For more information, contact:
Harriet Schwartz and Ronee Siegel
Summer Camp Chairs
Presidents' Message
Dear Fellow Brandeis Members,

Our term as your new Presidents coincides with the 75th Anniversary of Brandeis University. Proudly, as a founding Chapter of the BNC, we will be preparing to celebrate our organization’s history along with the University.
How humbling for us to preside over a chapter that is nationally acknowledged as the flagship chapter in the BNC Community by having one of the largest memberships in the country, our regular awards of achievement, and outstanding lifelong learning opportunities through our study groups and summer camp activities. Last year we offered over 90 study groups, have over 80 upcoming summer camp offerings, and we just completed our signature Book & Author event, praised by Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz as one of the best events in the country.
Today our organization is more relevant than ever. How appropriate that Brandeis University is named after Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice to sit on the Supreme Court (1916-1939). Has there ever been a more important time to support a university that draws from the guiding principles of Justice Brandeis’ life, including social justice, service to the community, academic excellence and inclusion? 
As stated in a recent paper by President Liebowitz, “Brandeis occupies a unique place in higher education because of its founding principles and values… Though much has changed since 1948 in American society, Brandeis’ raison d’etre remains today as before. Even more so… Though significant progress was made through the Civil Rights movement in expanding opportunities for Black Americans, and Jews experience greater acceptance in American society for decades since 1948, the past few years have revealed how much work there is yet to do to achieve what Brandeis’s founding sought to accomplish.”

Your membership provides opportunities for lifelong learning and meaningful social connections while supporting a university that, as President Liebowitz states, “honors and strengthens the values upon which it was founded - including fighting all forms of bigotry and antisemitism with clarity and conviction.”

As your chapter presidents, we congratulate you on your membership in this life-enhancing and relevant community organization.

Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin,
There is a nice article in the Jewish News about the Phoenix Chapter and our Presidents, Ellen and Leith. You can read the article in the Community Briefs.
BNC Phoenix Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols apply to all study groups
and events - attendees must submit proof of vaccination in advance to [email protected].
Masks are required indoors through April 6. Effective April 7, masking is not required,
but is an option for anyone wishing to do so.
Game Day Photos
Photos: Bonnie Bock
Farewell to the 2021-2022 Chapter Board
Photos: Gale Gradus
Installation of the 2022-2023 Chapter Board
Good-bye and Thank You to Jan Lebovitz and Linda Ullman -
Hello and Welcome to Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff!
Photos: Gale Gradus
Book & Author Wrap-Up Meeting
Our Book & Author event officially ended with a wrap-up meeting last month.

Thank you to all who volunteered for, participated in, and attended the event!
Group Photo: 2022 Committee Chairs
(Left to Right, Front to Back):
Helen Abrams, Ruth Lerner, Iris Wigal, Marcy Strauss;
Nancy Sacks, Freddie Liberman, Sue Karp, Carol Kern, Nurit Burrow, Brina Pepper;
Kathleen Witkin, Bonnie Furst, Stephanie Klopper Bruce Galin, Joyce Steinberg, Joyce Grant Linda Ullman, Carol Kadet;
Sara Leopold, Jan Lebovitz, Terriann Kleiner, Beth Messer, Hillary Kaminsky, Linda Perlman, Gail Tenn, Ellen Widoff, Leith Baletin, Julia Libling

Photos: Gale Gradus
Study Group News
Study Groups Need Facilitators!
Last season we had the most successful Study Group season in our Chapter’s history with 94 study groups. The chapter continues to attract new members and a major part of that attraction is the availability of many and varied study groups in which people can participate.

