skiing in Central Park.

AUDREY LIPTON. Columbia, BA; NYU Law School, JD. Was general counsel for several businesses and represented the UN secretary-general in dispute resolution. Has lectured on art glass, decorative arts, Art Deco and American art pottery. Is writing a book about legal concerns for older people.

CHRISTINE LUNEAU-LIPTON. U. of Versailles, BA. Taught French at the New School from 1969 until 2014 and was department coordinator. Wrote Berlitz language manuals and was the female voice on their French tapes. Had a small part in the remake of “Sabrina,” playing a flight attendant in a scene with Harrison Ford.

LALE ODEKON. Brown U., BA; U. of Istanbul, MD; Albany Medical College, PhD in Physiology. Worked for several hospitals in New York and Baltimore. Volunteers with a refugee resettlement committee at her synagogue. Was born and raised in Istanbul. Lived in France for three years. Has traveled to Cuba, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

MEL OPPENHEIM. Tufts U., BA, DDS; Boston U., MSD. Was a pediatric dentist and taught pediatric dentistry in New Jersey. Has housed foreign exchange students.  Has traveled extensively, including 10 trips to South Africa. Interests include opera, dance, reading, the Holocaust, and French.

DENNIS PALLADINO. St. Peter’s College, BS; Columbia Dental School, DDS. Was a dentist in New Jersey and New York. Has helped friends and relatives deal with illnesses and aging. Has arranged and led small group tours to Europe and California.  Is interested in piano, pastel painting, bird watching, spy novels and classical pottery.

TERRY PERLIN. Rutgers, BA; Brandeis, PhD in the history of ideas. Was a professor of interdisciplinary studies and a research fellow in gerontology at Miami U. in Ohio. Was on the boards of the Ohio Humanities Council and the End of Life Choices in New York. Interests include the history of science, Asian literature and cultural geography.

JOY SCHULMAN. U. OF Wisconsin, BA; Rutgers, MA; CUNY Law School, JD. Was a lawyer in the labor field, working for unions and as legislative coordinator for United for Peace and Justice. Has also represented people facing deportation in immigration court. Was a member of the school board in Highland Park, N.J. Is the sister of IRP member Arlyne LeSchack.

THOMAS SEAR. SUNY-Buffalo, BS; Duke Law School, JD. Was a trial lawyer and taught at the Columbia Law School for 17 years. Volunteers at Fordham U. and has been on his coop board for 15 years. As a federal prosecutor, was commended for his work in U.S. v. Leroy Barnes, which was the subject of a documentary, “Mr. Untouchable.” Is a Marine veteran of Vietnam.

JUDITH SIEGEL. Simmons College, BA; Bank Street College, MS; Hunter College, MA. Was director of academic and public programs for the Center for Jewish History and director of education, media and public programs at the Jewish Museum. Has studied Jewish classics and texts. Has traveled extensively in Europe, Israel, China, Peru and South Africa.

NANCY SMALL. NYU, BA. Was director of special events at Weill Cornell Medical College and vice president for protocol services at National Westminster Bank. Volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum and was an after-school mentor in the arts for the New York public schools. Is interested in travel, theater, art, photography and interior design.

New Member Bios Spring 2017

JOANNA ANDERSON. Columbia, BA., MA; Bennington, MFA. Taught English in New York City. Is an honorary member of the board of the Shakespeare Society. Has traveled extensively in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, India, Inner Mongolia, Ecuador, Iraq and Europe. Interests include reading, writing, film, theater, hiking and photography.

LYNN BRENNER. Douglass College; Bard College. Personal finance columnist and business reporter, currently writing a weekly column for Newsday. Was on the staffs of American Banker, Institutional Investor and the Journal of Commerce. Was an actress and is a member of the Shakespeare Society and an avid theater-goer.

ELIZABETH CARPENTER. NYU, BA, MBA. Was a banker and an asset manager. Served as executor for four estates and established a business helping elders manage their financial affairs. Was on her coop board and was involved in community activities. Took cooking courses in Italy. Interests include history, politics, literature and the arts.

EDWARD COHEN. Lehigh, BA; George Washington U. Law School, JD. Was a tax accountant, tax counsel and chief financial officer. Is on the board of Selfhelp Community Services, which runs the education classes for homebound seniors that IRP members help to provide. Was on the board of Project Ezra, which helps people in need on the Lower East Side.

RICHARD DIETERLY. Yale, BA, LLB. Was a lawyer often working in municipal and land use law in New Jersey. Was vice president of a regional high school district board of education and a trustee and secretary of the of the Hunterdon Art Museum board. Interests include cooking, cross-country skiing and hiking.

DAVID FERGUSON. DAVID FERGUSON. SUNY-New Paltz, BS; Hunter College, MS; NYU, MSW. Was a teacher and a psychotherapist, working for the Jewish Board of Family and  Children’s Services  and supervising social workers. Volunteered at the Hetrick-Martin Institute and GMHC. Is interested in film, theater, yoga and writing. 

ROSALIE FROST. Queens College; BA; St. John’s U., MS. Was a school psychologist and a personnel official for New York City. Is a member of a coop photography gallery and has had many solo shows as well as been in group shows, focusing on nature and gardens. Has volunteered at the Center for Jewish History and the Jamaica Bay Visitor Center.

