In this issue:











Book & Author Invitations were Emailed last week.

You can see the invitation here, and you can register by clicking below, also.

As has been the case the last several years, we no longer mail printed invitations.


We hope you will join us

Monday, March 13 , 2023 at the

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch

9:00 am to 3:30 pm

Before and after the luncheon and author presentations, there will be

book sales, author signings and an array of fabulous boutiques!

Scroll down for more information about:

The Boutiques

The Bookmark Donor Cocktail Reception and

the Donor Dinner with the Authors

Becoming a Table Captain

Volunteering at the event

Travel Share - NEW

See our website for the Book & Author Overview page, with continuing

author news, book reviews and updates about this wonderful event!

Register Here

Registration Questions:

phxbookandauthor@gmail.com • 480-389-6502

Book & Author 2023 Event Chairs

Carol Kern • Jan Lebovitz • Linda Ullman

Calle Rose • Always a favorite! Ladies Apparel, Jewelry, handbag and more!

Treasured Accessory • FROM CA: Beautiful of the moment jewelry - so much to choose from!

Beth Solem Jewelry • Artist’s stunning sterling silver jewelry, hand-forged and limited edition pieces

Jacki Cohen Glass Art Designs • Spectacular and functional handmade glass serving pieces and Judaica

Twisted Beeswax Candles • Stunning hand-crafted beeswax candles for every occasion NEW

Kathy Kamei Designs • From CA: Sterling silver and 18 ct. gold jewelry that inspires and celebrates women

Shelley's Fashions • FROM CA: Attractive wide variety of fashionable women's wear featuring upscale clothing

Ten Thousand Scarves • FROM CO: One-of-a-kind gorgeous, breathtaking silk scarves

Classy Bag Lady • FROM CA: Outstanding variety of quality leather handbags

Aasia Jewelry • unique woven beaded jewelry from simple to exquisite NEW

Arizona Bed Sheets • Egyptian Sheet sets-Bamboo luxury sheets Twin/full/Queen/King/King Cal/King Split, travel neck pillows 

Anna Baum • FROM TUCSON: Beautiful beaded entertainment serve ware including for bar and office

IVI Vision Eyewear • FROM CA: Offering premium sunglasses featuring optically perfect Carl Zeiss lenses, optical frames with readers and a Blue Light lens option NEW

Mad Grace Boutique Charcuterie boards with food-safe beautiful resin art NEW

Brina Pepper, Boutiques Chair • bpepper127@gmail.com

Annual Meeting and Program

Wednesday, February 15 • 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Gloria Christi Federated Church (formerly Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church)

3535 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

Rob Foster from the AARP Speaker's Bureau will present ways to keep us safe from fraudulent schemes.

The program will follow a very brief Board meeting.

The church supports the Kitchen on the Street organization by collecting plastic bags, cereal boxes and breakfast bars. We will participate in this project with them, so if you can, please bring any of these items with you.

There is no charge for this event.


Please reply by February 10


Patti Grossman, Terriann Kleiner and Gail Tenn, Event Chairs


Presidents' Message

Dear Friends,

Our initiative to bring you closer to Brandeis University consists of three parts, connecting you with students, faculty and finally President Liebowitz.

1)   Our first chapter program, called Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona, enabled us to learn from five local alumni about their university experiences and how they each enhance our community by their work.

2)   University on Wheels, our second program, brought Professor Kabrhel to Arizona to discuss her justice initiative to help formerly incarcerated individuals reenter their community. The BEJI program is an example of the innovative teaching and research that makes Brandeis so unique.

3)   To conclude this initiative, we devote our bulletin space to a message from Ron Liebowitz, President of Brandeis University:

Welcome to Brandeis

Brandeis occupies a special place in the ranks of leading research universities.

A young institution, boldly conceived, Brandeis is intent on carrying on the great traditions of learning at the highest levels of rigor and meaning, with a moral conviction for inclusion and justice. In a world challenged by intolerance and ignorance, and burdened by disregard and disdain for learnedness, reason, and inquiry, this university has a special and truly unique role to play.

Our alumni have distinguished themselves in science, the arts, politics, and the humanities. Our faculty members are leaders in their fields. And our students soak up our special environment, confident that one day they will be carrying forward the Brandeis legacy.

