Gerri Alpert to lead Hebrew Center’s Summer Institute

Geraldine Alpert of Edgartown and Boston has become the fourth chairman of the Summer Institute at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. She will lead a board which also includes Stanley Snider, founder of the Summer Institute, and his two successors as chairman, Carole Cohen and Betsy Sheerr.

Ms. Alpert, now retired, spent her professional life as an economist, specializing in antitrust economics and serving as an expert witness in many litigated matters. She was a vice president of National Economic Research Associates, an international economic consulting firm, before establishing her own consulting firm, GAlpert Associates.

Since retiring, she has worked with The Children’s Village in New York, directing research on children in the New York foster care system, and has worked with families of 9/11 victims to help them get compensation from the Victims Compensation Fund.

Ms. Alpert and her husband, Larry, first came to the Vineyard in 1963 on their honeymoon. They rented for many summers before buying their Edgartown home in 1998.

For more than a decade, the Summer Institute has presented notable speakers on timely issues in politics, economics, science, and the arts, and a series of films selected from the Boston Jewish Film Festival.

New Garden Club officers

The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club elected the following slate of officers for the 2010/11 term at its annual meeting in August at the Old Mill in West Tisbury: President, Cathy Minkiewicz; Vice-President, Margaret Gallagher; Treasurer, Simmy Denhart; Recording Secretary, Ginger Duarte; Corresponding Secretary, Angela Roderick; Vice-President Chilmark, Judi Worthington; Vice-President Oak Bluffs, Bebee Green; Vice-President Vineyard Haven, Patricia Adler, Co-Vice-Presidents Edgartown, Laura Lee and Judy Plank; Vice-President West Tisbury, Linda Hearn.

Bermuda premier attends event for Rep. Barbara Lee


The Honorable Ewart F. Brown and his wife, Wanda Henton Brown, attended a fundraiser for U.S. Representative Barbara Lee held at the home of Karen and Skip Finley in Oak Bluffs, late in August. Ms. Lee, a democrat who chairs the Congrssional Black Caucus, represents California’s 9th Congressional District, which includes Oakland and Berkeley and other communities on the east side of San Francisco Bay.

Frederick Shero to direct Men’s Bereavement Group

First organized in 2009 on Martha’s Vineyard by Sam Feldman of Chilmark, the Men’s Bereavement Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has announced an expanded mission to broaden public awareness of the “requirements of men grieving the loss of a spouse or life partner,” according to a press release. Concurrently, the organization announced the appointment of Frederick H. Shero as its executive director along with the launch of a website,

The organization is working “to create an atmosphere that facilitates the opening of men’s bereavement support groups in local communities across the country and stimulates research about men’s grief and ways to support their needs during bereavement.”

For more information, visit the website or contact Mr. Shero at 800-309-3658 or

Volunteer opportunities organized

The Martha’s Vineyard Donor’s Collaborative has started a new project to create an Island-wide volunteer datebase, according to a press release. Volunteer opportunities range from answering the phone to counting horseshoe crabs, to planning events, to providing technical expertise, to serving on boards.

Islanders interesting in volunteering and nonprofits aiming to publicize volunteer opportunities can benefit by a visit to

Tunes for a rainy day


In a summer highlight at the Vineyard Haven library, Jeremy Berlin — the talented, generous pianist from West Tisbury who’s heard Island-wide at gatherings small and large, formal and impromptu — entertained a crowd estimated at 170 on Tuesday, August 24. Sponsored by the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library, the musical magic was perfectly timed: outside, the season’s first northeaster soaked the Island, battered its beaches, and drove parents and their young charges indoors or to distraction, or both.

Alpaca fleece helps protect Gulf beaches

Island Alpaca in Oak Bluffs has been contributing alpaca fleece to Matter of Trust, the organization that collects hair and fleece to be made into natural oil booms, which have been deployed along the Gulf Coast to protect beaches and inlets from the huge BP oil spill offshore. Because it is hollow-cored, alpaca fleece is exceptionally bouyant and oil clings to it, just as all kinds of oil does to human hair. Once the oil is collected, oyster mushrooms and earth worms are enlisted to break down and recycle the oil into fertilizer.