LINDA GOTTLIEB. Wellesley, BA; Columbia, MA. Was a film and television producer with credits including “Dirty Dancing” and “One Life to Live,” and taught dramatic writing at NYU’s Tisch School. Was a vice president of the Learning Corp of America. Was co-author of “When Smart People Fail.” Is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

JEFFREY HILL. U. of Massachusetts, BA. Was a business executive for 40 years, heading divisions at major companies and running his own consulting firm. Has studied at the NY Institute of Photography and took a wilderness training course. Has been on the boards of Harlem Stage and Jacob’s Pillow.

MICHAEL KESSLER. Concordia U., BCom; U. of Michigan, MBA; U. of Houston, JD. Was a partner in several large law firms. Was a member of several professional groups with a particular interest in pro bono work in consumer bankruptcy cases. Has taught bankruptcy law at the NYU Law School. Interests include skiing and hiking.

LUCY KIRK. Wellesley, BA; American U. School of International Service, MA. Was a case officer and chief of station for the CIA. Served as a congressional liaison for the agency. Also worked in real estate in New York City.  Has raised money for a charity called Rocking the Boat. Is interested in music, painting and international travel.

MARJORIE LEVIN. Carnegie Mellon U. BFA. Was a designer specializing in information design of complicated financial and industrial material, working to clarify language, images and diagrams. Is a goldsmith and has been involved in putting jewelry made abroad into museum shops. Is active in a community garden in Brooklyn.

RUTH MACKAMAN. Iowa State U., BS. Was an executive and consultant in information technology. Has taught yoga and traveled to India on a yoga retreat. Has volunteered for Serving Those Who Serve and has been president of her coop board. Is taking the art lecture program at the Metropolitan Museum.

ALAN MCGOWAN. Yale, BE. Had a career focused on science and the media, including heading the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information, founding the Gene Media Forum and teaching at The New School. Is on the board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences, is an editor of Environment magazine and was chair of Student Pugwash USA. Sings in three choruses.

LLOYD PACE. NLU, BA; LSU, JD; Pratt, MLS. Worked in information technology in sales for Lexis/Nexis and running training programs for lawyers. Has been involved with various off-off-Broadway theater companies, has written plays and has led workshops in playwriting. Is interested in science, history and literature.

BERNARD PERSKY. City College, BA.; Harvard, JD. Was a partner in several law firms and was co-chair of the antitrust practice group at one of them. Has served as a pro bono attorney for Kids in Need of Defense and has served as president of his condo board. Is interested in reading, classic movies and theater.

JENNIFER ROSS. U. of Cape Town, BA; Hebrew U. of Jerusalem, MA. Taught English in Jerusalem, at CUNY and at the Academy of American Studies in Queens. Is a board member of International Cinema Education and is active in the Juvenile Diabetes  Foundation. Has swum with sea turtles in Mexico and done guided diving in Curacao.

ROBERT TESSLER. Hamilton College, BA; Columbia, LLD. Was a trial lawyer at various law firms.  Is mentoring fourth- and fifth-grade boys at a northern Manhattan school. Is a trustee of the Fistula Foundation, raising money to treat women injured in childbirth in Africa and Asia. Interests include photography and cooking.

LINDA WILSON. Lehman College, BA. Was director of human resources and labor relations for the State Banking Department and a public member of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Was on the board of the Harbor Child Care Center. Is interested in painting, gardening and reading.

SUSAN WINSTON. U. of Rochester, BA; Tufts, MA, Boston U., MBA. Has done freelance work in a number of areas. Is a Metropolitan Museum tour guide and a charter school mentor/teacher. Has taught parenting skills to disadvantaged Hispanic women and developed and taught a life skills program. Interests include photography, swimming and tennis.

SAUL YANOFSKY. Amherst, BA; Harvard, MAT; Harvard, EdD in curriculum and teaching. Was associate director of the National Institute of Education. superintendent of schools in White Plains and assistant dean for academic affairs at Westchester Community College. Has served on boards of groups dealing with children’s and housing issues.

JACK ZEVIN. U. of Chicago, BA. I MAT; U. of Michigan, PhD in education research. Taught in public schools in Chicago and Michigan and was a professor at Queens College. Has written many books on teaching. Is interested in history, the social sciences, mystery novels and food history. Is the husband of IRP member Iris Zevin.  

New Members Fall 2017

GEORGE BARENHOLTZ. U. of Alberta, BSc; Case Institute, MS; Baruch College, MBA. Was an executive at several manufacturing companies and an entrepreneur. Has taught marketing management at Rutgers and was president of the Institute of General Semantics. Interests include travel, tennis, golf and stamp collecting.

LESLIE BEDFORD. Vassar, BA; Harvard, MAT; Union Institute and University, PhD in museum studies.  Wrote a book about museum exhibitions and directed a museum education program at the Bank Street College of Education. Was a Fulbright fellow in Japan and Argentina and has lived in Mexico.

PHILIP BOTWINICK. Baruch and Hunter Colleges. Was a computer programmer and systems analyst in the financial sector. Volunteered in many activities involving energy, the environment and nutrition. Coordinated election programming for WBAI. Interests include farming, comic books, physics and woodworking.