An intellectual culture and a reverence for scholarship are defining attributes of Brandeis. We take nothing for granted. We question openly at the same time that we hold ourselves to the highest scholarly standards. We are steeped in collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and research, fueled by core values of academic excellence, critical thinking, openness to perspectives different from our own, and a willingness to be self-critical. Here you will find a community of students and a faculty with a passion for applying their knowledge and talents for the betterment of the world — all values deeply rooted in Jewish tradition.

Founded by the American Jewish community in 1948 as a nonsectarian institution at a time when exclusionary practices prevented equal access to some of the nation’s best universities, Brandeis has always welcomed talented students and faculty of every ethnicity, religion and cultural background.

It was thus at our founding, and it continues to the present day.

Brandeis is a community rooted in purpose, guided by enduring values, and determined to lead. Come add your talents and your voice to this vibrant and distinctive community.


Ron Liebowitz


We hope through these programs that you feel closer to Brandeis University and become as proud as we are to be associated with it. Your support makes this possible.


Ellen and Leith

Book & Author

What is a Bookmark Donor?

Bookmark Donors are those who contribute to the event, over and above attending the luncheon.

As a Bookmark donor at various levels, you will be invited to a Cocktail Reception with the Authors 

on Sunday, March 12, the evening preceding the Book & Author luncheon.

Bookmark donors at the most generous levels will have the opportunity to spend even more quality time with the

authors at an intimate dinner following the Cocktail Reception, as well as receiving preferred seating at the luncheon.

See Levels of Giving details here

Become a Table Captain

It's not too late to become a Table Captain - if you are interested or would like more information, please contact:

Patti Grossman • psgrossman717@gmail.com

Volunteers are Needed!

Volunteers are needed in several areas. Please contact the Volunteer Committee chairs if you are interested in:

  • Being a Greeter
  • Helping the Boutique vendors after lunch
  • 2-3 drivers are needed for transportation of the authors to and from the airport and hotel

Carol Kadet • Hillary Kaminsky • Terriann Kleiner


Travel Share - New!

Travel Share: Transportation to the 2023 Book & Author Luncheon and Bookmark Cocktail Reception


We are establishing travel share, a new service for people who cannot drive to either the luncheon or the cocktail reception.

If you need help driving, meeting, or even booking Uber or Lyft, we are happy to help you do so.

For more details, please contact:

Truda Chick • chick360@gmail.com 480-686-8747

Register Here for Book & Author

Proceeds from the event, as well as a portion of the proceeds from every book sold at the event, will benefit BNC’s library campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry. Scroll down for more information about the campaign.

Summer Camp

Amazing how time flies! We are starting to plan for Summer Camp (June, July and August, 2023.) Put on your thinking caps and let us know if you wish to lead a Summer Camp activity. Please send us an email with a brief description and if the activity is in-person or on Zoom and we will contact you.

Ronee Siegel and Harriet Schwartz, Summer Camp Chairs


Recent Events

University on Wheels

Brandeis Professor Roz Kabrhel came to Phoenix to speak about

From Prison to Promise: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration

and innovative criminal justice education

Book & Author - A Beautiful Tea for the Table Captains

Photos: Gale Gradus

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Many Study Groups are Still Available

There are many other Study Groups that still are open for registration

  • You can read about available groups in the Study Guide on our webpage under the Study Group tab. There is also information on how to register on the webpage. Remember, if you registered in the fall for Study groups, you should use the Edit My Registration link on your confirmation email to access the registration system.
  • If you register now, please email us at the Study Group email address phxstudygroups@gmail.com so we can alert the facilitators. Otherwise, they will not have your information to send you the Zoom link or address for upcoming sessions.

Study Group Vice Presidents 

Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern


Men of Brandeis

Wednesday, February 8

1:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

On February 8, the Men of Brandeis will be hearing from Rabbi Martin Scharf at 1:00 pm. His talk will be preceded by the usual get-together for a nosh at Milk and Honey at noon.


Many of you already know the Rabbi. He will be speaking to you about his many meaningful and humorous years in the rabbinate until today. 


Rabbi Scharf was ordained in 1978 and served congregations in Texas, Illinois and Minnesota before moving to Arizona. Here he has served as Rabbi at Kivel Campus of Care as well as being community Chaplain for unaffiliated Jewish people in the Valley.

For additional information or to attend, contact the facilitator:

Leith Baletin • lbaletin@gmail.com480-874-9434

Arizona Authors

Monday, February 20

12:30 - 2:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

The speaker for February 20th will be Allison Brennan.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids and writes three books a year. Originally from northern California, she now lives with her family and assorted pets in beautiful Arizona where she enjoys hiking and spring training.

She's currently writing two thriller series: the Quinn & Costa FBI series, and the Angelhart PI series, which is set in Phoenix. Her first stand-alone North of Nowhere comes out this summer.

Visit her website allisonbrennan.com for more information. 

Participants must RSVP to the facilitator to attend. Guests are welcome for $5.00.

Merrill Kalman • mskbflo@aol.com

Study Groups Out & About

The Neighborhood Walks group visited the historic Willo neighborhood on January 18

Photo: Ellen Widoff

Mitzvah Mavens at the Assistance League

on January 25

The Leisure Hikers at Scorpion Point

Photo: Simon Burrow

Save the Date

Annual Meeting and Program

Wednesday, February 15

2:00 - 4:00 pm

Gloria Christi Federated Church (formerly Palo Cristi Church)

The 33rd Annual Book & Author Event

Sunday, March 12 • Cocktail Reception with the Authors • 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, March 13 • Luncheon/Authors/Boutiques • 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Best wishes to Nancy Sacks for a full and speedy recovery
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Norma Siegel

We welcome our new members:

Arlene Gitles, Carolyn Hild, Susan Kingsbury, Randi Kretchman, Helene Miracle, Harry and Karen Ruffalo, Judi Springgate, Laura Strauss, Adam Zimmerman

To report life-cycle events, please contact:

Marilyn Reinfeld • mkr1227@cox.net • 480-620-5601

Chapter Roster

To report a change in email address, phone number (cell or landline) or mailing address, please contact:

Carol Kadet • carolkadet@gmail.com 

She will update our membership roster and ensure that you receive Chapter mailings and information.

A Coffee/Tea for New and Prospective Members

We hold these gatherings several times throughout the season to welcome new and prospective members.

Our recent event was held on Friday, January 27, attended by 18 new members and 12 prospective members

The next one will be on Monday, April 3 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

For more information or to attend, contact Membership VPs

Laurie Burns and Gale Gradus at phxbncmembership@gmail.com

Join our chapter - participate in study groups!

Study Group registration continues with many groups that haven't met yet, and the addition of 2 new groups!

In order to take part in any Study Groups, your Membership must be current.

If you click on the graphic and renew or join our chapter now,

your membership will be in good standing through June 30, 2023. 

The Membership page of our website has a link to step-by-step instructions for online membership.

If you need assistance in any way, please contact us at phxbncmembership@gmail.com.

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.

Order Form

Note: Replacement magnetic backs for existing name tags are available; contact the Chapter at 480-359-7262

Community Outreach

Community Service is a fundamental part of the Mission of BNC. Throughout the year, we collect items for various non-profits in the greater Phoenix area, and your support is much appreciated. 

Additionally, our Mitzvah Maven Study Group provides participatory activities for our members to volunteer directly with specific agencies.

Mother's Day is coming up, and this month we are collecting jewelry for Janice's Women's Center and Sojourner Center.

Gently used handbags, totes and purses for Purse-Impressions, are still welcome. They collect new and used handbags, fill them with toilet articles and distribute them to women coming out of rehab. You can read about this charity on the Purse-Impressions website.

We’re still collecting bras, and pill bottles without labels. Safety caps only, please. You DO make a difference!

We look forward to more opportunities to serve the community this year. For more information or collection addresses, please contact us.

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbau


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 

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel

ronees@aol.com 917-273-0393

Joan Davis

davis6j@gmail.com 602–499-8357


For more information, see our  website.

Mitzvah Mavens

Participants in this study group volunteer at a variety of Valley non-profit organizations. We meet at the specific locations of the organizations on various dates, lending helping hands as needed. If there are activities that can be done at home, participants will be notified.

Mitzvah Mavens Facilitators:

Patti Grossman psgrossman717@gmail.com

Ellen Kirschenbaum ellenk102@gmail.com

Ileen Herberg iherberg@aol.com

Nan Waldman nanlarry46@gmail.com

For more information, contact the Community Outreach Chairs:

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum


The Current Campaign

The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry

The Brandeis National Committee is proud to announce its newest campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry, as the university nears its milestone 75th anniversary in 2023. 

