Presidents’ Message

Dear Fellow Phoenix Chapter Members,

We hope you are having a wonderful summer – seeing family and friends, traveling, feeling like we have some level of normalcy.

Although we haven’t been together as a Chapter since March 2020, we are so excited that we are able to be together this Fall – in person! Imagine what our lives would have been without Brandeis!

Throughout the COVID lockdown, we kept going! We had many fundraising events, a lovely Installation, wonderful Study Groups, an incredible Book & Author - Cooks & Books event and are now in our third month of creative and interesting Summer Camp activities – all on Zoom or webinars.

Now we are on to in-person activities, for the most part. We have many exciting events for this Fall and Winter, planned by the Fundraising Programs VPs and their committee.

There will be over 90 study groups offered this Fall, most in person, but some on Zoom. Being on Zoom allows winter visitors to be involved, as well as people who are unable to run from group to group. We will be able to register in September and can’t wait to sign up!

We are so excited to announce that our in-person Book & Author event will happen on March 18, 2022 – more information to follow soon! Thank you to our Book & Author VPs and their committee for their efforts in finding a hotel and for the extensive work and planning that will make this the incredible event it has always been.

Our Phoenix Chapter is a wonderful, amazing group of men and women. We have fun with all aspects of our Chapter, but want to always keep in mind that we are a fundraising arm for Brandeis University, whose mission is to provide academic excellence, social justice, nonsectarianism and service to the community. We have been raising money for Honoring Our History, the University’s project to digitize their incredible collections on antisemitism, racism and social justice. We are happy to report that we have raised the most money out of all Chapters and thank you for your contributions.

Have a fabulous rest of the summer – looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Linda & Jan
Presidents' Thank You

We have many exciting things planned and many people to thank for their efforts this past 18 months and for this next year going forward.

Summer Camp: Thank you to our 2020 Summer Camp chairs for their flexibility in switching to Zoom last year, and continuing thanks to the 2021 chairs, for their creativity and hard work in presenting this year’s virtual Summer Camp, which is continuing through the month of August.

Fundraising Programs: Thanks to our Fundraising Programs VPs and their committees for their creativity and hard work this past year. 

Membership: Membership VPs and their committees for welcoming new members with phone calls, emails and welcome letters and hosting our new member coffees. They have been very effective online, but are looking forward to meeting everyone in person.

Study Groups: Thank you so much to our Study Group VPs and their committee for their tireless work in recruiting facilitators to offer this incredible variety of study groups.

Book & Author - Cooks & Books: Thanks to the Book & Author VPs who put together an amazing and successful virtual event.

~ We appreciate everyone for all of their hard work and participation in order to make this past year happen! 
Study Groups
We are very excited to report that we will have over 90 study groups for you to choose from when you register in early September!

To whet your appetite, we have several new and returning BOOK groups, MOVIE and THEATER groups, a few CURRENT EVENTS groups, a variety of SPECIAL INTEREST DISCUSSION groups, ARTS, CRAFTS and COOKING groups, as well as EDUCATIONAL, FITNESS and HEALTH groups. We have some new OUTDOOR ACTIVITY and GAME groups, and a number of DINING groups, where you can meet old and new friends over meals, desserts and brunch, too.

These are the groups that will go away if no one volunteers to facilitate:
Books that Define an Era (formerly First Tuesday AM Book Group) • Play Golf
Don't Worry, Be Happy Hour • Culture in Arizona
Central Phoenix Readers • Advanced Mah Jongg
As we emerge from COVID restrictions, some study groups will meet online using Zoom, which was used last season, and which we are all using during Summer Camp. Other groups will resume in-person meetings and still others will start on Zoom and move to in-person when the group members feel comfortable. We are leaving these choices up to each facilitator. However, all in-person study group participants must be fully vaccinated, with masks being worn upon request.