EDWARD BRILL. Michigan State, BA; Yale Law School, JD. Was a partner at Proskauer Rose, dealing with labor and employment matters in higher education. Is on the boards of Dance NYC and FEGS Health and Human Services and volunteers as an attorney for the Innocence Project.  Volunteered for the campaign of Hillary Clinton, a law school classmate.

BARRY BRYER. Queens College, BA; U. of Virginia School of Law, JD. Practiced law in large firms, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Is board chair of the Queens College Foundation and is active in the Legal Advisory Council of Sanctuary for Families. Is interested in literature, American history and the dramatic arts.

SIMON CHUNG. Cornell, BS. Was an assistant vice president of Credit Suisse in the roles of application developer, business analyst, systems engineer and change manager. Is an avid photographer and has participated in many bike rides to raise money for AIDS and HIV Services. Hobbies include SCUBA diving, orchids, film and Japanese Anime. Grew up in Hong Kong.

SUSAN DOUBILET. McGill U., MA; Columbia, MA; Rutgers, MS. Was a writer and editor specializing in architecture. Taught genetics at the Columbia STEM high school and did research at the Museum of Natural History. Volunteers at the Metropolitan Museum. Is a nonstop knitter and enjoys reading mystery novels.

PAT FORTUNATO. SUNY Binghamton, BA. Founded and headed Mega Books, which produces books for major publishers, including many children’s books. Has volunteered for SCORE, which helps people start and improve small businesses. Is a member of the National Arts Club and a longtime Metropolitan Opera subscriber. Writes song parodies.

MAURY HARRIS. U. of Texas, BA; Columbia, PhD in economics. Was chief of financial markets research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Taught economics at Columbia and Baruch College and headed the economics departments at PaineWebber and UBS. Volunteered for a camp for underprivileged children.

RICHARD HERRMANN. Yale, BA; U. of Michigan Law School, JD. Was an international tax, trust, estate and real estate lawyer. Taught at NYU Law School and is a volunteer judge in the oral argument program at Rutgers Law School. Interests include travel, wine, photography and literature. Is the husband of IRP member Lesley Herrmann.

DANIEL HERTZBERG. U. of Chicago, BA. Was senior deputy managing editor at the Wall Street Journal and executive editor for finance at Bloomberg news. Was based in London at one point. Was chairman of the U. of Chicago visitors committee. Belongs to a history book club and is interested in art.

DEBORAH HYMANSON. U. of Michigan, BA. Was a children’s librarian at the Chicago Public Library. Was a junior high school social studies and reading teacher. Volunteered as a tutor at the Chicago public schools and library. Moved to New York last year. Is interested in medieval and chamber music and theater.

PATTI KAPLAN. Harvard; NY Institute of Fine Arts, MA; CUNY, PhD in modern art history. Was a producer for the Children’s Television Workshop and HBO and is an adjunct professor at the NYU Tisch Film School. Specialized in documentary interviews. Volunteered as a mentor to high school students creating short films.

LOTTIE KATZ. Hunter College, BA; Columbia, MA, PhD in French literature. Taught French at the high school level and chaired the language department at the Keio Academy of New York. Was a volunteer reading teacher at a Harlem elementary school. Reads literary criticism and does original needlepoint.

AJIT KUMAR. Wayne State U. BA; MBA. Was a client solutions executive for IBM and worked in marketing for a software company in Singapore. Volunteered teaching computer skills to older adults for NY Cares. Is an avid traveler and a news junkie. Interests include history, politics and cultures.

MEERA KUMAR. Delhi Polytechnic India; U. of Meerut India, MA. Was head of marketing and communications for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries. Taught English as a second language at the American U. in Bangkok. Has worked in Africa and many countries in Asia. Is studying Sanskrit. Is the wife of new member Ajit Kumar.

JANET MANN. Brooklyn College, BA; NYU, MS. Was a teacher and administrator in the New York City schools, focusing on literacy. Served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines. Has studied painting, drawing and sculpture and has volunteered as a tutor at a local high school. Is the wife of IRP member Herb Mann.

JAY MARTIN. SUNY-Binghamton, BA; Boston U. School of Law, JD. Was a lawyer specializing in the insurance sector. Has served as a volunteer and board member of many nonprofit organizations and tutors high school students for Boys Hope Girls Hope in Brooklyn. Was an Advanced Leadership Initiative fellow at Harvard.

LORRAINE MATOVINA. John Carroll U. in Ohio; Northeastern U. Was a division head at several companies in the fashion industry. Has taught at Parsons.  In earlier years was a cytotechnologist at Montefiore Hospital. Does figurative sculpture in terra cotta. Has traveled in Europe and Asia.

JUDITH MEYEROWITZ. Hunter College; MA; Columbia, PhD in counseling psychology. Taught psychology at CUNY and was a psychologist in the DOE clinical and guidance program. Is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum and counsels American Red Cross caseworkers. Is interested in African and Native American art and in magic and religion.

REUVEN OPHER. CCNY, BS; Harvard, PhD in physics. Was an astronomy professor at the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil and has done research at Cornell and Columbia. Volunteers in teaching “Wonders of the Universe” to elderly shut-ins. Has traveled extensively in Israel and Brazil. Is interested in art, music and literature.

RANDY ROSS. Queens College BA, MA; Long Island U., MS. Was a high school principal in New York City, Plainview and Great Neck. Is a crossword puzzle constructor whose work has appeared in the New York Times and other papers and in books. Has done volunteer work with English language learners. Has traveled widely and is interested in sports, movies, theater and journalism.

