In this issue:











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 Bookmark Donor Cocktail Reception and

the Donor Dinner with the Authors

Travel Share - NEW

Centerpieces for Sale

See our website for the Book & Author Overview page,

with continuing author news, book reviews, Boutiques details

and updates about this wonderful event!

Deadline is approaching • Register now!

Register Here

Registration Questions:

[email protected] • 480-389-6502

Book & Author 2023 Event Chairs

Carol Kern • Jan Lebovitz • Linda Ullman

Presidents' Quiz

Who are they and why are they here?

Have fun!

She is an American actress and singer who has won six Emmy Awards for her television work, a Tony Award and is a 2011 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.

He was an American political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party.

He is an American political commentator and author. He is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner who is a weekly columnist for The New York Times. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization and environmental issues.

He is an American author, journalist, and musician. His books have sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for sports writing in his early career, he is perhaps best known for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films.

She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 30, 2022 as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, with the rank of Ambassador. As Special Envoy, she leads efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy to counter antisemitism throughout the world. She is an American historian and academic, best known as the author of the books Denying the Holocaust, History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, The Eichmann Trial and Antisemitism: Here and Now.

We hope you enjoyed this quiz - the answers are at the end of this bulletin.


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.

Travel Share - New!

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


We are establishing Travel Share, a new service for people who cannot drive to or from 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 • [email protected] 480-686-8747

Centerpieces for Sale

Our centerpieces will WOW you! Once you see them, you may want to purchase one or more!! Please plan ahead by bringing a $25 check or cash for each one you will purchase on the day of the Book & Author luncheon.

Quantities are limited, so don't miss out on this special opportunity!

Book & Author in the News

The Jewish News wrote an article about our event.

Jan Lebovitz • Carol Kern • Linda Ullman

2023 Book & Author Event Chairs

Photo: Gale Gradus

B&A Planning Session and Walk Through

Deadline is approaching • Register now!

Register Here

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

[email protected]

Recent Events

Dance Fever

A great time was had by all!

The Annual Meeting

Photos: Gale Gradus

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Study Groups Need Facilitators!

We are having another successful Study Group season, with 81 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 (yes, your Study Group Team is already looking ahead), 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 members of our men's study groups.)
  • 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]
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT FULL GROUPS: Even a group that has reached its maximum enrollment may have openings from time to time - if you are interested in a particular group, contact the facilitator(s) to see if space is available. Very often there is! A $5 guest fee will apply.

Study Group Vice Presidents 

Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern

[email protected]

Men of Brandeis

Wednesday, March 8

1:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

On March 8, the Men of Brandeis will hear from Mayor David Ortega of the City of Scottsdale.

He will speak to the MOB at 1:00 pm at the JCC. As usual, the members of the MOB will enjoy a nosh at the J’s Milk and Honey restaurant beginning at noon.

In 1978, Mayor Ortega came to Scottsdale as an apprentice architect, fortunate to work for Bennie Gonzales FAIA, the award-wining architect of the Scottsdale City Hall, Library, Arts Center and Civic Center Plaza. Bennie shaped the allure of Scottsdale by designing with a deep respect for the Sonoran Desert and contemporary Southwest flair. Like his father before him and his daughter after, Ortega attended the University of Arizona.

Ortega, who opened his own firm in the 1980s, said his architectural background has influenced his views as a local leader. “I believe my buildings should be postcards for people…and I’ve always promoted that part of Scottsdale, because it’s got its own cachet and we can build on it,” Ortega said.

Mayor Ortega was a City of Scottsdale Councilman from 2000-2004. Before that, he served on the Scottsdale Development Review Board for ten years. He also served on the City of Scottsdale and SUDD Joint Planning Committee.

In 2019, Ortega reappeared on the local political scene, attending a handful of Council and Planning Commission meetings to oppose high-profile downtown developments like Southbridge Two and the Sunday Goods dispensary.

In 2020 he won the election for Mayor of Scottsdale for a term of four years.

 Guests (men and women) are welcome for a $5.00 guest fee. 

ALL participants must RSVP to the facilitator in advance in order to attend.

For additional information or to RSVP, contact the facilitator:

Leith Baletin • [email protected]480-874-9434

Arizona Authors

Monday, March 20

12:30 - 2:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

The speaker for March 20th will be

Trish Dolasinski.