The Study Group Guide will be arriving in your Inbox in late August and you will hear about it by email, in the Bulletin and through eblasts. We will again use the BNC online registration system, so there are no forms to fill in and no checks to mail! Everyone will have an equal opportunity to register and pay with a credit card. As groups reach their maximum participation limits, waiting lists will be generated.
Instructions on how to register will be available in the Study Group Guide and on the BNC Phoenix website on the Study Groups page, prior to registration opening.
The Study Group fee remains at $20 per group. Some may have an additional materials fee. BNC is a philanthropic organization and the revenue generated by our study groups provides the funds for our chapter’s administrative expenses. Any excess study group funds benefit the Brandeis University Library. Our chapter’s Study Groups are for the benefit and enjoyment of current BNC members. Please be sure to join or renew your membership so you will be able to register for study groups!

We look forward to a wonderful Study Group season for 2021-2022.

Stephanie, Joyce and Barbara
Study Group Information coming to your Inbox:
Access to the 2021-2022 Study Group Guide (late August)
How to Register for Study Groups (early September)
Link to Register for Study Groups (early September)
2021-2022 Study Group Vice Presidents
Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern
Summer Camp
A NEW Summer Camp Session!

Leonard Marcisz, who has already presented two sessions, Desert Hacks and Facts and Tale of Two Women, will offer a talk titled AZ H20. The session will be held on Tuesday, August 24 at 10:00. If you are interested in attending, please contact Harriet Schwartz at
August Activities: The Summer Camp page on the chapter website includes the calendar of August activities. Contact the activity leader if you are interested in attending a session.

Remember, in order to participate in Summer Camp during August, you must be enrolled in Summer Camp and also have renewed your Chapter Membership for the 2021-2022 year.
Fundraising Programs

It’s our Fall Event Fundraiser!
Solve clues! Complete challenges! See historic buildings, cultural landmarks and public art in downtown Phoenix in a new way! Work together to unravel secrets of the city!

You will work in teams of 4 to 8 people. Each team will choose whether to participate on Saturday, October 30 or Sunday, October 31. The teams will pick a starting time between 8 am and 3 pm on one of those two days. You will meet downtown to begin the adventure quest during daylight hours. The quest will take about two hours to complete and will bring you back to your starting point.
More details will follow in upcoming eblasts and chapter Bulletins.
Please Join Us to Plan Events!
There’s always room for more members of this fun committee! If you would like to help plan and implement fabulous programs and events for our BNC Phoenix Chapter, please join us on Tuesday, August 31 at 10:00 am for our next Zoom meeting. Just email or call to let us know you’ll attend and we will send you the meeting link. We look forward to hearing from you!
Fundraising Programs Vice President
Terriann Kleiner 314-761-3132 (phone or text)
Save the Date
In-Person Events Planned for this Season:

Fall Event
Phoenix Adventure from A to Z
Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31
University on Wheels
Winter 2022
The 32nd Annual Book & Author Event
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Friday, March 18, 2022
Spring Event and Installation of the 2022-2023 Board
Spring 2022
Membership News
Membership Milestones
  • Congratulations to Paula & George Eckstein on their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to great-grandmother, Audrey Hollander, on the birth of Ella Ann Weiner. Proud parents are Krystal and Jesse Weiner.
  • Congratulations to Renee Kaminitz on the birth of her grandson, Taylor Jameson Kaminitz. Proud parents are Sherry and Adam Kaminitz. 
  • Congratulations to Ellen and Bob Kirschenbaum on their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Sheila and Larry Landau on their 60th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Esta and Bob Mitchell on their 70th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Nan and Larry Waldman on their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Congratulations to Ellen and Joe Widoff on their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Best wishes to Judy Baletin for a speedy recovery.
  • Our sincere condolences to Sheila Landau on the loss of her mother, Myra Pasman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Sara Leopold on the loss of her father, Arnold Reingold.
  • Our sincere condolences to Joan Pass on the loss of her husband, Larry.
  • Our sincere condolences to Gail Robins on the passing of her daughter, Stacey Marx.
  • Our sincere condolences to Rona Rosenthal on the passing of her sister, Linda Kopans.
  • Our sincere condolences to Nancy Sacks-Goldberg on the passing of her husband, Stuart Goldberg.
  • Our sincere condolences to Nancy Stone on the passing of her mother, Gladys Rubenfeld.
  • Our sincere condolences to Gail Tasky on the passing of her father, Maerit Kallet.
We Welcome Our New Members
David Baratz, Buni Berger, Ava Blecher, Howard Cabot, Denis Duran, Roger Foreman, Beverly Gordon, Sharon Loeff, Sharon Mittelman, Dannia Morgan, Garrick Orduno, Heather Ross, Wendy Salk, Michael Shapiro, Sandy Wechsler, Joe Wechsler
To report life-cycle events, please contact:
Susan Sacks at 480-860-5256 or

To report a change in email address, phone number or mailing address, please contact:
Ms. Bruce Galin,
She is our Data Manager and will ensure you receive Chapter mailings and information.
Membership Vice Presidents
Carol Kadet and Gale Gradus
Community Outreach
Charitable Organizations Need Our Help!
Jewish Family and Children's Services will be having a school supply pantry. Any school supplies such as pencils, colored pencils, folders, spiral notebooks, composition books, pencil sharpeners, wide-ruled paper, blunt scissors, pink erasers, Kleenex, hand sanitizer and especially… reams of printer paper!

This is a year-round activity and this list is not complete – all school supplies are welcome. 

Note: Costco currently has a 36-item school supply sale for $8! 

School begins in early August, but supplies are always needed. They can be brought to Wendy’s house and left at the front door whenever you like. 

Stay safe and stay well!
Ellen Kirschenbaum and Wendy Cohen
School Supplies Contact Information:

Wendy Cohen 
Patti Grossman 
Ileen Herberg 
Ellen Kirschenbaum
Knit A Mitzvah

Do you Knit?
Do you Crochet?
Help us make Scarves,
Newborn Baby Caps and
Lap Blankets

We donate newborn baby caps and lap
blankets to Honor Health Medical
Center, scarves and adult lap blankets
to JFCS and chemo caps to Virginia G.
Piper Cancer Center.

Thanks to our knitters this past year, who created and donated:

To Honor Health:
Newborn Caps - 886
Baby Blankets - 48
Chemo Caps - 23

Scarves - 30

This is a wonderful group of talented BNC members.

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel 917-273-0393

Joan Davis 602–499-8357
For more information, contact the Community Outreach Chairs:
Wendy Cohen ~ Ellen Kirschenbaum
Volunteer Opportunities
A wonderful way to get involved with our local BNC Chapter is to share your expertise with us. It’s a win-win! You get to meet some of the other members, maintain your skills and learn new ones, and the Chapter benefits from your experience.
The current skill sets needed are:
Website, Marketing, Publicity, Technology, Study Group Facilitator

If you would like to volunteer in these or any other areas, please contact Ruth Lerner
For more information about the Honoring Our History campaign or to make a donation, see the BNC website.
Brandeis University Happenings
Biology professor Alexandre Bisson named to Pew Scholars Program

Brandeis biology professor Alexandre Bisson has been named one of 22 researchers to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences.

Bisson, an expert in cellular organization and behavior, will probe the molecular mechanisms through which single-cell organisms can radically change their shape. Bisson will receive funding over the next four years to fund his research as part of a Pew Scholars Program initiative to investigate timely questions surrounding human health and disease.

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 virtually, via Zoom.
Chapter members are welcome to attend all meetings,
which are held on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 10:00 am.

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 18 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

RSVP: Email Corresponding Secretary Joyce Grant
at in order to receive the Zoom link.

Chapter Presidents: Jan Lebovitz and Linda Ullman
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.

Presidents: Jan Lebovitz and Linda Ullman

Editor: Kathleen Witkin ~ Copy & Layout: Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel