Rebecca Eiber Tessler '92, a midwife by profession who, with her creativity and compassion, also helped give birth to positive change and good in other people, began her life in Cincinnati, OH, on August 18, 1970. The eldest daughter of Aaron N. '63, a psychiatrist, and Elissa Eiber Tessler, a clinical social worker, she grew up in Guilford, CT, and came to Hamilton in 1988 from Guilford High School. She majored in psychology and minored in women's studies. After spending her junior year at Wesleyan University, she returned to the Hill and was graduated in 1992.
Rebecca Tessler briefly worked at Planned Parenthood in Norwich, CT, before moving to California, where she was employed at Pacific Reproductive Services in San Francisco and Family Planning Services in Oakland. She also traveled during those years through parts of Asia. Returning to the East Coast in 1997, she began graduate study in nursing and midwifery at the University of Pennsylvania. While pursuing studies at Penn, she took time off for a semester of work-study in Israel. Prior to obtaining her degree from Penn in 2001, she gained clinical experience at Penn Birth Center.
In 2002, Rebecca Tessler established her private practice as a midwife in Manhattan and subsequently in Brooklyn, where she worked primarily within the Orthodox Jewish community. Most recently she was a midwife at North Central Bronx Hospital and a volunteer with the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network as an expert witness for women seeking asylum in connection with female genital mutilation, particularly occurring within West African communities. When her busy life permitted, she enjoyed engaging her creative side as a talented photographer, artist, cook, and gardener.
Known to her family and friends as "incredibly loving, giving, open, and vibrant," Rebecca Tessler's entire career exemplified her passionate dedication and commitment to women's health issues. She was scheduled to give a presentation on female genital mutilation to the Penn Nursing School and also planning to lecture on the topic at various nursing schools around the country on the day she was diagnosed with a relapse in her battle with leukemia. She died on February 8, 2009, after a valiant year-long struggle with the disease, at the age of 38. In addition to her parents, she is survived by two sisters, Ahna and Emma, and by her devoted life-partner, Michael Grosberg. For them, and the many others whose lives she touched and inspired, she will remain forever alive in memory.
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Maximilian Arthur Gold '94, employed in the electronic media industry as a news and web producer, was born on June 26, 1972, to Michael O. and Sirje Helder Gold, both advertising executives, in New York City. "Max" Gold grew up in Weston, CT, and entered Hamilton from Weston High School in 1990. He majored in English literature and minored in art history, and was graduated in 1994.
Max Gold thereafter took courses in film at New York University and worked at Palestrini Post Production in New York City. He later relocated to Los Angeles, CA, where he became assistant to the film director James Cameron, president of Lightstorm Entertainment, his own production company. Max remained with the company for five years until 2005. Married on August 3, 2002, to Kimaree Long, he moved with his wife in 2005 from Los Angeles to New Orleans, LA. There he was employed as an editorial producer for nola.com and later as a project and account manager for Bent Media, a small web production firm.
Maximilian A. Gold was still residing in New Orleans when he died on June 8, 2009, of brain cancer, shortly before his 37th birthday. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife and two children, Grayson, age 10, and Georgia, age 4, as well as three half-brothers.
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