In this issue:










BOOK & AUTHOR - 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee

Celebrating the 75th Anniversaries of Brandeis University and the BNC 

Mark your calendar to join us at the

Book & Author 2023 Volunteer Meeting

and Event Kickoff

Monday, October 31 at 10:00 am

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

By attending this kickoff meeting, you will have the opportunity to sign up to participate in some of the many committees at our Book & Author events. Your help is needed before, during and after the event. 

PLUS you will be the first group to find out who our featured authors and moderator will be! 

See the invitation for details and to RSVP

Book & Author 2023 Event Chairs

Carol Kern • Jan Lebovitz • Linda Ullman

phxbookandauthor@gmail.com • 480-389-6502



Phoenix Chapter of BNC Kicks off the Year

with a Welcome Back Reception and Panel of Six Brandeis Graduates

‘telling tales out of school’ and their accomplishments since then

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Doors open at 3:00 pm for a cocktail reception

Program begins at 4:00 pm

Location: The New Shul • 7825 E. Paradise Lane, Scottsdale

Watch your email and our website for more details & Registration information - coming soon!

Presidents' Message

Dear Friends,

How is it possible that this vibrant organization can offer so much to its membership and win every award the National BNC organization gives out? 

The answer is simple. The answer is you.

As your BNC Phoenix Chapter presidents, we ask you, as Dr. Ronald Liebowitz, President of Brandeis University asked his students, to ‘Come add your talents and your voice to this vibrant and distinctive community. We draw our Strength from you.’

Our expanding membership reflects the rapid growth of Phoenix. The BNC Phoenix chapter attracts talented, accomplished leaders from all over the country. We would like to personally meet and learn more about you, our members. 

To accomplish this, we are hosting three coffees and invite all BNC members, who enjoy our activities and want to make an impact on our chapter, to join us at one of them. They will be held from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm on these Mondays: November 7, November 14 and November 21.

Please email Ellen to let her know which Monday you will attend, and she will send you the location details.

If our chapter has made a difference in your life, let’s work together to ensure a strong and enduring infrastructure to continue to meet the expanding needs of our growing membership. There is a role for each of you.

Hillel said, “Who does not grow, declines.” As you will grow through greater involvement, so too will our organization. Our future depends on you - kindly rise to the call! 

We look forward to seeing you at one of our coffees.

On behalf of the entire membership, we offer our immense gratitude to the Study Group VPs Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern for making the Study Groups possible.


Ellen and Leith

Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin, Presidents

BNC Phoenix Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols apply to all study groups and events - attendees must submit proof of vaccination one time in advance to vaxproof.bncphx@gmail.com, if they have not already done so. Currently, masking is not required, but is optional.

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Study Group registration is in full swing! After two weeks, over 520 people have registered. Some groups reached their maximums, but many facilitators expanded to include wait lists. One complete group was even created from a wait list!

There are many groups that still have space available:

Aging is Not for Sissies

Arizona Authors Speakers Series

Books for the Armchair Traveler 

Camelview, Shea 14 - Movie & Review

Canasta Kings

Contemporary American Poets *NEW*

Continuing Tai Chi *NEW*

The Elections of 2022 *NEW*

Explore the World of Interior Design

Far North Book Group *NEW*

First Friday Book Group *NEW*

Gals Who Do Brunch

Intermediate Hatha Yoga

Intermediate Hiking Club

Intermediate Mah Jongg

Jewish Book Group

Jewish Books and Memoirs *NEW*

Knit A Mitzvah

Leisure Hiking

Let’s Explore Travel

Meditation: Pathways to Peace

Memories as Stories *NEW*

Men of Brandeis (MOB)

Men’s Canasta Lessons

Minutes to Meals

Mitzvah Mavens

Monday Mystery Ladies

Movies of the Heart

Rock 'n Roll is Here to Stay

Second Friday Films & Feasts

Second Wednesday AM Book Group

Simply Scrabble


Study with the Best: Potpourri of Classic Movies

Theater Lovers Happy Hour

Third Thursday AM Book Group

Two-Crak, Flower, Nine-Dot, Red: Mah Jongg for  Beginners *NEW*

Unlock Your Tech Savviness *NEW*

Women Behind the Presidents - Year 2

Study Group Information:

The 2022-2023 Study Group Guide

How to Register for Study Groups

Registration Link - First time 22-23 registrants only*

*If you have already registered for 22-23 Study Groups, use the link in the

confirmation email you received when you registered.

Study Group Vice Presidents 

Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern


Men of Brandeis

Wednesday, October 12

1:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

On October 13, the Men of Brandeis study group will hold the first event of the season at the JCC at 1:00 pm, preceded by the usual get-together for a nosh at Milk and Honey at noon.


The guest speaker will be Leonard Marcisz. Leonard spoke to us last year and is an avid historian of Arizona history. His talk will be of current interest to all of us living in Arizona.


This talk was originally commissioned by the River of Time Museum in Fountain Hills as part of their docent education curriculum and later filmed by Arizona State University for use in a course on water politics. It covers Water and Wildlife, Water & Early Cultures, and Water and Western Settlement. The series explains the nature of water, the water cycle, flora and fauna water dependency and use in arid environments, the evolution of water use by ancient cultures, and the various developmental, legal, societal, political and economic issues attendant to water use during the period of US settlement in Arizona. There is a special focus on local water use and recent water issues.


Leonard Marcisz served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Historical Society, a State of Arizona trustee agency that oversees several museums and historic properties across the state. He served from 2011 through 2015, and again from 2018 through 2019, which included service as the board chairman and president.

He has also served as Vice Chairman of the City of Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Commission. He served on the Board of Directors of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy from 2005 through 2011, and is a former Chairman of the Board.

For additional information or to attend, contact the facilitator:

Leith Baletin lbaletin@gmail.com 480-874-9434

Note: All attendees must show proof of vaccination one time in advance and our 

Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols will be strictly observed.

Save the Date

New Member Coffee/Tea

Friday, October 21

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Fall Event

Sunday, October 30 

Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona

Doors open at 3:00 pm for a cocktail reception

Program begins at 4:00 pm

The New Shul

Book & Author Volunteer Meeting

Announcing the Event Authors and Moderator

Monday, October 31 • 10:00 am

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

Winter Event

Sunday, December 11

An Evening of Music and Conversation with Allan Naplan, 

Composer, Cantorial Soloist and Executive Director of Arizona Musicfest

7:00 - 9:00 pm • Doors open at 6:30 pm

University on Wheels

Planned to be in person on January 9, 2023

Book & Author 2023 - Diamond Jubilee

Celebrating the 75th Anniversaries of Brandeis University and the BNC

Sunday, March 12 - Cocktail Reception with the Authors

Monday, March 13 - Luncheon/Authors/Boutiques

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Murray Cohen.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Rena Selden.

We welcome our new members:

Michael Alpern, Kathy Baskin, Neil Baskin, Ellin Chariton, Amy Cohen, Annie Cohen, Mike Eavenson, Karen Genender, Norm Karson, Renee Karson, Amy Khedouri, Betty Ann McMichael, Janet Rauscher, Ivy Sakansky, Lee Wallace, Marsha Wallace

New Member Coffee/Tea

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

The next one will be on Friday, October 21 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

For more information or to attend, contact the Membership VPs, Laurie Burns and Gale Gradus at


To report life-cycle events, please contact:

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


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.

Time to Renew!

Study Group registration continues!

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 renewal. 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.

Thank you to everyone who contributes to help others! You DO make a difference!

Our latest endeavor for October and November is collecting NEW socks for the needy. All sizes are welcome.

School supplies continue to be needed as well. One last item that is very useful for adults is empty pill bottles. They are given out filled with toiletries. Please remove the labels before donating.

You can drop off anything you’d like to contribute at Wendy’s or Ellen’s. If you live in Phoenix, Iris Wigal has offered her home for collection, too.

For more information or collection addresses, please contact us.

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum 


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



Donation Opportunities

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

Louis Brandeis’ Great-Granddaughters Give Historic Family Artifacts to University Archives

Louisa Brandeis Popkin, great-granddaughter of Justice Louis D. Brandeis (right), looks over Brandeis family artifacts with Sarah Shoemaker, Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections.

Photo Credit: Mike Lovett

Full article

Just in time for Brandeis' 75th anniversary, the university received a remarkable trove of Brandeis family artifacts and ephemera including handwritten letters to and from political luminaries, photos, an exquisite fountain pen, and even a personal 1941 telegram from Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Brandeis University is delighted to announce that a major gift of Louis D. Brandeis family belongings – from personal correspondence, annotated books, and documents to writings by Brandeis’ children and a stately rocking chair – has been added to the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Collection by his three great-granddaughters. 

Their gift includes 12 pieces of furniture and eight personal artifacts – such as inkwells, a pen rest, and a brass carriage clock – 220 books, many of which have inscriptions from Justice Brandeis and approximately five linear feet of manuscript materials, including correspondence and photographs. With parts of the collection being digitized by the University Archives and Special Collections within the Brandeis University Library, these items – long-cherished by every generation of Brandeis’ descendants – will become available to the world.

Did you miss one of Brandeis' virtual events and would like to access a recording of it?

Visit the on-demand Virtual Event Library.

BNC Announces New 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 conversation 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.

More information will be coming soon.

General Chapter Information

Chapter Board Meetings

Board meetings are conducted 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, October 19 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

RSVP: Email Corresponding Secretary Joyce Grant 

at jhgrant35@gmail.com in order to receive the Zoom link.

Chapter Presidents: Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff

Board of Directors 2022-2023

Report a Change of Contact Information

Privacy Policy

Revised COVID Protocols

Zoom Protocols

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.

BNC Phoenix Chapter Website

Presidents: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel


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