In this issue:



THE 2023-24













Summer Camp Activities begin in June

If you have not yet enrolled, or viewed the calendars with details of the

amazing activities available this summer, now is the time!

Activities are either in-person or virtual and include:


MOVIE discussion groups



CURRENT EVENTS and other discussion groups



  • Click the link below to view the calendars and enrollment information.

  • Once you have completed your enrollment, email the activity contact person to register for any activity in which you want to participate.

  • The Activity Leader will confirm your participation, provide any additional information and send you a Zoom link if appropriate.

  • Please remember to join or renew your membership for the 2023-2024 year, before enrolling.
Summer Camp Calendars & Enrollment Information

For more information, contact:

Ronee Siegel and Harriet Schwartz, Summer Camp Chairs


Presidents' Message

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since we accepted the position of BNC Phoenix Chapter Co-Presidents. 

As we look back at this year, we feel very grateful to have worked with our leadership to be able to offer you an impressive array of summer activities, a multitude of diverse study groups, program events that informed, entertained and connected us, and a very successful Book & Author Event.

We offer immense gratitude to every Study Group Facilitator. You make it possible to meet the many needs of our membership.

We offer abundant thanks to each Event Chair for coordinating the Events throughout the year. 

We wish to thank our 2022-2023 outgoing board members. You have each helped our Phoenix Chapter move forward with your time, energy, leadership skills and commitment to Brandeis University.

We extend a warm welcome to our new 2023-2024 leadership. We look forward to working closely with you to help us continue to provide an abundance of services to our membership and financial support to the world-class university we all love.

A special shout-out to all our board members holding appointed positions, who reach out in different ways to make our chapter effective.

These are the 2022-2023 metrics we are pleased to share with you as a result of your support:


79 new and prospective members attended 4 new member socials

Summer Camp 2022

130 individuals and households attended 64 summer camp activities 

Study Groups

582 people participated in 84 study groups

Program Events

Approximately 1400 people participated in our events including:

Book & Author • the Annual Meeting • Dance Fever • University on Wheels • Conversation

and Performance with Allan Naplan • Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona

Community Outreach and Mitzvah Mavens


Purse Impressions, Janice’s Women’s Center, Nourish Phoenix, Scottsdale schools, Sojourner Center,

HonorHealth (newborn baby caps), the International Rescue Committee, Soma, Assistance League,

the Alzheimer’s Gala, Gesher Disability Resources, Desert Mission and St. Mary’s Food Bank

Thanks to all of you for helping to make 2022- 2023 a very productive year.

We wish everyone a wonderful summer and hope to see many of you at summer camp activities.


Ellen and Leith

The 2023- 2024 Board of Directors


Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff

Executive Vice Presidents

Stephanie Klopper

Joyce Steinberg

VPs of Book & Author

Ileen Herberg

Joellyn Pollock

Marcy Strauss

VPs of Study Groups

Marcia Langer

Myral Robbins

Harriet Schwartz

VPs of Membership

Gale Gradus

Kathleen Witkin

VP of Strategy & Leadership Planning

Patti Grossman

Immediate Past Presidents

Jan Lebovitz

Linda Ullman

Recording Secretaries

Geri Gould

Sara Leopold


Joan Davis

Bonnie Furst

Community Outreach Co-Chairs

Wendy Cohen

Ellen Kirschenbaum

Corresponding Secretaries

Joyce Grant

Linda Perlman

Members at Large

Jeri Benoit

Susan Block

Linda Burech

Laurie Burns

Michelle Fischler

Helen Greenberg

Elaine Howard

Terriann Kleiner

Beth Messer

Jytte Methmann

Marilyn Reinfeld

Barbara Schwartz

Gale Stam

Andrew Tievsky

Executive Administrator

Chief Information Officer

Chapter Advisors

Tributes and Donations

Bulletin Editor

Bulletin Assistant Editor

Summer Camp Chairs

Internal Communications Coordinator

External Communication Coordinator


Chapter Calendars

Liaison to the NEC

Contract Liaison to Event Chairs

Linda Burech

Sue Karp

Carol Kern, Nancy Sacks, Iris Wigal

Beth Messer

Sara Leopold

Ronee Siegel

Harriet Schwartz, Ronee Siegel

Sara Leopold

Carol Kadet

Barbara Stern

Martha Patrick

Michelle Fischler

Michelle Fischler

Book & Author 2024

We are excited to announce that the 34th Annual Book & Author event will take place on Friday, February 2, 2024 at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale. The cocktail reception and donor dinner with the authors will take place on Thursday evening, February 1st.

We hope you’ll mark your calendars and plan to attend!


Ileen Herberg • Joellyn Pollock • Marcy Strauss 

2024 Book & Author Event VPs

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Study Groups Need Facilitators!

Once again BNC Phoenix Chapter had a very successful Study Group Season. Offering a wide variety of study groups not only engages current members, it also promotes the continued growth of our membership. As we have seen, people want to participate!

Facilitators with a fresh perspective are needed to maintain and increase the quality, quantity, and variety of our study groups. Becoming a facilitator – either alone or with a friend - is also a great way to begin new friendships, enrich ongoing relationships and engage with others in exploring creative and/or intellectual pursuits.

  • Is there anything you are specifically interested in seeing offered as a study group?
  • 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 (a weekly Mah-Jongg or Canasta game) that starts later in the year?



If you answered 'yes' to any of the questions above, you already have all you need to be

a wonderful Study Group Facilitator.

We are here to help facilitators get started.

Here are some ideas for new groups:

Netflix limited series discussion group

Book discussion group covering a specific era (we can never have too many book groups!)

Film Group dedicated to movies for a specific actor, director, etc.

A new craft (crochet, knitting, needlepoint, diamond dots)

Sunday Morning Walking Group

Reel Men Movie Group (pick movies from a specific era aimed for men to discuss over lunch)

Sunday Funday (games or other activities for couples and singles)

The rewards are many: interact with like-minded people in an activity that you already enjoy, see your efforts appreciated by your group participants, make new friends and most of all - HAVE FUN!

The time commitment is modest and in return, the approval, acclaim and admiration you receive is beyond measure.


Study Group Vice Presidents 

Marcia Langer • Myral Robbins • Harriet Schwartz


Study Groups Out & About

The Leisure Hikers at

Lost Dutchman State Park and

Phoenix Mountain


Photos: Simon Burrow

The Cake Decorating study group finished the year with gooey, glittery cake pops.

The group thanks the awesome Marilyn Reinfeld for a wonderful experience!

Photos: Allan Reinfeld

Save the Date

Summer Camp

June 1 - August 31

In-Person and Virtual Activities

Membership Committee

Study Guide Orientation

Thursday, August 3

10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Book & Author 2024

Thursday, February 1 • Cocktail Reception and Donor Dinner with the Authors

Friday, February 2 • Luncheon/Authors/Boutiques

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Congratulations to Judy Lohr-Safcik on the birth of her great-granddaughter, Liliana. Proud parents are Holly and Joshua Lohr-Safcik
  • Congratulations to Marilyn and Allan Reinfeld on the marriage of their son, David, to Katherine Zekanoski
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Jacqueline Amper
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Pat Fogelson
  • Our sincere condolences to Sandy Golden and family on the passing of her husband, Larry
  • Our sincere condolences to Donna Germuska on the passing of her mother, Mary Lou (Dolly) Becker
  • Our sincere condolences to Debby and Michael Horn on the passing of his brother, Steve
  • Our sincere condolences to Marc Lato and family on the passing of his wife, Sherry
  • Our sincere condolences to Cheri and Art Rolnick on the passing of his brother, Michael

We welcome our new members:

Ellen Bresnick, Laurie Carron, Debby Eisenberg, Helen Finke, Cindy & Larry Glick, Joanne Gordon, Lorraine Kroul, Georgeanne Levy, Jean & Stanley Margul, Babs & Sheldon Migdal, Barbara Parker, Mark Passell, Denise Silverstein, Myrna Spiegel, Marilyn & Michael Starrett

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.

Study Group Guide Orientation for new and prospective members

Thursday, August 3 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

An evite will be sent in July

Information, including the address, will be sent to those who RSVP

The orientation will be in advance of the 2023-2024 Study Group Guide, so that

you will be prepared to register, once registration is open, in early September

For more information or to attend, contact Membership VPs

Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin at phxbncmembership@gmail.com

Now is the time to


Online Membership Registration and Renewal is open for the 2023-2024 year - and what a fabulous year we have planned! If you renew or join our chapter on or after April 1, your membership will be in good standing through June 30, 2024.

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

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

If you have questions about online payments for membership renewals or study group payments,

please contact Irene Lubin, Financial Coordinator, at 480-948-3773

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 Kathleen Witkin


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.

Our Knit a Mitzvah ladies have been very busy this year. They have donated 509 new born baby caps and 18 baby lap blankets to Honor Health! Way to go! 

Summer Camp has several opportunities to reach out to the community. Check the activities calendars.

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


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.


Honoring Our History

Judy Levine to Sue and Bob Karp • In honor of their 60th wedding anniversary

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

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 University freshmen launch popular pickleball club

April 2, 2023

WALTHAM — Brandeis University is now part of the pickleball craze thanks to two freshmen who charted a pickleball club at the university, making them the first Boston-based collegiate pickleball team. 

Parker Press and Jack Granahan are avid picklers and came up with the idea to create a pickleball club over winter break, wanting to bring the sport they love to their school.

Now, the latest sports craze is taking the university by storm. 

"Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, but most people associate it with middle school gym classes or retirement communities, so you don't see a lot of college students super excited to play pickleball, but that's what we got," Granahan said.  

What began with just the two of them is now a club with 50 members.


Video and complete article

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, May 17, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

NOTE: There are no meetings in June or July; the next scheduled meeting

will be on August 16, 2023

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 2023-2024

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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