Presidents' Message
Greetings, fellow BNC Phoenix members,

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!” Our hope is that these words will set the tone for our presidency. They motivate us as we gear up for the coming year by making decisions that affect our direction and preparing exciting upcoming programs, diverse study groups, membership outreach activities, community service initiatives and leadership development opportunities.
Our enthusiasm is sustained when each of you help plan a program, facilitate a study group, volunteer on the board or a committee, and attend our activities.

Our Summer Camp Chairs, Harriet Schwartz and Ronee Siegel, and all the Activity Leaders, created interesting and diverse summer fun through August. Thank You!

Our Study Group VPs, Stephanie Klopper, Barbara Stern and Joyce Steinberg, have already organized close to 80 Study Groups for the upcoming season. Immense gratitude to them and to every Study Group facilitator for making this possible. Our Study Group Guide is available on our website. Watch your email for the registration dates!
Additionally, we are greatly enthusiastic about our many informative and entertaining programs planned for this year. Please watch for registration information! We are highlighting below both our first program of the year and our annual Book & Author Events. Kindly put them on your calendars now!
Sunday October 30 –
Fall Event: Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona, from 3:30 - 5:30 pm at The New Shul.
Event chairs: Linda and Stan Burech

Book & Author Events:
Sunday, March 12 - Cocktail Reception with the Authors and
Monday, March 13 - Book & Author 2023 Diamond Jubilee luncheon, at the
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch.
Event chairs: Carol Kern, Jan Lebovitz, and Linda Ullman.
Please watch for more details! 
Thank you, Mr. Emerson, for reminding us that Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm!’
Our chapter has it in abundance.

We look forward to seeing you at many of these unparalleled opportunities.

Ellen and Leith
An Honor for our Chapter
Our Chapter was honored to receive a Presidential Citation from BNC National President, Merle Carrus
The text reads:
On behalf of the Brandeis National Committee I would like to honor your chapter for pivoting as we entered
the COVID Pandemic. For your financial support of the Honoring Our History campaign to reach its goal and
beyond raising over $600,000. For continuing to keep your members connected through Zoom programming
and study groups. The Brandeis NEC, the National Office and I salute you.
BNC Phoenix Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols apply to all study groups
and events - attendees must submit proof of vaccination in advance to
Currently, masking is not required, but is an option for anyone wishing to do so.
Study Group News
Spotlight on Study Groups!
We look forward to another outstanding study group season, with some new groups as well as many from previous years. Occasionally we will highlight some different study groups that you might be interested in joining.
Just a few of the new groups that are offered this year are:

Memories as Stories

Are your stories ready to tell? Create vignettes for your children or grandchildren to capture your memories forever.  Using simple questions to jog your memory, you will write your stories in plain language to offer a wonderful glimpse into your life. 
Beginning Cake and Treat Decorating

Looking to have your cakes resemble the ones you see on TV? In this in-person study group, you will learn the basics of how to use piping tips, fondant and different icings to make your treats look beautiful. 

First Friday Book Group

Join us for a fun and stimulating reading and discussion of a variety of both fiction and nonfiction books. Participants will be asked to lead book discussions.
Delicious Dramas and Dinners

A commonality across cultures is a love for good food, enjoyed with friends and family. In this group we will view, individually, dramatic films that deal with cooking from different cultures – and meet for a discussion of the film at a restaurant that reflects the ethnic food of the film. 
Ladies On The Town 

Are you looking to expand your circle of friends by going out for brunch, lunch, Happy Hour, or dinner?
Join this group to meet other BNC Phoenix women who have a positive outlook, love to laugh, and have a great time. This group will meet at local restaurants.
THREE new canasta groups:

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!

Study Group Information:

Study Group Vice Presidents
Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern
Note: All attendees must show proof of vaccination in advance and our
Chapter's Revised COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols will be strictly observed.
Summer Camp Update
A HUGE Thank You from the Summer Camp Chairs!
We would like to thank all of our wonderful Activity Leaders for generously donating their time and creative energy to a very successful 2022 Summer Camp, which provided a wide variety of activities to spark our interest over the long, hot summer.
We also want to express our thanks to the 130 chapter members who enrolled in Summer Camp and participated in the many enjoyable and educational activities that were offered.

We raised $4100 in fees and $289 in contributions to the Honoring Our History campaign, for a total of $4680.
We thank Sara Leopold for her technical assistance in setting up the calendars and Stephanie Klopper for her Zoom support when needed.
Ronee Siegel and Harriet Schwartz, Summer Camp Chairs
Summer Camp - Out & About
A lovely evening for Wine Connoisseurs
Left to right: Laurie Burns, Gale Gradus, Linda Ullman, Jan Lebovitz, Sharon Nova, Patti Grossman, Harriet Gartner, Hannah Meyerson
Sitting: Alan Stein, Jay Nova, Robert Ullman, Ron Meyerson
Standing: Irwin Grossman, Elliott Gartner, Mike Lebovitz, Nyles Gradus
Photos: Gale and Nyles Gradus
Baking Muffins at Temple Chai for the IRC's Welcome Center
Left to right: Judy Levine, Debbie Gordon, Ellen Kirschenbaum, Patti Grossman, Joan Davis, Hillary Kaminsky, Ileen Herberg
Photo: Michelle Smith
The Welcome Center, operated by International Rescue Committee, provides a welcoming way station for migrants seeking asylum after they have been released from the Border Patrol or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Migrants can rest, eat, shower, see a nurse, get clean clothes and supplies, and arrange travel to the destination in the United States where they will await their asylum hearings.
Ice Cream Party II at the Sugar Bowl
Back row, left to front: Laurie Burns, Ellen Kaplan, Elaine Goodman, Jan Lebovitz, Iris Wigal, Gail Vinik, Beth Messer, Hillary Kaminsky

Left side, back to front: Hannah Meyerson, Stephanie Klopper, Ronee Siegel, Barbara Stern
Photo: Sara Leopold
Neighborhood Haunts had an amazing turnout to end this year's Summer Camp season - 24 people met for lunch at Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ in Tempe
The bibs were provided by Lucille's and were so much more than a fashion statement - they were necessary and appreciated!
Photos: Joan Davis
Save the Date
Fall Event
Sunday, October 30 
Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona
3:30 - 5:30 pm at The New Shul

Book & Author Volunteer Meeting
Announcing the Event Authors and Moderator
Thursday, November 10
1:00 - 3:00 pm
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
  • Congratulations to Judy Lohr-Safcik on the marriage of her granddaughter, Danielle McCarthy, to Brandon Crubaugh. 
  • Our sincere condolences to Dennis Helfman and family on the passing of his wife, chapter member Alyce Helfman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Ruth Lerner on the passing of her sister, Marion Gabrlik.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Fran Lipsman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Jo-Ann Mullen on the passing of her husband, Philip E. Mullen.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Marcia Perlmutter.
We Welcome Our New Members
Wendy Blum, Richard Bookspan, Susan Bookspan, Hazel Davis, Laura Eng, Chuck Field, Linda Field, Janet Forgy, Cary Gaan, Billy Glickauf, June Harris, Floyd Hoffman, Nancy Kesselman, John Kilyk, Bruce Lefco, Carol Mangen, Diane Mayer, Donna Mills, Robert Teper, Stuart Wecker
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.net480-620-5601

To report a change in email address, phone number (cell or landline) or mailing address, please contact:
Carol Kadet • 
She will update our membership roster and ensure that you receive Chapter mailings and information.
Time to Renew!
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

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.
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.
Our September campaign is collecting school supplies for children in need. Pencils, erasers, rulers, notebooks, paper, folders, glue sticks, tissues and so much more are needed.

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

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel 917-273-0393

Joan Davis 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
Ellen Kirschenbaum
Ileen Herberg
Nan Waldman
For more information, contact the Community Outreach Chairs:
Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum
To make a donation online using a credit card, go to

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
Brandeis Happenings
Back to campus - By the numbers

By Jarret Bencks
August 22, 2022
The Class of 2026 filled their residence halls and said goodbye to their parents on a sunny and warm Move-In Day on Aug. 21.

As the newest members of the Brandeis community get to know each other and campus during New Student Orientation, [you can] get to know about them with these facts and figures:

With an expected enrollment of 1007, the Class of 2026 is anticipated to be the largest in Brandeis history.

The class represents academic excellence, with an average GPA of 3.89 and nearly 80% ranked in the top 20% of their high school class.
They come from across the country and around the globe, hailing from 39 states and 29 countries. Twenty percent come from countries outside the United States, and all together they speak 55 languages.

The Class of 2026 is joining a campus community of 394 full-time faculty members and 1,552 graduate students, according to data from last year’s campus census. In all, the university’s student body represents 43 states and 98 countries.

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, September 21 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm.

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

Chapter Presidents: Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff
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: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel

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