Alumni News  •  Issue 4  •  December 2017

Dear Brandeis Marin alums & alumni families,

Welcome back to the Fall/Winter 2017 edition of our Brandeis Marin family alumni newsletter! In this newsletter you will find a wide range of articles about our Brandeis Marin alumni family. Our wonderful alumni are making lasting impacts in our community and around our globe, as evidenced by Sam Arneson's ('15) leadership work and Emma Franklin's ('04) professional work in financial technology. Our grads are dedicated, involved and hardworking community members which is largely due to the amazing foundational work our students experience every day at Brandeis Marin.

Our Lower School teachers are now using the Responsive Classroom program. Students greet one another, share experiences, and do many active and engaging activities with the intention of building a strong foundation. We are also continuing with mindfulness practice throughout the Lower School. Students are intentionally getting into their "mindful bodies", listening to their own breaths, and taking notice of all the things for which they have gratitude.  All of these social and emotional practices go hand in hand with Jewish values that we teach and model throughout our school. We believe that with these experiences, our students are better able to meet both social and academic challenges that face them as they grow and learn.

Teachers in the middle school are working with Classroom Matters, an organization that offers tutoring and executive function support to middle school students in the Bay Area. Chalyn Newman is leading a six-session training with middle school teachers to reinforce best practices and differentiated instruction to students focusing on organization, time management, and self regulation among other important skills essential to our students' academic success. Curriculum modules will be used across courses and in advisory to ensure consistency and reinforcement of these vital skills at each grade level.

In Jewish Studies we have adopted a new philosophy of teaching and learning that emphasizes students' deep understanding of a content area. This new philosophy hones the students' ability to make connections between new and prior knowledge, problem solve with respect to challenges posed by the material, and make connections between the materials and their own lives. 

Lastly, if you are a family with young children and are looking for family-friendly fun during this holiday season - we invite you to join us for one (or both!) of these events at Johnny's Doughnuts in San Rafael. Make new friends while you enjoy PJ Library stories (read to us by Brandeis Marin middle school students) over everyone's favorite treat at Johnny Doughnuts! Great fun for the preschool crowd. 

Fridays, December 22nd & 29th: Brandeis Marin & PJ Library Winter Story Time from 10:00am-12:00pm at Johnny Doughnuts, San Rafael

Free - please just kindly register HERE.

We wish you and your family a very happy holiday season and we hope to see you in 2018!



Becky Genet Fenster ('93)

Brandeis Marin Alumni Relations Coordinator


Emma Franklin Stubbs ('04) - Always Willing to Try!

I'll be honest, I remember despising math in 3rd grade. I wasn't particularly fast at multiplication, and division made me dizzy. But something about that place – Brandeis Marin – pushed me to keep trying, always. Teachers instilled in me the feeling that I could do whatever I strived to do. Could I solve that math problem? Well I could try, and I always would. Brandeis created a safe space to attempt the seemingly unachievable, which has stayed with me. And math became my favorite subject, by the way.

I spent four years studying neurobiology at Harvard University then went into business management consulting in Boston. Could I really transition from science to business? Well I could try, and I did. After getting myself onto a corporate track I decided to shift gears and spend 6 months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with my boyfriend (now husband). Could we really walk from Mexico to Canada carrying everything on our backs? Well we could try, and we did.

You get the idea. And now at 27-years-old, not much has changed.

I now live in a houseboat in Sausalito with my husband George and work at a financial technology company in San Francisco. We spend weekends remodeling our home – think re-roofing, building furniture, repairing the hull, and painting. When we get fed up with the sawdust and paint stains we go kiteboarding in the bay, skiing in Tahoe, and jogging through the Marin Headlands.

Brandeis helped me build the confidence to try just about anything and I will always be grateful for that.


Sam Arneson ('15) Reflects on How Brandeis Marin Makes Amazing Possible

"Haven't you had enough Judaism? Aren't you done being in a small school? How could you turn down those admission offers?" My name is Sam Arneson, and those were the questions my Brandeis classmates asked me when, at the end of 8th grade, I was privileged to be choosing between three incredible high schools: Marin Academy, The Branson School, and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. For me, the decision was easy -- JCHS all the way. But why did I make this choice? Well, because of Brandeis.


I suppose I should enlighten you a bit about myself before I explain my answer more thoroughly. I'm a 16-year-old guy who's just two (ish) months away from being able to watch R-rated movies (but mom, if you're reading this, I promise I won't). I'm an 11th grader, working my butt off -- academically and otherwise. I've got East Coast Ivy-League dreams (sorry, mom!). I'm also Jewish. And that, right there, is my answer. Brandeis taught me to value Judaism as more than just an 'also.' Brandeis empowered me with the passion and strength to take pride in who I am. READ MORE


From Brandeis to BBYO: Figuring Out What's Next After Graduation

Amanda Cohen, with Kayla Buki ('14), Victoria Ginzburg ('14), and Daniel Reihanian ('14)

Not too long from now, the Brandeis Marin Class of 2018 will be headed out into the world. Whether they attend public, private, Jewish or secular high school next year, there's a sense of uncertainty about what's next. How am I going to navigate this new high school world? How will I find "my people"? What extracurricular activities will I fall in love with? How can I make an amazing high school experience for myself?

A number of Brandeis alumni have found the answers to these questions in BBYO.




180 North San Pedro Road  •  San Rafael, CA •  94903

415-472-1833  •

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