The campaign will reinvigorate the Brandeis Library's mission to empower its community to become scholars, creators, and innovators through the creation of two interactive additions to the Library. The first will be the construction of a research archive of original letters, photographs, documents and family objects that shed light on the life and the lasting contributions of Justice Louis D. Brandeis. 

The second addition to the Brandeis Library will be the creation of a new Judaica reading room in the library. This space will provide the Brandeis community with a place to engage with Jewish texts outside of the typical classroom and religious environments. By presenting Jewish texts in conjunction with writings from cultural and religious traditions from around the world, the room will serve scholars and students alike. 

In 1948, the BNC (formerly BUNWC) was founded alongside the university to provide philanthropic support and now, nearly 75 years later, continues to support the mission and principles upon which Brandeis was founded.

About Justice Brandeis

Many people don’t realize that the institution we support with our philanthropic work, Brandeis University, is named for Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court and one of the most brilliant minds to ever serve the court. Louis Brandeis graduated first in his class from Harvard University and began practicing law in Boston. He became known as the “people’s attorney,” due to his passion and work in social justice movements and pro bono work on behalf of the public interest. He made an indelible mark on the law and social justice reforms. His method of arguing cases using fact-based evidence became known as the “Brandeis Brief,” which became a staple of American Constitutional law.

Brandeis University was established seven years after Justice Brandeis’s death, when the American Jewish community decided to build an institution that embodied Justice Brandeis’s values: academic excellence, social justice and service to the community. These are the major tenets today of this great University, and of the Brandeis National Committee, of which Phoenix represents the largest chapter.

So, as you support and attend our chapter events and study groups you can reflect on the legacy of this great man and the values that we hold so dear today.


Recent Donations

To make a donation online using a credit card, go to giving.brandeis.edu/bnc

In order to include your online tributes in the bulletin, please email the details - 

Fund, Donor(s), Recipient(s) and Occasion only - to Beth Messer at bethmae721@gmail.com

Brandeis Happenings

Fighting censorship in Katy:

Cameron Samuels '26

After discovering an internet ban on important community resources like The Trevor Project, Samuels started a movement against censorship in Katy, Texas

By Kennedy Ryan

Jan. 23, 2023

For young people who are discovering their identity, resources like The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention program for people in the LGBTQIA+ community, provide a safe space of acceptance and community, and can even save a life.

When Cameron Samuels ’26 tried to visit the project’s website from a computer in their public high school in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, it wouldn’t work.

It was one of numerous sites Samuels found to be blocked on the high school servers because they promoted “alternative sexual lifestyles.”

Samuels was hesitant to create conflict with the school district, but knew these sites were important resources. They felt obligated to challenge the ban.

“It had never been comforting for me to walk through the hallways as someone who is openly queer, but I knew I had a supportive family to come home to at the end of the day. Others don’t have that privilege,” they said. “Without these resources, some students have nowhere to go. It not only creates an atmosphere of bigotry and isolation, but denies students access to something that could save their life.”

After building up the courage, Samuels attended a school board meeting to stand up to censorship. They were met with backlash from the community and rejection from the school district.

“I was the only student in the room. There was no applause. I felt isolated and lonely, but knew I had to keep fighting for this because I had peers who were directly affected by these policies,” Samuels said.

Samuels took to social media, circulating a petition with the help of friends and family. With over 90,000 students in the Katy school district, Samuels saw an opportunity to create a movement. After gaining positive traction from the community and over 2,000 petition signatures, Samuels returned to the school board and filled the room with supporters. With time and continued conversations, the ban was lifted at the high school level, but some resources remain blocked at the elementary and middle school level.


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

Annual Board Meeting

The Annual Meeting and Program will be held on Wednesday, February 15 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Gloria Christi Federated Church (formerly Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church)

3535 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

Program details are above

RSVP: Email Patti Grossman, psgrossman717@gmail.com 

Chapter Presidents: Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff

Board of Directors 2022-2023

Report a Change of Contact Information

Privacy Policy

Zoom Protocols

Mission Statement

Founded in 1948, 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.

BNC Phoenix Chapter Website

Presidents: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel


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