November 1, 2018
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July was that time again, and our annual LA Brandeis Men's dues were due !

Send or bring check made out to BMG for $30 to:
Bernie Schneier
311 Bora Bora Way, #204
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

And not just Local Dues, but our annual Brandeis National Committee too !
Send check made out to BNC for $60 to :
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453

And for each SIG, it's $10, paid to the appropriate SIG chairman!

Let's support our group and Brandeis University by paying our annual dues!!!

November 21, 2018 - Wednesday
Breakfast Meeting at 9:00 AM
Speaker: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer

Mr. Mike Feuer has been serving as  Los Angeles City Attorney since July, 2013. Prior to this, from 2006 - 2012, he served three terms in the California State Assembly as the Representative for the 42nd Assembly District.

Mr. Feuer has also served as a member of the  Los Angeles City Council  (1995 - 2001), representing the  5th Council District currently held by Councilmember Paul Koretz.

Prior to seeking office, Feuer served as executive director of  Bet Tzedek (House of Justice ), Legal Services and was a lawyer in private practice.

The cost of breakfast is $15 for members. It is free for first-time guests and prospective members.


December 19, 2018 - Wednesday
Breakfast Meeting at 9:00 AM
Speaker: Currently Undetermined

The cost of breakfast is $15 for members. It is free for first-time guests and prospective members.


January 17, 2019 - Wednesday
Breakfast Meeting at 9:00 AM
Speaker: Rabbi Zach Shapiro

Rabbi Zach Shapiro has been the spiritual leader of Temple Akiba in Culver City since 2006. Ordained from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati in 1997, Rabbi Shapiro has spent his entire rabbinic career in the Los Angeles area, first as the Associate Rabbi of University Synagogue in Los Angeles (1997-2005), and subsequently at Temple Akiba. Since his arrival at Temple Akiba, the congregation has experienced growth in both numbers and in spirit.  
Rabbi Shapiro’s mission in life is to bring goodness into the world, and this mission guides every aspect of his rabbinate. His weekly blog, “ A Moment in Time ” ( reminds us that every day provides opportunities to harness goodness.
A musician and composer, Rabbi Shapiro has written liturgical folk music used around the country. His children’s book, “ We’re All in the Same Boat ” (Putnam, 2009), is a favorite of children worldwide. 
Rabbi Shapiro cares deeply for Reform Judaism's voice in Israel. He is on the Executive Board of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, and he serves on the Board of Governors for the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.
A native of Boston, Zach received his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. He has been married to Ron Galperin, Los Angeles City Controller, since their religious ceremony in 2002, and again in a legal ceremony in 2008.
The cost of breakfast is $15 for members. It is free for first-time guests and prospective members.
"The Culver Hotel Since 1924"
November 29th, 2018
Docent-led Tour of Historic Hotel
11:00am (Arrive at 10:45am)

The Culver Hotel is a national historical landmark in downtown Culver City, California, and was built on the site of the city's first movie theater by Harry Culver, the founder of Culver City. It opened on September 4, 1924, with local headlines announcing, "City packed with visitors for opening of Culver skyscraper."

Originally named "Hotel Hunt", and later "Culver City Hotel", the Culver Hotel has hosted many marquee movie stars as guests, including Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Red Skelton, Buster Keaton, Dorothy Dandridge, Douglas Fairbanks, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, and many more.

Lunch will be served in the hotel.

Cost of tour is $20. Please endorse checks to BMG, and send to:
Myron Forst
11939 Gorham Ave, Unit 307,
Los Angeles, CA 90049.
Phone: 310.558.8622
The Brandeis Men's Group has many "Special Interest Groups" (SIG) which meet on a regular basis. To find out more about the various groups, or to suggest adding new ones, contact Marv Alperin (1-323-931-7172), or the individual group chairman below.
  • History Group - Arnie Geffner, 1-310-839-3235
  • Investment Group - Stephan Vener, 1-310-391-8376
  • Bridge Group - Marv Alperin (for info), 1-323-931-7172
  • Westside Walking Group - Gerry Sallus, 1-310-559-2536
  • Life Experiences - Bernie Schiffer, 1-310-476-5077
  • Current Events Group #1 - Louis Bernstein, 1-310-275-7736
  • Current Events Group #2 - Henry Gass, 1-310-444-7152
  • Legal Cases Group - Marvin Alperin, 1-323-931-7172
  • Opera Group - Marty Jaffee, 1-323-653-409
  • Sporting Events & Viewings - John Harris, 1-323-650-0664

The BNC women currently meet at 10:30am on the 4th Thursday of each month, but b eginning January, 2019, they will meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month (Wait to renew subscription until then). Contact phone number is 1-310-558-8622.

Coming Events -
2018 (Thursdays)
November 15 - Ros Mandelberg Troupe: "Beware of Senior Scams" (a play). 3rd Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
December 27 - Holiday Party – Entertainment by Rakefet A.

2019 (Wednesdays, except as noted)
January 8 (Tuesday) - University on Wheels at American Jewish University
January 23 - Chair Yoga and Meditation with Sonya Chapnick
February 27 - Learn CPR
March 27 - Chocolate Seder
April 11 (Thursday) - Authors; Celebrity Luncheon (save the date)
May 22 - Louis Bernstein, Opera Program
June 26 - Bagel Brunch and Installation for 2019-2020
July 24 - David Hunt Stafford – Dramatic Reading
August 11 (Sunday) - Theatre Forty - Theatre Party

Legal Cases SIG

On Thursday, October 25th, members of the Legal Cases SIG were convened by constitutional law expert, Harold Orchid, to discuss and consider questions of legality.

Starting the session, Harold presented to the attendees the fact that authorization for Congress to pass laws is found in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18 of the Constitution. Based on this knowledge, each attendee presented an example of a federal law, and the group attempted to match the Section 8 clause that permitted it.

Next, Harold presented the case of "Balboa Village Inn vs Anne Lemen" which was heard by the California Supreme Court in 2007. As background, the defendant, Ms Lemen, owned a residence across the alley from a restaurant/bar that had been around since the 1930's. She attempted to have the business shut down by maliciously claiming that it was a front for multiple illegal activities such as child pornography, drug dealing, lesbian activity, and prostitution. Additionally, she videotaped and harassed customers entering and exiting the property, and made derogatory comments to employees. As a result, the business owner began to suffer significant financial losses and in 2001 asked the courts for an injunction against Ms Lemen for nuisance, defamation and interference with business. He did not want to sue for damages because he felt that as an extremely wealthy woman, the defendant could simply pay the fine but continue her negative and destructive actions.

The judge in the trial courts heard the case, and found Ms Lemen's accusations totally without merit. He therefore issued an injunction whereby she (or others acting on her behalf) were ordered to stop making the unfounded and derogatory accusations. Additionally, she was not allowed to film any closer than 25 feet from the business.

The defendant appealed the lower court's ruling on the grounds that the injunction was a violation of her right to free speech. The appeals court overturned most of the trial court's earlier injunction on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional prior restraint, but upheld the order regarding filming. It also overturned the portions prohibiting Ms Lemen from initiating contact with employees of the Village Inn, or from repeating her defamatory statements about the Village Inn.

The California Supreme Court, in a 5 to 2 decision, also agreed that the original injunction against Ms Lemen was too broad, but opined that a properly constructed injunction (e.g., one allowing her to present grievances to government/city officials) would not in and of itself be a restraint on her right to freedom of speech. As such, under penalty of law, she could indeed be prohibited from making derogatory and unfounded accusations.

Legal SIG members in attendance were Steve Silvers, Bernie Schneier, Marvin Alperin, Randy Barnes, Marty Jafee, John Harris, Henry Gass, Jack Silver, Stan Epstein, and Howard Igdaloff.

Members interested in joining this group should contact Marvin Alperin at email,or phone 1-323-931-7172.

Westside Walking SIG

On Thursday, October 11th, at 9:40am, four members of the Westside Walking SIG met on a beautiful day near the corner of Ocean Avenue and Marguerita Avenue in Santa Monica, and commenced their weekly 25-35 minute walk southwards to the Miramar Hotel. Upon arriving, the band of merry strollers sat down to order al fresco coffee and engage in convivial conversation. Among the many notable stories shared during this recess was the time that Gerry Sallus hired Ronald Reagan for a one-day show in Utica, New York; retired pediatrician Jeff Penso once had a job as a shrimp peeler; and Randy Barnes' here-to-fore unknown connections to Gerry (both are former Navy sailors, and both worked at the same base in Japan, although about 35 years apart). Politely listening to all of this was Jeff's lovely wife, Rebecca, and their cute cuddly canine, Riki-Tiki, the Wonder Dog!