To continue this success, we need your help. As we begin to think of next season, we are looking for facilitators with ideas for new groups.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is there anything you are specifically interested in seeing offered as a study group? (Note: we especially welcome input from the men in our Chapter.)
  • Are you interested in starting a group (hiking? film? lunch?) that meets on weekends?
  • Would you enjoy participating in or leading a limited group discussion (4 sessions) on a favorite topic or activity?
  • Do you have a special interest, talent or skill that you want to share with others?
  • Are you a winter resident who wants to create a group (i.e. weekly Mah Jongg or Canasta) which starts later in the year?
  • Do you want to meet interesting people and make new friends?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, please email the Study Group VPs at [email protected].
Study Group Vice Presidents
Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern
Note: All attendees must show proof of vaccination in advance and our
Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols will be strictly observed.
The Ancient Peoples of Arizona group visited the Huhugam Heritage Center
on the Gila River Reservation.
The guide was Leland Thomas, the museum curator and a member of the tribe.
Photo: Gale Gradus
The Phoenicians enjoyed the
Pemberton PHX following a visit to The Nash
Just Desserts went for Ice Cream
Photos: Mary Moore
The Leisure Hiking group put on a lot of miles -
at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, Blue Wash Trail, and Horton Trail in Payson

Photos: Gale Gradus
_____Thank You to our 2021-2022 Facilitators_____
Left: Ellen Widoff, Linda Ullman, Joey, Robert Ullman, Mike and Jan Lebovitz, Jeff Lerner, Dave Burns; Back: Frank Lange, Nyles Gradus, Andrew Tievsky, Jeff Glassman
Right: Susan Rollins, Janis Lipman, Georgia Heller, Carol Kern
Left, front to back: Ruth Lerner, Terriann Kleiner, Joyce Steinberg; Helen Abrams, Jan Lebovitz, Patti Grossman; Linda Ullman, Marcy Strauss, Marcia Langer, Stephanie Klopper;
Right: Terriann Kleiner, Ruth Lerner, Patti Grossman, Joyce Steinberg, Ellen Kirschenbaum
Carol Kern, Ellen Kirschenbaum; Carol Kadet, Debbie Gordon
Study Group VPs: Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg, Barbara Stern; Judy Mosbacher, Helen Abrams, Patti Grossman
Barbara Stern, Sharon Nova, Freyda Libman;
Sara Leopold, Iris Wigal
Left: Frank Lange, Nyles Gradus, Louis Lantz, Mark Stern, Bob Kirschenbaum, Marvin Mondlick
Right: Joyce Steinberg, Terriann Kleiner, Barbara Stern, Stephanie Klopper
Photos: Gale Gradus
Thank you to our facilitators for a wonderful year!
Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern
Study Group Vice Presidents
Save the Date
Summer Camp Begins
June 1- August 31
Virtual and In-Person Activities

New Member Study Group Guide Orientation
Friday, July 22
Membership News
Membership Milestones
  • Our best wishes to Judy Lohr-Safcik for a speedy recovery. 
  • Our sincere condolences to Caryn Balaban on the passing of her mother, Anita "Myra" Balaban.
  • Our sincere condolences to Vicki Diamond on the passing of her husband, Bill.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Sherry Heyman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Merrill Kalman on the passing of her father, Elliot Kalman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Judy Levine and family on the passing of her husband, Warren.
  • Our sincere condolences to Joan and Michael Schaller on the passing of his mother, Ruth.
We Welcome Our New Members
Marti Candiello, Audrey Edwards, Karen Feldman, Audrey Fendell, Judy Elaine Friedman, David Greenbaum, Laureine Greenbaum, Sanford Hoffman, Esty Kurti, Gerald Sherman, Marlene Simon, Susan Kenny Stevens, Donna Wirt, Felice Zensius, Wayne Zensius
New Member Study Group Guide Orientation
Friday, July 22 • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
More information to come.
To report life-cycle events, please contact:
Marilyn Reinfeld • [email protected]480-620-5601

To report a change in email address, phone number (cell or landline) or mailing address, please contact:
Carol Kadet • [email protected] 
She will update our membership roster and ensure that you receive Chapter mailings and information.
Time to Renew!
Online Membership Registration and Renewal is open for the 2022-2023 year - and what a fabulous year we have planned! If you renew or join our chapter now, your membership will be in good standing through June 30, 2023.

In order to take part in any Summer Camp activities, your Membership must be current.
The best part of renewing now is that you will be able to participate in all of our Summer Camp activities and be ready to join our Study Groups this Fall.
The Membership page of our website has a link to step-by-step instructions for online renewal. If you need assistance in any way, please contact us at [email protected] and we will assist you.

