From Richard Wilson, Class of 1985
Having recently visited the AIS/AES Alumni Network web site, I was inspired to say hello. I have owned and managed restaurants for the past 21 years. I currently own a little gourmet Pub called Maggie’s located in Habersham, Beaufort South Carolina. I graduated from AES Delhi 1985.
I stay in good contact with many AESers, and we have visited each other over the years! I started using Facebook in 2007, which has made finding and catching up (digitally) so much easier. Funny how many of us are on both FB and Twitter!
Here are a couple of old pictures…
A TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER
by Judy Isenberg Kaufmann, AIS Class of 1969
My apologies to those of you who have already seen these pictures and read about Mom’s book recently on my Facebook page. Because of the positive feedback, I thought I’d share it here with others of the AIS community who knew my mother, and with those interested in India-related topics. Or Jewish topics, for that matter.
For a few years in the nineteen sixties, both my parents were intercultural consultants at AIS. Their mission, essentially, was to introduce Indian culture, history, etc. to AIS students, and turn them on to the richness that was to be found there. My dad, Artur, taught some classes on Indian philosophy and religion. My mom, Shirley, arranged several field trips, including train trips to Welthy Fisher’s Literacy House Village in Lucknow, and to Kalibangan, an archaeological dig in the Rajasthan desert, and bus trips to Jim Corbett National Park, and to the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur, among various others. They also arranged concerts at the school by Indian musicians and dancers. I remember the tabla player, Chatur Lal, played there, and I also recall the high-energy Tibetan dance performance that was held in the field that was outside the High School building.
My parents also created the AIS Archaeology Club, and arranged for the Government of India to provide us with a site to excavate, not too far from the school, along with a professional archaeologist to supervise the dig. Things were going well, and we found a few artifacts from Moghul times. Unfortunately, the Government shut down the dig when a likely human skull was found, probably because they feared it might stir up Hindu-Muslim animosity.
My mom was instrumental in setting up the original AIS school bus system. She chaired the committee that found the buses to hire, and personally planned out all of the routes and stops for the 200 children that used the buses. I think this happened when we were still in the Old Taj barracks, but I’m not 100 percent sure. She also created the AIS Junior Service Corps.
Those of you who knew my mom probably are aware that she was an anthropologist. After years of research, she wrote a massive book on the Bene Israel Jews of India, which was published in 1988, and is, sadly, now out of print. It consisted of 443 pages, and included several photos, maps, tables and charts, along with a tremendous amount of meticulously researched, interesting information. I’ve included 3 photos of the dust jacket of her book, in case you’d like to read more about the book itself or my mom’s professional bio.
For some very brief background on the Jews of India, here is a quote from the book:
"The three separate Jewish communities of India are: 1) the Bene Israel (maximal population 20,000 in 1951), whose center is the Konkan area of Maharashtra; 2) the Cochin Jews of Kerala (maximal population 3,000 in the 1940s); and the so-called Iraqi or Baghdadi Jews (maximal population 6,500 in the 1940s), who, preceded by individuals during the late 18th century, came to India from Iraq as an immigrant community in the early years of the 19th century, settling mostly in Bombay and Calcutta."
I remember the Cochin Jewish population was already dwindling when we visited there in the 1950s. Most Indian Jews have emigrated to Israel, leaving behind very few people for the remaining Jews to marry. The main motivation my mom had in writing her book was that she was afraid that if the existing knowledge of the Bene Israel was not documented and preserved immediately, much of it the information would soon be lost. She ended up doing the research and writing the book herself, but also made suggestions as to areas in need of further study. When my parents settled in Israel, she continued to research the Indian Jews who had immigrated there, and maintained close ties with them. A few years before she died in 2000, she collaborated with another anthropologist to produce a collection of recordings of Bene Israel (or perhaps Cochini Jews?) singing folk songs from their Indian Jewish heritage.
It being Mothers’ Day, I’d like to honor my own special mom, Shirley Berry Isenberg, by saying how proud I am to be the daughter of such a warm, caring, dedicated and extraordinary woman. She is loved and missed by many of us.
From ELIF ERKAL, AES Class of 1998
I graduated from AES in 1988. After completing my BA in Political Science at Delhi University I returned to Ankara, Turkey and have been living here since then.
When I first came back to Ankara, I started my first job at the Indian Embassy in Ankara where I met Egal Egal (Class of ‘87), who at the time was studying at University in Turkey and was applying to get visa for India and I was taking the applications.
After working in different Embassies and the EU Delegation, I joined the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as Administrative Officer, where I am currently working. Several years ago I found out that Nedzad Ajanovic (Class of ‘91) was also working in FAO and it turned out that we were working in the same region and finally got together at an FAO retreat in Cappadocia, Turkey where we reminisced about the high school days and friends.
I am proud to be an AES student. The different cultures and respect that everyone had to one another has helped me so much especially working in an international multi-cultural environment such as the UN.
Elif Erkal at Bon Jovi Concert in Istanbul, Turkey
Click to enlarge |
From Class of 1993 alumni secretary, Jenny Vera Jensen
To AES Class of 1993...
Come to our 20th Class Reunion Weekend!!
In Cornelius/Davidson, North Carolina
24, 25, 26 MAY 2013
Most of the events will be in one of these two towns, so pick a hotel in either location!! You should be all set (hotels are about five minutes apart). Whichever town you choose, be sure to stay near the freeway (I-77) because Davidson extends *way* east, and there's no sense staying all the way out there.
I'd recommend these hotels:
Basic and nice: Microtel
Corporate-like: Hilton Homewood Suites
Small town inn: Davidson Village Inn
The Davidson Village Inn is probably the nicest and is right smack in the middle of town, so I'd recommend that first if their rates seem reasonable to you.
Most events will be on Saturday and Sunday, but we will definitely try to set up something for Friday evening as well.
Please let Jenny or Adarsh know if you’re coming!
If you have any questions, your Points of Contact (POC) are: Jenny Vera Jensen: email@example.com and Adarsh Carter: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Seiichi Sugiyama, Class of 1975
I had a nice week end, last Saturday. "Sakura", the cherry blossom in Tokyo was very early in this season in Tokyo. Generally its top of the blossom is around the 1st week of April, but it was one to two weeks earlier this year.
For us Japanese, "Sakura" means many things:
Since it gives blossom in the end of School year in Japan, it is also a symbol of graduation and farewell.
Since it last just for a week only, it is read in many historical poems to show the mortality, or "Nothing may keep its peak for long".
The blossom will fall in short that it is also taken as a symbol for manliness, which is sadly used as a image of warriors like Kamikaze in the World War II.
Any way it is beautiful, and you are very lucky to see it when you come from abroad, since the good days are limited, which changes every year.
I was invited by Jonathan Wilder (Class of 1974) to see Sakura on the evening (March 23rd, 2013), at Foreigner' Grave Yard of Aoyama Grave Yard, to have a
glass of wine with Sakura (We call it "Hanami" or Flower Observation Party). Here is a photo of us!
Jonathan Wilder ('74) and Seiichi Sugiyama ('75)
AES Alumni Dinner Reception
See pictures from the AES Alumni Dinner Reception held on Friday, April 12, 2013 here.
AES Alumni Dinner Reception
Welcome to our NEW CLASS SECRETARIES!
1975 - Diane Reppun
1980 - Charlie Franda
1989 - Jason L. Becker
From CHERRY CLARK FOX, AIS Class of 1966
It has been really great finding the alumni website and reading about what everyone's been up to for the last 50 years! Somehow, everyone seems to have aged, even though I'm sure I look just like I did when I was at AIS!
We left India at the end of my junior year to return to Seattle and I found myself with severe re-entry prob...lems, floundering in a huge American high school, terribly homesick for India. I read every book in the library on India, taught myself to cook Indian food, and wrote letters every week to my Indian friends.
Somehow I survived and graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a major in biology in 1970, trained in Medical Technology, got married, got a job and got a horse! I worked in one laboratory or another until the end of 2007, when I retired. Unfortunately, my husband died six months later, so Retirement Plan A was out the window, and I'm still working on Plan B!
I had a horse while we lived in Nepal and India, and I've had one(or more) ever since. My husband soon figured out if he didn't ride, he wasn't going to see much of me! Over the years we did a lot of trail riding, competed in endurance riding and I've been competing in dressage for the last 20 years. The horses seem to take up most of my daylight hours now!
We adopted a baby from Korea (where we lived before Nepal) in 1985. She married last year and unfortunately moved to Oklahoma. I live in NW Washington state, about 20 miles from the town I was born in, and have most of my life, so the prospect of moving to be near her is rather daunting. But I have all that early training in moving to new places and making new friends, so I know I can do it!
I've always been very grateful I was able to spend many of my growing-up years in Asia, and especially treasure the India years. I'd love to hear from anybody and everybody!" - Cherry Clark Fox email@example.com
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AES 60th Anniversary Commemorative Garden
Our 2013 Board of Directors Garden Tile
in the AES 60th Anniversary Commemorative Garden
New Delhi, India
We are a non-profit association, which exists to help keep our AIS/AES family members together and to help promote reunions and other activities. We also host our AIS/AES Reunion every 5 years, where all alumni (whether they graduated from our school or not), faculty, staff and family members/special friends are invited. Your donations enable us to keep the association and our website alive, as well as help with the start-up costs of our AIS/AES Reunions. We recommend a donation of $25/year; however, we are grateful for any contributions! For more, see DUES LETTER .
Click here to find five decades of AIS and AES Yearbooks published by our school beginning school year 1960-1961. Each yearbook is complete in PDF format for easy, free, downloading. We are missing four (4) yearbooks though. If you know the whereabouts of the 2002, 2010, 2012, and 2013 yearbooks, please send an email to arrange for the loan or scanning of the book(s).
Do you know who your board members are? Read more about them!
Your classmates love to hear from you! News and photographs for posting should be emailed to Mary Williamson: MaryWilliamson74@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowman, Michael D., AES Class of 1992
Tharmaratnam Raman, Mythili, AES Class of 1987
Pursell, Arne, AES Class of 1989
Noonan Jackson, Vicki, AIS Class of 1969
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE? Try the class rosters.
We have left the Class Secretaries page up. This page provides class rosters and class secretaries’ email addresses. If there is an alum you would like an email address for, please reference the roster list and then contact the respective class secretary or Mary Williamson for it. As long as there are no restrictions from that alum, the class secretary may release just the email address. Please do not ask class secretaries for any alumni’s home addresses or phone numbers… only email addresses.
Thanks, in advance, for your understanding!
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