In this issue:










Brandeis comes to Phoenix!

University on Wheels

Please join us

 as Rosalind Kabrhel, Associate Professor and Chair of the

Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI), discusses

From Prison to Promise: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration

and innovative criminal justice education

Monday, January 9

Breakfast and Program

9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Embassy Suites by Hilton • 2630 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix

For more information about Professor Kabrhel, see our website

Bachelor's $49 • Master's $54 • PhD $59

Register Here

Reminder: Register by January 4


Michelle Fischler and Barbara Stern, Event Chairs


Any amount over $38 is considered a charitable contribution and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Proceeds benefit the Brandeis National Committee’s library campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry.

Hop on the Oldies "Dance Fever" Train!

Saturday, January 28 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm

The Imperial Ballroom • 7077 E Bell Road • Scottsdale AZ

Register Here

Tickets: Twist $40 • Hip-Hop $45 • Jitterbug $55 • Disco $75

Celebrate with us • Register now • Limited capacity

Light Refreshments & Beverages

See our website for more details

Registration Questions: Contact Carol Mangen, carolmangen2@gmail.com

Event Chairs: Marcia Langer • Harriet Schwartz • Andrew Tievsky

Any amount over $24 is considered a charitable contribution and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Proceeds benefit the Brandeis National Committee's library campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry.

Presidents' Message

Dear Friends,

We wish all of you a New Year full of learning and social experiences that being a member of the BNC Phoenix Chapter provides. This article is dedicated to the volunteers who make the success of our organization possible.

We have provided a sampling of comments from people in various positions to enable you to hear directly why they stepped up to become leaders in our Chapter.

Board Members

One of the many things that I have enjoyed about being a VP of Membership is the opportunity to meet with and speak to prospective members, new members, and of course, existing members. It has been extremely rewarding and so much fun. I will be forever grateful to Brandeis Phoenix.

~ Laurie Burns, VP of Membership


I have been a board member of BNC Phoenix for a couple of years now. When I first retired, I was ready to take a backseat to leadership, but I realized I missed that aspect of my life. I enjoy being "in the know" and hearing firsthand what leadership is thinking. I also enjoy having a say on issues I feel strongly about. As a member at large, I have the benefit of picking areas that pique my interest and, thus, are important to me. As an added benefit, I have met so many people on a deeper level than I would have otherwise. I am always impressed with the level of commitment by the women and men on the Board.

~ Patti Grossman, Member at Large


My background before moving to Phoenix was from a small Jewish community where it was important that all members take a leadership position. Taking leadership positions as a book group facilitator, event chair and board member has introduced me to interesting, competent and fascinating people, with whom I am certain I will make lasting friendships.

~ Linda Burech, Member at Large

Summer Camp Chair

Organizing three months of activities (June, July, and August) for our chapter members is a labor of love for my co-chair, Harriet Schwartz, and me. Hearing how much the participants enjoy the summer activities is heartwarming. We have received such cooperation from those who become activity leaders, volunteering their time, effort, and creative ideas for an activity – sometimes more than one! The time spent is far from minimal, but the appreciation of the participants makes it so rewarding.

~ Ronee Siegel

Study Group Facilitators

For me, facilitating Study Groups is the perfect combination of challenging myself to promote thought-provoking conversations for the group members, while making connections with interesting and engaged people.

~ Janis Lipman


I can’t remember how many years I have been facilitating Contemporary Issues. It is truly a labor of love, especially when I know how appreciative our study group is. Perhaps the best part is determining the topic, given all the issues that arise through the years. My co-facilitator and I have learned so much from this study group and from our group of well “bonded” members. I feel lucky to be a study group facilitator and to have so much fun doing it.

~ Joyce Goldstein

Event Chair

Brandeis Phoenix Chapter has provided many wonderful events throughout the years. By creating an experience that brings people together where they can socialize, learn something new, be entertained, make new friends and support Brandeis University is extremely satisfying.  Chairing several events has had many benefits. The pleasure of working with a team of volunteers for an event has given me the opportunity to get together with old friends, meet new members and make new friends while preparing or setting up a venue. Enjoying the camaraderie is joyful and fun for not only me, but for everyone who is participating. We enjoy the FUN in FUNdraising. 

Creating a program is a collaborative effort. To work with volunteers who are enthusiastic and share ideas is a pleasure that I welcome and appreciate. That is what makes an event memorable and successful.

~ Ruth Lerner

Chapter Members

I joined Brandeis when I relocated to AZ from the East Coast and did not know anyone locally. The group was very welcoming from the start which led to my becoming a member and later, a facilitator. Currently, I have increased my involvement by becoming a member of the Membership Committee. Now, five years later as an AZ resident, I am fortunate to have created a community of friends who are like family. The quality of event programming and social activities contribute to the success of the chapter and its support of Brandeis University's research initiatives.

~ Sharon Nova


Moving to Scottsdale 4 years ago, I knew just a few people. Joining Brandeis was strongly suggested to me by a friend. I joined and met so many friendly women. During Covid I had human contact through Zoom Study Groups. Now that we are back together in person, I feel like I know so many people that I met then. Brandeis also gives me opportunities to participate in local community charities and to raise money for valuable projects at Brandeis University that are supported by our chapter. 

~ Hannah Myerson

We thank all our leaders from the bottom of our hearts. We hope these comments will encourage you, our members, to become part of our team in the New Year.

Wishing a rich full year to all!


Ellen and Leith

Upcoming Events

Annual Meeting and Program

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 • 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Gloria Christi Federated Church (formerly Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church)

3535 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

Bob 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, and we will participate in this project with them.

There is no charge for this event. More details to follow.

For more information, contact:

Patti Grossman, Terriann Kleiner, Gail Tenn, Event Chairs


Book & Author Overview

We hope you will join us

Monday, March 13 , 2023 at the

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch

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

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

The Bookmark Donor Cocktail Reception and the Dinner with the Authors will

be held on Sunday, March 12. Scroll down for more information about

becoming a Bookmark Donor.

You can be a Table Captain - scroll down for more details

Boutique Vendors - some of your favorites are returning, along with

exciting new vendors! Scroll down for the list of vendors.

See our website for the Book & Author event overview,

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


Watch your Inbox for the invitation, arriving soon!

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.

Book & Author 2023 Event Chairs

Carol Kern • Jan Lebovitz • Linda Ullman

phxbookandauthor@gmail.com • 480-389-6502

What is a Bookmark Donor?

Bookmark Donors are those who contribute to the event, at various levels,

over and above attending the luncheon.

As a Bookmark donor, 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 priority seating at the luncheon.

More information about becoming a Bookmark will be included in the event invitation, coming soon!

Become a Table Captain!

The Phoenix chapter of the Brandeis National Committee is gearing up for a fantastic Book & Author Event on March 13 at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch.

In preparation, we are hosting a dessert tea for all Table Captains on Friday, January 20 at 2:00 pm at a private home in Paradise Valley.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending; we'd love to have you join us!

Patti Grossman • Terriann Kleiner • Ruth Lerner


Book & Author Boutiques

Aasia Jewelry NEW

Anna Baum – Beaded serveware

Barbara Rodolitz NEW

Beth Solem Jewelry

Calle Rose

Classy Bag Lady

Jacki Cohen Glass Art Designs

Patchwork Pig Boutique

Shelley’s Fashions

Studio BB Designs NEW

Ten Thousand Scarves

Tray Chic – Trays for Canasta, Mah Jongg and Bridge NEW

Treasured Accessory

Twisted Beeswax Candles NEW

More details will be on our website soon and in the February bulletin!

Brina Pepper, Boutiques Chair • bpepper127@gmail.com

Recent Event

Allan Naplan Wowed with Music and Conversation

It was a fabulous evening - delicious desserts, congeniality and of course, outstanding entertainment in the form of music, song and storytelling.

Read more  from JewishPhoenix

Photos: Joe Widoff

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Many Study Groups are Still Available

Just a reminder, there were two new Study Groups announced in December that begin this month. They are Bridge (#81) and Tai Chi (#83). You can find them in the registration system under their appropriate days of the week. Bridge meets on Thursdays and Tai Chi on Wednesdays.

In addition, there are many other Study Groups that still are open for registration. These include:

AZ Authors (#2)

Canasta Kings (#5)

Memories as Stories (#7)

Intermediate Hatha Yoga (#11)

Canasta for Couples (#12)

Camelview Shea 14 Movie and Review (#17)

Let’s Explore Travel (#20)

Men of Brandeis (#25)

Knit a Mitzvah (#26)

Second Wednesday Book Group (#27)

Far North Book Group (#29)

Movies of the Heart (#30)

Unlock Your Tech Savviness (#36)

Simply Scrabble (#46)

Books for the Armchair Traveler (#50)

Contemporary American Poets (#52)

Intermediate Hiking (#53)

Third Thursday Book Group (#54)

Aging is Not for Sissies (#62)

Explore the World of Interior Design (#64)

Mitzvah Mavens (#76)

  • You can read more about these 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, January 25

11:00 am

Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium

1200 S. Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 

The next event for Men of Brandeis will be a docent-led tour of the Gammage Memorial Auditorium on January 25, 2023 at 11:00 am. Note: this date has been changed from the original date of January 11.

A little background on Gammage: It is a multipurpose performing arts center, which opened in 1964 on the main campus of Arizona State University. It is named for former ASU President Grady Gammage, who was instrumental in the concept and building of the structure. As many know, Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to design the building. 

Gammage is one of the largest exhibitors of performing art among university venues in the world. In 1985, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its conception from construction to completion has an interesting history.

For additional information or to attend, contact the facilitator:

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

Arizona Authors

Monday, January 16

12:30 - 2:00 pm at the JCC

12701 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

Dr. Ettie Zilber

Ettie's birth in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany to parents who survived the Holocaust, marked her with a special responsibility. Retirement from a career as head administrator in international schools has given her the opportunity to fulfill that responsibility --to research, document and publish her family’s Holocaust experiences, reflect on their impact on the next generation and share the stories and educate adults and youth at schools, universities, and conferences in the U.S.A. and other countries. 

The book is A Holocaust Memoir of Love & Resilience: Mama’s Survival from Lithuania to America.

She earned a master’s degree in second language acquisition, a doctorate in international school administration and served as an educator and school director at international schools in Israel, Singapore, Spain, Guatemala, China, and Arizona. 

Dr. Zilber serves on the Board of the Phoenix Holocaust Association and is a docent at the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.

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

Merrill Kalman • mskbflo@aol.com

Study Groups Out & About

The Leisure Hiking group at Lost Dog Trail and Coyote Canyon

Photos: Simon Burrow

The Boomers went on the Light Rail to view public art

Photos: Joellyn Pollock

Mitzvah Mavens adopted 6 families with the JFCS Adopt a Family program, and got together to wrap gifts

Photos: Patti Grossman

Mitzvah Mavens put 600 bags together for the Go With The Flow organization 

Photo: Demetra Presley

Photos: Patti Grossman

Call for Nominations

Have you considered taking on a leadership position in our chapter, maybe with a friend?

Being a chapter leader is very rewarding - and fun!

The Nominating Committee is looking for nominations to fill the following positions, available now:

Executive Vice Presidents 

Event Planning Vice Presidents

If you are interested, or know anyone who is, or would like more information,

please contact Jan Lebovitz or Linda Ullman,

Nominating Committee Chairs

Save the Date

University on Wheels (UoW)

Monday, January 9, 2023

Professor Rosalind Kabrhel,

From Prison to Promise: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration

Breakfast • Embassy Suites Biltmore

Dance Fever

Saturday, January 28, 2023

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Imperial Ballroom

Annual Meeting

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

  • Our sincere condolences to Linda Ehrlich and family on the passing of her husband, Paul
  • Our sincere condolences to Brina Pepper and family on the passing of her husband, Raymond
  • Our sincere condolences to Fran Sachs and family on the passing of her husband, Al

We welcome our new members:

Brenda Brasher, Shelley and David Koch, Michael Weil, Ken Winsberg

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.

The next one will be on Friday, January 27 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.

We are collecting gently used handbags, totes, purses, etc. for Purse-Impressions, based out of Cave Creek. 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 pill bottles without labels. You DO make a difference!

We look forward to more opportunities to serve the community in 2023. 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.

More information will be coming soon.

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

Who’s giving Americans spiritual care?

As congregational attendance shrinks, it’s often chaplains

Wendy Cadge is the Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanistic Social Sciences and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis.

by Wendy Cadge

December 2, 2022

When Americans picture a chaplain, many of them likely think of someone like Father Mulcahy, the Irish-American priest who cared for Korean War soldiers in the classic TV show M.A.S.H.

The reality is much more complex. Today’s chaplains are diverse in gender, age, religious background and sexuality. They serve people from all backgrounds, including those with no affiliation. And their roles may become more significant as more Americans step away from traditional religious congregations. Three in 10 adults in the United States say they are atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular.”


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, January 18, 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

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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