In this issue:










Welcome to the 2023-2024

Study Group Season!


Books | Movies & Theater | Arts | Current Events | Dining

Crafts | Cooking | Games | Community Outreach | Outdoor Groups

Educational | Fitness and Health | Special Interest Discussions

We anticipate that the Registration Link will go live on

Thursday, September 7, 2023

The eblast will go out at 9:00 am AZ


After 9:00 am AZ, you may use the link in the eblast

or the link on our website to register

Be prepared to register: 

  • If you have not already done so, download the 2023-24 STUDY GROUP GUIDE and read about all the groups offered this year.
  • Prepare and prioritize a list of the numbers and names of the groups you want to join. 
  • Read the instructions now, so that the process will go smoothly: How to Register for Study Groups

If you will be traveling on September 7 and won't have easy access to a computer, we recommend that you

give a list of the numbers and names of your desired study groups to a friend, along with your credit card information, so they can register for you.

For more information about registration and what is new this year, scroll down to the

Study Group News section below

Marcia Langer and Harriet Schwartz, Study Group VPs

[email protected]602-730-1222

Presidents' Message


This article is devoted to honoring our Study Group Facilitators.

FACT: The wide variety of study groups our Phoenix Chapter offers is a primary reason why our members join and stay connected

FACT: For the upcoming 2023-24 season, our facilitators make it possible to offer 89 groups

FACT: Facilitators benefit in many ways from their leadership

Bob Kirschenbaum, a longtime study group facilitator, shares his story:

“We started the Leisure Hiking Group about 10 years ago so that Brandeis Members who like to walk, but who are maybe not expert hikers, would have a chance to experience the beauty of our surrounding mountains. We volunteer because we see first-hand the positive effect it has on the Group participants. People extend themselves a bit more than perhaps they would on their own, and it makes us so happy to see the camaraderie that has been developed over the years. We are thankful for those who have co-facilitated, which enables us to serve a larger group. We have a sense of pride in our modest contribution to the Brandeis community.”

We offer our deepest gratitude to Bob and Ellen Kirschenbaum and their fellow facilitators, who enhance the lives of our members by sharing their time and talents, keeping us active, learning and engaged - with the result that everyone benefits!

You are our (S)Heroes!

Ellen and Leith

Upcoming Events

Welcome Back!

BNC Phoenix Chapter invites you to an evening of

fun and friendship

with dinner, dessert and libations

Please join us for this Italian Feast

Saturday, October 14 • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

North Scottsdale

Buona Sera $36 • Mangia $54 • Grazie $72

Registration information coming soon!!

For more information: [email protected]

Ruth Lerner • Terriann Kleiner • Laurie Burns

Event Chairs

Any amount over $29 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.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


Friday, February 2 • Luncheon/Authors/Boutiques

Thursday, February 1 • Bookmark Donor Cocktail Reception with the Authors

Westin Kierland Resort • Scottsdale

 Author Reveal and Volunteer Sign-up

Monday, October 30 • 1:00 pm

Westin Kierland Resort

RSVP by October 23 to: [email protected]


Open to all: Invite your friends, relatives and neighbors

Ileen Herberg, Joellyn Pollock and Marcy Strauss

Book & Author Event Chairs

[email protected]

See the Eblast

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Table Captains


Book & Author

You can be a Table Captain!

It's not too early to be thinking about being a Table Captain at Book & Author. 

If you want to volunteer or need more information,

contact Patti Grossman, Terriann Kleiner or Ruth Lerner, Committee Chairs

at [email protected]

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

We look forward to another outstanding study group season, with new groups as well as many from previous years. We want to thank the wonderful, creative and hard working group of facilitators who make this possible.

*** New for 2023-2024 ***

Number of Groups You may Join:

You may join up to 5 Study Groups the first week of chapter-wide registration. You will receive a second eblast one week later and can then join additional groups.

Pairs/Couples Group Registration:

We have several study groups this year where any two chapter members can participate as a pair/couple for a $40 registration fee. One of the pair will register and pay for both individuals.

Over 20 brand-new groups are offered this year, including:

Taco Mondays

Have fun exploring taquerias around the valley while enjoying great company for lunch.

The China - US Contestation

This study group will examine the contestation for economic, political and technological dominance that is occurring between China and the United States.

Brandeis Bowling Just for Fun

Join us for a monthly bowling activity open to all chapter members. Have fun and make new friends! All levels of bowlers are welcome.

Let’s Do Phoenix Hikes

Come explore hikes in the Phoenix area on the second Thursday of the month from October to April. We promise a steep uphill or more to get the heart rate up and burn a few calories on each hike.


The 2023-2024 Study Group Guide




You may register for up to 5 groups during the first week of registration




Watch your Inbox for an eblast explaining the waitlist procedure, brand new this year

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 Vice Presidents 

Marcia Langer and Harriet Schwartz

[email protected]

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 2023 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 164 chapter members (116 individual and 48 household levels) who enrolled in Summer Camp and participated in the many enjoyable and educational activities that were offered.


We raised $5,400 in fees and $168 in contributions to the Legacy of Louis campaign, for a total of $5,568. This represents a significant increase from 2022.


We thank Sara Leopold for her technical assistance in setting up the calendars and eblasts and Stephanie Klopper for her Zoom support when needed.


Ronee Siegel and Harriet Schwartz, Summer Camp Chairs

[email protected]

Save the Date

Welcome Back - An Italian Feast 🍷🍝

Saturday, October 14 • 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Book & Author Author Reveal and Volunteer Sign-Up

  Monday, October 30 • 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Westin Kierland Resort

More Info

  Canasta Tournament 🃏

Sunday, December 3 • 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Congregation Beth Israel

More Info

University on Wheels

Friday, January 5, 2024 • 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Biltmore

♥ ♥ Book & Author 2024 ♥ ♥

Friday, February 2 • Luncheon/Authors/Boutiques

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

Westin Kierland Resort

  Spring Event/Installation

Wednesday, April 17

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.

Brandeis has launched a new Global Service Initiative in honor of their 75th Anniversary. They hope to illustrate how community involvement makes a compelling change and a positive mark on the world. Each chapter is compiling a list of the volunteer hours and organizations to which their members contribute. Our chapter is always involved in community outreach and it’s so nice to be able to acknowledge that!

Please submit your volunteer activities to Wendy Cohen at [email protected].

If you'd like to donate school supplies, Wendy will collect and distribute the items.

Ellen is still collecting pill bottles without labels. Safety caps only, please.

We look forward to more opportunities to serve the community this year. For more information or collection addresses, please contact us.

Thank you for all you do for the greater community - you DO make a difference!

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]

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Best wishes to Sue Karp for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Nancy Siefer for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Marilyn Zolondek for a speedy recovery
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Claire Becker
  • Our sincere condolences to Julie Bronstein and family on the passing of her mother, life member Arlene Zacks Gaitz
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of life member Sevilan Kowal

We welcome our new members:

Win Baumler, Harriet Beckman, Harris Berger, Marlene Brenhouse, Lily Burman, Robin Carr, Aline Dulaney, Linda Gelt, Byron Goff, Peter Gold, Robin Goldman, Bernie Gross, Stanley Hammerman, Jeffrey Klein, Lisa Lerner, Andrea Malkin, Ellenor Mueller, Gil Peterson, Ruth Plave, Salome Sewitz, Mark Weissman

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.

BNC Prospects Coffee/Tea

We hold these gatherings several times a season to welcome new and prospective members.

The next Coffee/Tea Social for Prospective BNC members will be held on

Friday, October 20 from 1:30-3:30 pm

For more information or to attend, please contact the Membership VPs:

Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin

[email protected]

Time to Renew!

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 now, 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, please contact Irene Lubin at 480-948-3773.

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

Call for Nominations

The Nominating Committee will be meeting soon to discuss nominees for the Slate of Officers and Board Members for the 2024-2025 BNC Phoenix Chapter Board. The committee is open to suggestions regarding individuals, regardless of gender, who are interested in serving on the Board with Portfolio or assuming positions on the Executive Committee. Please comment on the qualifications of a candidate and include supporting data. One may self-nominate. The current Board list is here.

All names will be considered by the committee.

Please email your suggestions to the committee chairs by October 20.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Jan Lebovitz ([email protected]) and Linda Ullman ([email protected])

Nominating Committee Chairs

The Current Campaign

The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry

As the university nears its milestone 75th anniversary in 2023, the Brandeis National Committee's current campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry, is halfway towards its goal, thanks to all of you.

This 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.





In Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Brandeis University

Marcia Langer and Harriet Schwartz

The participants in the 3rd Annual Summer Camp Trivia Game

In honor of the players and the light-hearted fun and good-natured competition had by all

Sustaining the Mind

Wendy Cohen

Marilyn Zolondek

Best wishes for a speedy 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 at 75

Brandeis National Committee to Honor Broadcast Journalist Judy Woodruff

at University’s 75th Anniversary Celebration

Woodruff is being recognized for her outstanding achievements in journalism and public service

Judy Woodruff, who will receive the Brandeis National Committee’s 2023 Abram L. Sachar Award in an October ceremony, sits at her desk on the set of PBS NewsHour.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of PBS

August 16, 2023

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is set to receive the Brandeis National Committee’s 2023 Abram L. Sachar Award.

Established in 1967 and named for Brandeis University’s founding president, the award recognizes individuals of outstanding achievement in education, or those whose work has increased public awareness on a national or global stage. Woodruff is being honored for her career-long commitment to searching for the truth, as well as for her dedication to promoting women in journalism and communications fields.

Woodruff has covered politics for five decades, including at NBC and CNN. She is most well known for her work at PBS, where she is currently a senior correspondent, and formerly served as the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. In addition, she is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, which supports women and nonbinary journalists and provides them with reporting, fellowship, grant opportunities, and more.

"I am grateful and deeply honored by the decision of the Brandeis National Committee to present me with the Abram L. Sachar Silver Medallion,” says Woodruff. “In serving as Brandeis' founding president, Sachar helped launch a university that would become a beacon of excellence for not only the education it provides, but also for the values it embraces, especially its adherence to the pursuit of truth. I am thrilled and looking forward to joining the Brandeis community in October for its 75th anniversary celebration."

Full article

Celebrate Brandeis at 75

Join Us October 13-15

The anniversary weekend is open to all Brandeis students, alumni,

faculty, staff, families, the Brandeis National Committee, and friends. 

Learn more and register here

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 20, 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 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.

Presidents: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold • Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel

[email protected]


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