New members: We look forward to having you join our Chapter, meeting and welcoming you at one of our fabulous functions and making your BNC experience extra special!
Membership Vice Presidents
Gale Gradus and Laurie Burns
Name Tags
Would you prefer not to wear the stick-on name tags used at Chapter functions?
We are offering personalized, magnetic BNC name tags for $15.00, including shipping. You can get your name tag by filling out the order form and mailing it to the listed address.
Note: Replacement magnetic backs for existing name tags are available; contact the Chapter at 480-359-7262.
Community Outreach
Charitable Organizations Need Our Help!
Ellen is collecting school supplies for her annual Backpack summer activity in June. The filled backpacks will go to JFCS for distribution. 

If you’d like to donate items please contact Ellen. We’d be very happy to do your shopping for you.
We hope to share our good fortune with others.

Stay safe and HEALTHY!

Wendy and Ellen

*You can contact either of us for our home address:
Wendy Cohen [email protected]
Ellen Kirschenbaum [email protected]
Knit A Mitzvah

Do you Knit?
Do you Crochet?
Help us make Scarves,
Newborn Baby Caps,
Lap Blankets and Chemo Caps

We donate newborn baby caps and lap
blankets to Honor Health Medical
Center, scarves to Sojourner Center
and chemo caps to

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel
[email protected] 917-273-0393

Joan Davis
[email protected] 602–499-8357
The Mitzvah Mavens volunteered at St. Mary's Food Bank
Front row: Gail Robins, Patti Grossman
Back row: Judy Baletin, Ellen Kirschenbaum, Janet Lottman, Audrey Arougheti, Patty Mason, Steve Mason
Mitzvah Mavens
Participants in this study group volunteer at a variety of Valley non-profit organizations. They meet at the specific locations of the organizations on various dates when possible. If there are activities that can be done at home, participants will be notified.
Mitzvah Mavens Facilitators:
Patti Grossman [email protected]
Ellen Kirschenbaum [email protected]

Ileen Herberg [email protected]
Nan Waldman [email protected]
For more information, contact the Community Outreach Chairs:
Wendy Cohen [email protected] ~ Ellen Kirschenbaum [email protected]
NOTE: To make a donation online using a credit card, go to

In order to include online donations in the bulletin, please email the donation details (Fund, Donor, Recipient, Occasion) to Gail Tenn at [email protected].
Brandeis Happenings
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, H'17, (l) and television producer Marta Kauffman '78, H'20
Former Gov. Deval Patrick to deliver 2022 Commencement address; TV producer Marta Kauffman to speak to classes of 2020 and 2021
On the morning of May 22, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will deliver the address at Brandeis’ 71st Commencement Exercises, the first to take place in person since May 2019.

In the evening, Brandeis alumna Marta Kauffman '78, H'20, one of the originators of “Friends” among other television hits, will speak to the classes of 2020 and 2021 at their [Re]Commencement, an in-person celebration of their graduations. Their Commencement ceremonies were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Patrick and Kauffman have honorary degrees from Brandeis. Patrick received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2017; Kauffman was named the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Creative Arts degree in 2020. Along with the members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021, she was unable to celebrate that achievement in person.
“Our Commencement exercises recognize the hard work, persistence, and dedication of our students, their families, and our faculty and staff,” said Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz. “The three classes we will honor on May 22 have earned their moment to celebrate, particularly in light of challenges they have faced. All three of these classes had their college or graduate school experiences remarkably altered by COVID-19. We at Brandeis are so pleased to restore our in-person celebration for these students and alumni.”

Did you miss one of Brandeis' virtual events and would like to access a recording of it?
Visit the on-demand Virtual Event Library.
General Chapter Information
Chapter Board Meetings
Board meetings are conducted virtually, via Zoom.
Chapter members are welcome to attend all meetings,
which are generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am.

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 18 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.
Our June meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

RSVP: Email Corresponding Secretary Joyce Grant
at [email protected] in order to receive the Zoom link.

Chapter Presidents: Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff
Mission Statement
Brandeis National Committee is dedicated to providing philanthropic support to Brandeis University, a distinguished liberal arts and research university founded by the American Jewish community. Its membership is connected to the University through fundraising and through activities that reflect the values on which the University was founded: academic excellence, social justice, nonsectarianism and service to the community.

Presidents: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel