Spotlight On Today
It’s time once again to report on family news, beginning with the sad passing of two of the Founding Cousins of The Lavines of Saratoga, followed by graduation milestones and residential moves.
Shirley Lavine, 91, died peacefully in Saratoga Springs after a short illness on October 24, 2018, only three weeks after attending a cousins’ reunion in her hometown. A graduate of Skidmore College, Shirley was the on-air assistant to Walter Cronkite at the 1952, 1956, and 1960 political conventions as both parties nominated their candidates for president and vice president. She was a pioneering female manager for CBS News and the first woman producer in early American television. Shirley was the only child of the late Sam and Bessie Lavine of Saratoga.
Doris Pletman succumbed to various ailments on her 91st birthday, July 4, 2019, in Schenectady. She was predeceased a year earlier by her husband of 60 years, Dr. Robert Pletman, and in 2013 by her brother, Marvin (Buddy) Brown of Atlanta. She is survived by her sons Ed and Mike Pletman. Doris was a former grade school teacher and an active member of Hadassah and the Sisterhood of her Schenectady synagogue. She was the second child of the late Sadye and Abram Brown of Saratoga. Doris also attended the 2018 reunion in Saratoga, the last time the seven female Founding Cousins were together.
Catching up on third-cousin news, Ava Jordan, daughter of Kyle Newman and John Jordan, graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a BS degree in Environmental Studies, with two minors: Food Systems and Community & International Development. Ava currently works at L’Oréal Research and Innovation as a Sustainability Coordinator.
Amit Hezi, son of Erica Hezi and Yigal Hezi, graduated from Muhlenberg College in May 2017 with a BA degree in Accounting. Amit is now working for the National Football League.
Ethan Staple, son of Ellen and Andy Staple, graduated from Scotch Plains–Fanwood High School in New Jersey in June 2017. Ethan is now a junior at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.
Emma Rips, daughter of Robyn and Scott Ripps, graduated from The Galloway School in Atlanta on May 24, 2018. Emma is now a sophomore at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Lily Ertischek, daughter of Faith and Bob Ertischek, graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Buffalo on May 19, 2019, with a BA degree in English and French. Lily is currently working at Penguin Random House in New York City.
Daniel Berk, son of Sarah Hazi-Berk and the late Brian Berk, graduated from SUNY Binghamton on May 18, 2019, and then fulfilled the remaining requirements for his BA degree in Biological Sciences in the fall, after having switched majors in his second year. Dan is searching for a job in the pharmaceutical industry, while continuing a side career in DJing and music production in New York City under the professional name BERK.
Cousins who have changed addresses include Kyle Newman and John Jordan, who moved in 2018 from Montclair to Sea Girt, New Jersey, and recently relocated to Spring Lake Heights; Erica Hezi, who moved in 2019 from Montrose to Peekskill, New York; Freyda and Alan Lazarus, who moved in 2019 from Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, to Silver Spring, Maryland; and Josh Lazarus, who also recently relocated from Millbrae, California, to Albany.
As for new addresses, Judith Corman will soon update the Cousins’ Directory and will let everyone know when it is available. Happy 2020!