SUSAN RUBENS. Goucher College, BA. Was a public school music teacher and paralegal. Also gave private lessons on piano and woodwinds and volunteered as an accompanist at Jamboree. Has sung with Pro Arte and participated in Judson Church summer sing-ins. Is interested in domestic and international travel, hiking, museums and lectures.

IRA RUBIN. SUNY-Binghamton, BA; SUNY-Buffalo, PhD in social psychology. Was a senior analyst for the NYC Administration for Children Services and taught psychology courses at Hofstra. Was active in Toastmasters and volunteered at Animal Haven and Reading Partners. Interests include writing, acting and improvisation.

NATHANIEL RYAN. Millervsville U., BS; St. Joseph’s U., MS. Was a case manager and teacher in the school district of Fairless Hills, Pa. Before that, developed training programs in private industry. Volunteers at Learning Ally, a Princeton-based publisher of audio books for dyslexic, blind and impaired clients.

PATRICK SICONOLFI. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, BS. Is executive director of a trade association of 4,500 owners of multifamily rental properties in New York City and is publisher of the NY Housing Journal. Before that was the chief operating officer of the corporation that runs Roosevelt Island. Has traveled extensively in Europe and is interested in photography.

SUSAN SMAHL. Brooklyn College, BA; Adelphi, MEd. Was as special education teacher in New York City and a school administrator in New Jersey. Has volunteered with the Special Olympics and the Montclair Film Festival. Is on the board of a New Jersey special education directors group. Hobbies include skiing, yoga, film and podcasts.

CAROL STERLING.  Barnard, BA; Columbia U. Teachers College, MA. Has taught art, multicultural arts and puppetry from the kindergarten level to graduate schools of education. Was president of an international organization of American puppeteers and is currently on the Jim Henson Foundation board.

JAMES TAYLOR. DePauw U., MA; U. of Chicago, MBA. Was director of software pricing at IBM and was president of the school board in White Plains. Is an active member of a class at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center on Foreign Affairs, making presentations on various topics. Has studied fracking and its impact on worldwide energy markets.

JULIAN WOLPERT. Columbia, BA; U. of Wisconsin, PhD in geography. Taught in the sciences and social sciences and was H.G. Bryant professor at Princeton. Before that taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Has volunteered as a strategic planning advisor to nonprofit groups and philanthropists. Interests include travel, photography and hiking.

SUSANNE YELLIN. Queens College, BA; Columbia U. Teachers College, MA; NYU School of Law, JD. Was a lawyer for several private companies. Has done pro bono legal work.  Has taught fiber art and is an officer of the Long Island Crafts Guild. Has traveled extensively worldwide and is interested in folk dancing and literature of other cultures.

FALL 2018

NAOMI COOPER. Brooklyn College, BA; University of Maryland, MLS; LIU, MA. Naomi was librarian at the New York Public Library and teacher at John Jay High School, where she was also UFT chapter leader. She served as secretary and president of the Park Slope Civic Council and now volunteers in the Central Synagogue Breakfast Program. She is the wife of IRP member Barry Cooper.

ARTHUR FEFFERMAN. Concordia University, Montreal, BA; University of Chicago, MBA. Born in Canada, Arthur was a real estate developer in New York City, where he served on Mayor Giuliani’s transition team and was chair of the Economic Development Privatization Committee. Arthur is an avid skier and adventure traveler and studies at the Art Students League.

ANDREA FREUD. Clark University, BA; University of Wisconsin, MA; Sussex University (UK), PhD in British literature. During a career as Associate Professor at Medgar Evers College, Andrea published several books, including a novel, a memoir, and a study of post-war British novelists. She is now working on a poetry collection and a young adult novel. She is active in the lesbian feminist/gay community and has volunteered in a day program for people with mental illness.

SONYA FRIEDMAN. University of Pennsylvania, BA. Sonya was a writer, documentary filmmaker, and translator from French and Italian as well as other languages. Based on her experience, she has lectured on the craft of writing film subtitles and opera supertitles. She is a member of the West Side Community Garden and is interested in travel, swimming, and cross-country skiing.

MARY-JOAN GERSON. Cornell, BA; NYU, PhD in clinical psychology and certificate in psychoanalysis. Mary-Joan has taught at The New School and NYU, and led various training programs. She served in Nigeria in the Peace Corps and has published several multi-cultural books for children. More recently, she has taken multi-media classes.

PHYLLIS GINSTLING. Finch College, BS; NYU, MBA. Phyllis was a senior manager at the accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick and served on official boards in Scarsdale. She has also studied fiber arts and is skilled in the use of knitting machines, spinning wheels, looms, and electric drum carders. A skier and licensed pilot, she flew in the first-ever flight between Israel and Jordan in 1995.

GERALD GLINE. Rutgers, BA, MS, JD. Gerald practiced law in New Jersey, was active in the New Jersey Bar Association in the field of bankruptcy, and served as chair of the Bergen County Ethics Board. His interests include travel, music, and gardening.

EILEEN HANLEY. Hunter College, RN, BS; Baruch College, MBA. A nursing administrator in critical care and community-based programs, Eileen was at St. Vincent’s Hospital on 9/11 and helped set up a temporary crisis center. She also worked in the largest home care program in the early days of the AIDS epidemic and now volunteers helping parolees prepare for job interviews.

THOMAS HARDY. University of Sydney; Wharton School, MBA. A partner in the management consulting firm McKinsey and Co, Tom helped develop younger consultants. He was also chair of the board of the American University of Paris for five years. He now mentors students at La Guardia Community College about career plans and enjoys playing chess.

ALICE KONOREZOV. Concordia University, Montreal, BS. Born in Iran, Alice completed a 20-year career at the UN that included serving on a military observer mission to war-torn Georgia and disputed Abkhazia. She also volunteered in a sister cities program between Atlanta, Georgia and Tbilisi, Georgia, interpreting for President Jimmy Carter and Russian officials.

SHARON LEWIN. University of Toronto, MD. A physician, Sharon began a private practice in Greenwich Village in 1982 and was one of the first doctors in the city to treat HIV, when little was known about the disease. She has trained medical residents in infectious diseases and served on humanitarian missions to New Orleans in 2006 and Cuba in 2012.

DEBORAH MARKOW. Antioch College; NYU, PhD in art history. Deb has been adjunct associate professor at NYU, teaching Medieval and Italian Renaissance art. She has also lectured and led tours at American and European museums. She is interested in food, French, and social service, having developed a volunteer corps at Perlmutter Cancer Center of NYU/Langone Hospital.

JONATHAN MILLER. CCNY, BA; MA, Columbia University Teachers College. A software developer and database consultant, Jonathan is active in the New York Guild of Handweavers. He has a floor loom and is exploring weaving, dyeing and spinning. His interests also include English history and literature as well as Buddhism; he is a longtime meditator.

JUDITH MONSON. Cornell, BS; Harvard, MBA. After a 23-year career in management positions at Seagram Co, Judith served as a Foreign Service officer for the State Department. She has studied at the Art Students League, was a trustee of Cornell University, and a board member of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. She has lived abroad and is an avid traveler.

MARY PADILLA. University of Chicago, BA, PhD in microbiology; Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, DVM. Mary is a veterinarian in private practice and as a volunteer, she devotes time to wildlife rehabilitation. She has taught the Alexander Technique for improving people’s neuromuscular efficiency to enhance their performance and daily living. She has also studied classical singing, visual arts, dressage, dance, stagecraft, and writing. She also enjoys hiking.

ROCHELLE PECK. University of Wisconsin, BA; Cornell, MD. Shelly, a physician at Montefiore Hospital and in private practice, has volunteered with Good Shepherd Service and SCAN NY, organizations devoted to NYC’s poor children, youth, and families. She is a member of two Muslim-Jewish sisterhoods and recently traveled to Azerbaijan, where the two groups have lived together for hundreds of years.

RICHARD RESNIK. Fairleigh Dickinson University; George Washington Law School. Richard was a lawyer, specializing in real estate, and head of litigation for his firm. He has been on his condo board for 28 years and also was a board member for The Animation Project, a non-profit organization helping at-risk youth build job skills. He subscribes to the NY Philharmonic and Jazz at Lincoln Center and is a sports fan.

HELENE SCHIFFMAN. Rutgers, BA; Stevens Institute, MS. In addition to an IT career at Bell Labs, IBM, and Oracle, Helene taught classes in artificial intelligence and volunteered at various NYC organizations including New York Cares. She is interested in film, ping-pong, bead weaving, and learning to play the recorder.

BILL SIEGEL. Syracuse, BA; Columbia, JD. A lawyer for 55 years, Bill was a member of a NYS commission on real property taxation. He is a national and NY board member of the American Jewish Committee and was president of its Long Island region. Together with his wife—IRP member Colette Siegel—Bill has traveled to 75 countries.

GARY STEINKOHL. SUNY-Buffalo, BS, BA, MBA. A corporate controller for Citibank, Gary then became a corporate training consultant. He was vice-chair of Marriage Equality New York and gives arms and armor tours at the Metropolitan Museum. Gary plays bridge and is interested in English History; he studied the Tudors and interned for a member of the British Parliament.

ERIC TARLOW. Johns Hopkins; Boston College, JD. During a career as general counsel for the Industrial Bank of Japan and for Mizuho Securities USA, Eric also volunteered as a mentor for younger professionals and was on the board of Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC. He reads four newspapers daily, satisfying his interests in foreign affairs and tennis.

RENA TOBEY. University of Delaware, BA; Hunter, MA. Pursuing a career in the arts, Rena taught art history at Connecticut State University, George Washington University and, more recently, the 92nd St. Y. She has helped collect oral histories, narrates for broadcasts to the blind, conducts Gracie Mansion tours, and is “addicted” to the theater.

SANDRA WILDE. Carleton College; University of Toronto, MEd; University of Arizona, PhD in elementary education. A professor at Hunter College, Sandra wrote or edited 12 books in her field. She also volunteered with middle school students in Central Harlem. She is an avid reader and has taken classes at MOMA and the Whitney Museum.

ARNOLD WINSTON. University of Chicago; SUNY Downstate Medical Center, MD. A psychiatrist, Arnold was professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. He also has volunteered with community agencies, including for the homeless, and has worked on election campaigns. He enjoys reading novels and biographies and is interested in astronomy and climate science.


[Admissions on hiatus Spring 2019, no new members admitted.]

FALL 2019

KAREN GELLEN. Hunter College, BA; CUNY, MA. Was a senior manager in development and communications at nonprofit organizations involved with international human rights. She retired in 2012 to go back to college and earned two degrees, including one in American Studies. She is a volunteer teacher of English to immigrants, interested in the culture and politics of the 1930s and ‘40s.

SUSAN HEIDE. Marlboro College, BA; Boston U., PhD in American urban history. Headed the municipal bond research group at BlackRock and developed disclosure guidelines for the industry. She is a board member of two conservation groups and the Cosmopolitan Club, interested in cities, urban life, gardening, and archeology.

 RONALD LAZAR. Dartmouth, BA, MBA. Active in fund-raising for Dartmouth, he was a partner in a real estate firm. A sailboat racer for 50 years, he also took annual hiking trips in France for 25 years and is interested in history. He is the widower of the late IRP member Liliane Lazar and the brother-in-law of IRP member Raoul Oreskovic.

MARIETTA MEYERS. Pratt Institute, Bachelor of Architecture; CW Post, MBA. Was an architect and project manager for nonprofit groups and had her own consulting firm. She has visited various World Heritage sites and important 20th and 21st century architectural works and has served on public health planning committees.

MELICENT ROTHSCHILD. Douglass College, BA; Queens College, MEd. Taught history and the humanities in public and private schools for 30 years, including the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. She was a facilitator in a lifelong learning program in Denver before moving back to New York, teaching a class on Revisiting Feminism.

MARY SEMEL. Goucher College, BA; U. of Maryland, Master’s in clinical social work. Returned to New York recently after many years in Baltimore. A social worker in substance abuse programs, she also had a private psychotherapy practice. She has traveled extensively, including scuba diving in the Caribbean, and also plays tennis and practices yoga.

CAROLYN SETLOW. SMITH, BA; FLETCHER SCHOOL, MA.  Was EVP with leading public opinion polling/marketing research firms (Louis Harris, the Roper Organization, GFK); VP, corporate planning, Newsweek; and President of a family-owned uniform company.  Currently, she is an executive coach, serves on nonprofit boards, and is the wife of member Andrew Shapiro.

ANDREW SHAPIRO. Harvard, BA; NYU School of Law, JD. Was a lawyer and editor-in-chief of Brownstone Publishers, which published three dozen monthly newsletters for lawyers. He also wrote books for lawyers and was active in civic affairs in Connecticut. He has traveled extensively, and is the husband of new member Carolyn Setlow.

RICHARD ZACKS. Harvard, BA, JD. Was a lawyer and longtime national treasurer of the ACLU who also ran a large independent bookstore in Providence, RI. New to New York, he was on the boards of organizations in Rhode Island, including RI Chamber Music Concerts. He has traveled often to the Caribbean and to Europe, taking annual theater trips to London.

David Kaufman is another new member who will join us in the Spring 2020 semester. He is a graduate of the U. of Pennsylvania, and an MD from U. of Virginia Medical School. He was an otolaryngologist and associate professor at NYU Medical Center. A Fresh Air Fund summer host for twin children for over six years, he is a sports fan who enjoys playing the piano and watching historical documentaries.


ROGER BAUMBERGER. Dartmouth, BA; NYU, MBA. Was senior managing director of Stern/Aegis Ventures. Was a director of the NYU Alumni  Association and president of the NYU Business Forum. Is interested in the philosophy and books of Ayn Rand. Is the husband of IRP member Anne-Marie Bourbon.

RICHARD BING. U. of Pennsylvania, BA; Tufts U., MA, PhD in political science. Was vice president for public administration and development and an associate provost at NYU. Is longtime president of his coop board. Is interested in the development of outer space, the ocean floor and Antarctica.

DEBORAH BROWN. U. of Illinois; Loyola U. Was an associate client partner at Korn Ferry, an organizational consulting firm. Has been a mentor for veterans returning to work. Canvassed for both Obama campaigns and the Clinton presidential campaign. Is an avid reader, draws and paints and has traveled internationally.

DAN KASLOW. Tufts U., BS; NYU, MBA. Has an independent marketing firm specializing in strategy and research and a studio offering painting classes to seniors. Has volunteered with many nonprofits focusing on the arts and nature conservancy. Has traveled to more than 50 countries and 46 states.

HOWARD MILLER. U. of Michigan, BS, MD. Was a psychiatrist in Dallas. Volunteers at a homeless shelter and was on the board of a Jewish counseling service in Dallas. Has traveled widely, plays bridge and likes camping and canoeing. Organized and leads a political philosophy discussion group.

 JOHN SELEY. U. of Pennsylvania, BA, PhD in urban and regional planning. Is retiring as a CUNY professor. Was a senior advisor to the NYC fire commissioner. Is working on a project on emergency response. Is an avid photographer and is interested in maps and politics.

MICHAEL SERRILL. Penn State, BA; Columbia, MS in Journalism. Was a foreign editor for many years and was an assistant managing editor for Bloomberg News. Traveled very extensively internationally and was president of the Overseas Press Club. Is a World War II buff and enjoys watching sports.

ELISSA WILLIAMS. Brooklyn College, BA; NYU, MA, PhD in American studies. Was a management consultant in the computer field. Volunteered for My Own Book and the Transition Network and as an English tutor. Does choral singing and is a member of a ukulele group. Is interested in African literature.