The Westside Walking SIG meets weekly in Santa Monica on Thursday, around 9:30am. There is plenty of metered parking available along Ocean Avenue near Palisades Park , and parking is free with handicap placard. Any member interested in joining the pack - or for more information - should contact Gerry Sallus at email:, or phone: 1-310-559-2536.
Current Events #1 SIG

The Current Events #1 SIG met at 9:00am on Tuesday, October 16th. In attendance were members Lou Bernstein, Randy Barnes, Bernie Schneier, John Harris, Bernie Schiffer, and Stan Epstein. High on the list of issues for discussion this day were the up-comng California ballot measures and elections, as well as topics of national and international concern.

John Harris offered this historical nugget relating to the seemingly constant number of ballot proposals in California: It all goes back to 1911, when Progressive Republican Governor Hiram Johnson, added initiatives and referendums to the state government in order to counter the power of the Southern Pacific Railroad!

The Current Events #1 SIG meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00am. To join this group, or for more information, contact Louis Bernstein at email, or phone 1-310-275-7736
History SIG

The inaugural meeting of the History SIG met on Tuesday, October 23rd. Hosted by Arnie Geffner, the group gathered to view and discuss a video presentation from "The Great Courses" series of academic lectures, titled "The Black Death". Attendees at the meeting were Arnie Geffner, Louis Bernstein, John Harris, Bernie Schneier, Myron Forst, Murray Kornblitt, and Steve Vener.

The History SIG meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month. Members interested in joining or wanting further information should contact Arnie Geffner at email, or phone 1-310-839-3235
Steering Committee Meeting

At 9:00am on Wednesday, October 24th, the LABMG Steering Committee met at Lenny's Delicatessen in Westwood to discuss group business and debate multiple issues. The meeting was called to order by president Stan Epstein. The minutes of the previous meeting were submitted by secretary John Harris and approved by all.

Treasurer Bernie Schneier presented the Treasurer's report and noted that recent expenditures have been running in the red at monthly breakfast meetings, and that a sizable percentage of members are remiss in their BMG and/or BNC dues. Treasurer Schneier also pointed out that there have been six new members.

It was announced that due to medical concerns, Phone Committee chairman Bob Margolis is no longer able to continue this responsibility. Member Stan Weinberg volunteered to assume the role. He will coordinate with other volunteers to notify BMG members of monthly meetings and breakfasts. Having an accurate count of expected members at the breakfast events is especially important so that food expenditures are kept in check.

Events Chairman Myron Forst provided updates regarding BMG trips that are scheduled for October and November. He requested advice as to whether a trip for December should be organized, and general agreement among committee members was that a trip during December is desirable. Myron agreed to research further. It was also advised that the amount of $15 historically has been added to the cost of any tours or trips, and that this is sent to Brandeis University.

Media Chairman Al Wilner noted that BMG advertisements have been placed in several local newspapers. This has resulted in inquiries about our group, and at least one new member.

Membership Chairman Randy Barnes commented that the November BMG newsletter is being updated and will be sent to members around the first of the month. He pointed out that the newsletter is in email form, and members without email access do not receive the latest BMG information. He will explore possible alternatives to this dilemma. The BMG website continues to be a work-in-progress due chiefly to the health issues of the web master.

The number of special interest groups (SIG) continues to expand with the addition of a History SIG hosted by Arnie Geffner. The activity of several SIGs is slowing, however, due to hosting difficulties or dwindling interest. Chairman Marvin Alperin is intending to contact new members to ascertain what topics are of interest to them.

President Epstein appointed Steve Silvers to be on the Steering Committee.

Members in attendance were Stan Epstein, Louis Bernstein, John Harris, Bernie Schneier, Marvin Alperin, Randy Barnes, Robert Bienenfeld, Myron Forst, Arnie Geffner, Phil Greenwald, Mel Miller, Jeffrey Penso, Gerry Sallus, Bernie Schiffer, Stan Weinberg, Jerry Weinstein, and Al Wilner.

Members in excused absence were Richard Cohn, Bob Margolis, and Irv Kierman.

Guest member in attendance was Steve Silvers. Former committee member in attendance was Dick Harmetz.

The November steering committee meeting adjourned around 11:30am.
New Members
The Los Angeles Brandeis Men's Group is very pleased to acknowledge the recent additions of the following new members. Let us be sure to introduce ourselves to them and welcome them to our LABMG fraternity.

  1. Rich Hirschkoff
  2. Steve Breuer
  3. David Brady
  4. Robert Bercutt
  5. Howard Green
  6. Jerry Beigel
It was an Outstanding Visit to Wende Museum

Wende Museum - Exhibitions of the Cold War

On Friday, October 26th, ten Brandeis Men's Group members and guests met at the Wende Museum in Culver City, to participate in a fascinating tour of rare exhibits and artifacts associated with life behind the "Iron Curtain" at the height of the Cold War!

The group was met at the museum entrance by chief curator, Mr Joes Segal, who explained the origins of the museum and facility, and then provided detailed commentary in each of the exhibit halls. What was particularly thought-provoking was how so many people on both sides of the Iron Curtain -whether young or old, rich or poor, enlightened or ignorant - expressed a similar psychology and mind-set during this historical era. The political leadership in both the East and the West relied heavily on film, literature, and the cultural arts to promote a good guys-versus-bad guys, us-versus-them, our future-versus-their future, approach.

Our group consensus was that the Wende Museum is a quality BMG excursion option, and it is highly recommended for all to see and visit. Admission is without charge and it is open to the general public on Friday, 10am - 9pm, and Saturday/Sunday, 10am- 5pm. The museum sits on a single level which makes it very easy to navigate. It is located in the former Culver City National Guard Armory, and plenty of free parking is available.

Shown in the accompanying photo are (left to right): Jeff Penso, Rebecca Penso, George Rothman, Gerry Sallus, Betty Sallus, Mel Miller, Arnie Geffner, Myron Forst, Yuri Brodyansky, and Randy Barnes.

Extra-special thanks to BMG member Myron Forst for organizing this most excellent outing.
Howard C. Steinberg
July 24, 1926 - October 15, 2018

The Los Angeles Brandeis Men's Group was saddened by the sudden passing on Monday, October 15, 2018, of long-time member Howard Steinberg.

Howard was 92 years old. He was born in Rochester, New York, and came to Los Angeles after one year of college at the University of Pennsylvania. He subsequently graduated from UCLA, and later received a law degree from Southwestern School of Law. He worked for over thirty years as an executive in the Los Angeles City Controller's Office, and was a longtime member of both Temple Israel of Hollywood, B'nai Brith, and the Los Angeles Brandeis Men's Group, where he was an active member of the Current Events and Sports interest groups. He is survived by Harriet Steinberg, his wife of over fifty years.

Funeral services for Howard were held on Friday, October 19th, at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, in Los Angeles.

October's Guest Speaker
October 17, 2018 - Wednesday
Breakfast Meeting at 9:00 AM
Speaker: Mr. Shlomi Vayzer

Mr. Shlomi Vayzer of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was guest speaker for the October BNG monthly breakfast. Speaking to an attentive and appreciative audience, he discussed not only the remarkable history of the JNF, but also provided personal commentary on current political, military, religious, and cultural conditions within Israel today.

The JNF has two upcoming Los Angeles events that might be of interest to BNG members. There is no cost to attend either event, but due to security concerns it is requested that interested members first register.

The first is the annual  Los Angeles Breakfast for Israel on Tuesday, November 27, 2019, 7:30am - 9:00am , at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. For further information and registration: JNF LA Breakfast 11/27/2018

The JNF also will be hosting an annual Planned Giving Luncheon on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 11:30am - 1:30pm , at the American Jewish University. Registration and information can be found through the following link: JNF February 5, 2019 Luncheon

For further information, contact:
Cynthia Hizami, Esq., Planned Giving Director, West Coast
888-563-2008   323-964-1400 x962   323-964-1410

Shlomi Vayzer, Israel Emissary Greater LA
323-964-1400 x935   323-964-1410

(Just in case you didn't notice this at the top of the November newsletter, here it is again!)

July was that time again - our annual LA Brandeis Men's dues were due !

Send or bring check made out to BMG for $30 to:
Bernie Schneier
311 Bora Bora Way, #204
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

And not just Local Dues, but our annual Brandeis National Committee too !
Send check made out to BNC for $60 to :
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Wlatham, MA 02453

And for each SIG, it's $10, paid to the appropriate SIG chairman!