Trish Dolasinski, Ed.D. is an author, freelance writer, editor, and assistant adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. She is published in local and national magazines, has facilitated writer’s groups, and has been both a regular and guest book review columnist.

A preschool through college teacher for over four decades, a retired school principal and educational consultant, Dr. Trish excitedly offers her debut novel: Beyond the Pettus Bridge is written from her personal experience as a Yankee newlywed and teacher in the Deep South in the late 1960s.

She is married to her college sweetheart, Frank, and lives in Scottsdale. Dr. Trish has two adult children and eight grandchildren.

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

Merrill Kalman • [email protected]

Study Groups Out & About

Decorating cupcakes with the Cake Decorating study group

Photos: Allan Reinfeld

Loom Knitting

Photo: Nyles Gradus

The Mitzvah Mavens at St. Mary's Food Bank

The Mitzvah Mavens helped to clothe 50 children at Washington Elementary School

Save the Date

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

Spring Event and Board Installation

Details coming soon

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Congratulations to Stephanie and Hal Klopper on the birth of their granddaughter, Maisie Adalae, daughter of Katie and Danny Klopper
  • Congratulations to Stephanie and Hal Klopper on the marriage of their daughter, Courtney, to Corey Salter
  • Best wishes to Judy Lohr-Safcik for a speedy recovery
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Elaine Gerber
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Marcia Roth (June 2022)

We welcome our new member:

Alex Morrow

To report life-cycle events, please contact:

Marilyn Reinfeld • [email protected] • 480-620-5601

Chapter Roster

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.

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

Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin at [email protected]

Membership Vice Presidents 

Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin

[email protected]

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 Mavens 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.

Why not “play it forward?" Rosie’s House accepts used instruments. They are a non-profit organization that provides music education to low-income children.  

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

[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 

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center.

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel

[email protected] 917-273-0393

Joan Davis

[email protected] 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 [email protected]

Ellen Kirschenbaum [email protected]

Ileen Herberg [email protected]

Nan Waldman [email protected]

For more information, contact the Community Outreach Chairs:

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum

[email protected]

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.


The Legend of Louis Campaign

Ellen Widoff to Stephanie & Hal Klopper • In honor of the birth of their granddaughter, Maisie Adalae Klopper. Proud parents are Katie and Danny Klopper

Ellen Widoff to Stephanie & Hal Klopper • In honor of the marriage of their daughter, Courtney, to Corey Salter


Helen Greenberg to Nancy Sacks • Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery

Ellen and Joe Widoff to Nancy Sacks • Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery

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 [email protected]

This list is current as of the date of publication. We regret any errors or omissions.

For future corrections or inclusions, please notify Beth Messer.

Brandeis Happenings

Brandeis punches above its weight in social science research

Feb. 13, 2023

The bottom line: Brandeis University is a leading institution when it comes to research in the social sciences, according to data from the National Science Foundation.

The data, released as part of an annual report from the NSF, shows that Brandeis ranked 17th in the country in funding social sciences research in 2020-21. In all, $34.3 million was invested in social sciences research at Brandeis in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The natural, mathematical, and computational sciences and engineering comprised over 75 percent of the $89.7 billion in research expenditures by higher education institutions across the country in fiscal year 2021, and social sciences just 3 percent.

Researchers from the Heller School's Lurie Institute

for Disability Policy in discussion

Brandeis’ ranking in social science research expenditures puts it beside research powerhouses including the University of Michigan; the University of Wisconsin; the University of California, Berkeley; UCLA; USC; Harvard; Duke and the University of Pennsylvania.

“As a modestly sized and young institution, Brandeis’ annual research expenditures cannot compete with those at the largest research universities, with far larger faculties and vast expenditures in medical and engineering research," said Steven Karel, vice provost for research at Brandeis. “Brandeis has had to make strategic decisions about choosing research areas to focus on where it can compete effectively. Historically, one such area was social science and especially social policy. To see Brandeis ranked so highly in a report shows that we can continue to produce high quality research and attract sponsored funding. It should be a real point of pride across campus.”


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 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, March 15, from 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

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

[email protected]

ANSWERS to the Presidents' quiz

Who are they?

Tyne Daly, Abbie Hoffman, Thomas Friedman, Mitch Albom and Ambassador Deborah E. Lipstadt

Why are they here?

They are all Brandeis alumni, and exemplify the motto "From Here to Anywhere."

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