BEVERLY WINSTON. Institute for the Study of Psychotherapy; Wurzweiler School of Social Work, MSW; NYU, PhD in social work. Was a psychotherapist and social worker. Volunteered at the Flatbush Development Corp., the Flatbush food co-op and at Harlem Hospital after 911. Is the wife of IRP member Arnold Winston.

ERIC ZIMILES. U. of Rochester, BA; UC-Berkeley, MA; Harvard, MA. Was an assistant commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Is interested in urban development and has given tours of less-known sites around the city. Other interests include history, bicycling and squash.

RICHARD ZUCKERMAN. U. of Michigan, BA; U. of  California, JD. Was a labor lawyer in San Francisco. Volunteered by helping students with reading. Facilitated a Proust reading group in California and founded another one after moving to New York. Is interested in philosophy and politics.

FALL 2020

STEWART ALTER. Brandeis, BA; SUNY Stony Brook, MA; NYU, PhD in Communication. Was an executive in corporate communications and learning, most recently for McCann Worldgroup. Has five theater subscriptions and is a member of fivebook clubs, including one on Greek and Roman literature and another on Yiddish works in translation.

ROBERT CHAN. U. of Michigan, BA; Columbia, JD. Was a litigator with several law firms and has served as a mentor to young lawyers. Has written 10 published novels. Has taken an improv course and is considering taking stand-up. Hobbies include ping pong, tennis, kayaking and hiking. Has traveled widely.

JILL DANENBERG. Union College; Syracuse. Was a creative director in the advertising field, most recently with Publicis. Is a founding board member of a group working on music with incarcerated people and volunteers in digital arts with Bronx Community College. Is working on a graphic memoir. Enjoys cycling, hiking and international trips.

TERRY HAMILTON. Teachers College, Columbia, MA. Was assistant vice president of HIV services for NYC Health & Hospitals. Among many volunteer roles was president of the National Assembly of Religious Women, commissioner of Black Ministry for the New York Archdiocese, and a member of the city’s HIV Planning Council. Has traveled to 49 states and many foreign countries. Enjoys quilting.

MEL HEINEMAN. Harvard, BA, JD. Was an administrative partner at Lazard LLC. Was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of his condominium board. Has audited courses at Columbia on politics, history, literature, art and music. Enjoys swimming, golf and music.

BEN PATRUSKY. City College, BEE; Columbia U. Graduate School of Journalism, science fellow. Was a science writer and editor and for many years directed a programfor the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Is a board member of the Silurian Press Society. Is studying jazz piano and is a member of two choral groups.

SHANNA RICHMAN. Hunter College, BA, MA; CUNY, PhD in cognitive development. Taught at City College, Barnard and NYU. Was active in civil rights, anti-war and feminist movements in the 1960s-‘80s. Has taken online courses in anthropology. Enjoys travel to Africa and is fond of elephants. Belongs to two book clubs and has been a regular theater-goer.

SUSAN SCHLECHTER. Wellesley, BA; Teachers College, Columbia, MA; NYU, PhD in English Education. Was an adjunct assistant professor at NYU. Has been on many boards, including Central Synagogue, the 92nd Street Y and the Jewish Women’s Archive. Leads several book groups and has taken courses with Jewish or literary content.

JEFFREY SIEGEL. Brown U., BA; Harvard, JD. Was a lawyer who headed his own firm for many years. Has traveled to China, Japan, Russia, Cuba and the Galapagos as well as to Europe. Enjoys sports and reading and loves to attend productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Is the husband of IRP member Judy Siegel.

ELLEN SILLS-LEVY. Brooklyn College; Columbia Business School. Worked in marketing and taught at LIM College – The Business of Fashion for several years. Is president of the Market Research Council and has volunteered with the Financial Women’s Association/Baruch College mentoring program. Was on the board of the NY Women’s Forum.


MURIEL (MITZI) BINDER. Was a real estate broker. Has been a jewelry designer and a collage artist and had a studio showcasing local artists and crafts people. Was a docent at Cooper Hewitt and currently volunteers at the Museum of Arts and Design. Had stores in the city and on Fire Island. The city store specialized in French fashion and young American designers. Is the wife of LP2 member Carl Binder.

MIKE BLUMENFELD. Wharton School, U. of Pa., BS; NYU, MBA. Founded a retail and management consultant firm, helping companies start up and grow profitably. Volunteers with two nonprofits in the field that help people in underserved communities and as a coach/advisor/mentor at NYU. Has traveled to 46 countries.

PEGGY BLUMENTHAL. Has worked for more than 30 years at the Institute of International Education, which implements Fulbright Fellowships and other programs. Majored in modern Chinese history and has lived in Hawaii, Taiwan and China. Chairs the Japan Center for International Exchange-USA. Is an avid traveler and enjoys learning about other cultures.

ARTHUR BRATONE. Cornell, civil engineering degree. Later in life MA Columbia. Operated a family construction equipment business with his brother and formed a partnership with a Saudi Arabian family that did business in the Middle East for 25 years. Was on the board of the American U. of Paris. With his wife, opened a French bistro, Bistro Rollin, in Pelham, selling it in 2016. In 2007 started annual series of 10-week courses that met in his home.

CHUCK BRECHER. CUNY Graduate Center, PhD in political science. Has been the research director of the Citizens Budget Commission since 1982 and was a professor of public and health administration at NYU. Has taught in London and Paris and directed a partnership between NYU and the Ministry of Health in Albania. Enjoys travel photography.

ROGER M. DEITZ. Attorney/Mediator. Still actively engaged in dispute resolution throughout the United States and abroad. Former director Seeds of Peace, Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Institute, Ethical Culture- Fieldston Schools. Former Senior Trial Counsel, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, visiting Associate Professor of Law SUNY Buffalo Law School: Securities Regulation and Aviation Law. Interests: FDR, WSC, the women and men who were part of their story, Maine, Ireland, Holland, Portman Square, the sky above Israel, the stigma of depression and addiction. Fieldston School, Brown Univ., Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School PIL.

JO DOBKIN. Was a researcher in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, working on the World War II provenance project. Directed the English language program at the Eastside International Community Center, teaching English as a second language to diplomats. Was raised in rural Scotland and came to New York as an adult. Enjoys golf, reading and opera.

GERALDINE FABRIKANT. Was a reporter for many years at the New York Times and at other publications including Business Week, Town and Country and Minerva, covering finance, the arts and travel. Before becoming a journalist, worked as an editor in the film industry. Has been on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Levy Foundation to aid students at City College.

EVA FINKEL. Worked as a psychologist and therapist in NYC. Came to the United States from Venezuela for university studies. Holds a master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American literature and a doctorate in psychology. Has studied art, drama, acting, film, and dance. Volunteers as a docent for international groups at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

FRAN FREEDMAN. Brandeis U.; Columbia U. School of Social Work. Was deputy commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, senior vice president of Lighthouse International and director of Health Promotion Services for the NYC Department for the Aging. Has served on boards of many volunteer organizations including several at Columbia U., VISIONS and the Riverdale Mental Health Association.

JEANNE HARDY-SLOAN. Was a manager/technical services at McKinsey and Co. for many years. Is interested in Middle East and Central Asian art and archaeology and has participated in archaeological digs in those areas. Is a research volunteer in the department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum. Has studied in Spain and lived in France. Has been studying Arabic.

MAUREEN HATCH. Manhattanville College, BA; Columbia U., MPH, PhD in epidemiology. Was a senior staff scientist at the Chernobyl Research Unit at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. Has taught at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Columbia. Was involved with horses for many years in the Washington area and volunteered for the Washington Ballet and the Women’s National Democratic Club.

MARGE HEINS. Was a lawyer for the ACLU in Massachusetts and at the national office and was a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. Concentrated on censorship and First Amendment issues and wrote two books on those subjects. Is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum. Has studied French and belongs to two book groups. Has traveled extensively.

STEVE KAUFMAN. Has practiced radiology 45 years in private office and hospital settings. Was chief medical officer on a destroyer tender during the Vietnam War. Is a member of the Lotos Club and participated in the Columbia U. Lifelong Learners program. Is interested in History and International Relations, music, science, literature and art.

HOWARD LEVI. Columbia U., BA, MA (History), JD. Practiced law (commercial litigation) for 38 years, including at law firm he founded. Serves on Steering Committee of Board of Visitors of Columbia’s History Dept. Co-founded reading group that discusses New York Review of Books articles. Has taken courses at CUNY Graduate Center. Speaks Spanish, writes creative nonfiction, and has traveled extensively (including Africa and India).

SARA LISHINSKY. Brooklyn College, BA, MA in Spanish Literature. Lived in Spain for 15 years and became a clinical psychologist, then returned to New York and taught Spanish in the public schools for many years. Started an aerobic dance class in Granada. Is a portrait artist, a docent at the Morgan Library and Museum, and a swing dancer.

SUSAN SAIDENBERG. Vassar, BA; Columbia, MA; Bank Street College, MS. Was a museum educator, managing exhibitions and public programs for the New York Public Library and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Taught at Queensborough Community College and NYU. Participated in the Grandmothers for a Brighter Future voting campaign.

SEFI SHLISELBERG. Former President, Board Member and Founder of Women in Sovereign Entities, a nonprofit to promote women’s leadership in the global public finance sector. Global Financial Services career (JP Morgan Chase, Moody’s) culminating with Deutsche Bank (Director of Strategy and New Business Development). Early career in the computer industry. Dabble in painting, drawing, ceramics. Avid knitter.

FRANCINE WALKER. Holds degrees from Belgian and French institutions and The New School. Was a junior partner at McKinsey & Co. Is a docent at the Metropolitan Museum, giving tours in English and French. Was a member of the board of Paul Smith College for 15 years. Is the wife of new member Peter Walker.

PETER WALKER. Was a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., leading the New York office and serving on the board of directors. Focused on serving insurance companies in China, making more than 80 trips there. Helped Tom Hardy lead an IRP study group on U.S.-China relations. Is a trustee of the China Institute and former board member of Alvin Ailey and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Is the husband of new member Francine Walker.

JERRY WEBMAN. U. of Chicago; Yale, PhD in political science. Became a financial analyst and was chief economist at Oppenheimer Funds. Chairs the board of NJ LEEP, a Newark based college access program and is an “explainer” at the NewYork Historical Society. Serves on investment committees for Charity Navigator and the Community Service Committee. Is interested in global history as well as the visual arts.