In this issue:










Get ready to put on your dancing shoes - have fun – and Let’s Dance!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 16 • 7:00 ~ 10:00 pm

and get ready to party at The Imperial Ballroom

7077 E Bell Road • 2nd Floor • Scottsdale

DJ Teffanie will spin your favorite tunes

from the 50s to the 80s

There will be sandwiches, snacks and desserts,

as well as wine and water

$40 per person


Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Have questions? Contact Susan Sacks at susan.sacks@gmail.com


Ruth Lerner, Susan Sacks and Andrew Tievsky, Event Chairs

Any amount over $28 is a charitable contribution to

BNC's The Legacy of Louis  campaign


Follow the Music!

Speaker: Fred Bronson, Music Journalist

Wednesday, March 20

2:00 ~ 4:00 pm

Gloria Christi Federated Church

3535 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

Fred Bronson has been called “America’s foremost chart journalist” by the editor of Billboard magazine and as an expert on music has guest-starred on American Idol four times. He has written television specials, articles for several music publications, interviewed musicians for SiriusXM Radio and is the author of six books about music.

For more information, see his website at FredBronson.com.


The program will follow a short board meeting, where the 2024-2025 Slate of Officers and Members will be voted upon. There is no charge for this event.

The Gloria Christi church supports the Kitchen on the Street organization by collecting plastic grocery bags, cereal boxes and breakfast bars. We will participate in this project with them, so if you can, please bring any of these items with you.

For more information, contact the Event Chairs:

Stephanie Klopper • Joyce Steinberg



Please be aware that email scams are back. Some seem like they’re from chapter leadership and ask you to buy gift cards for various causes.

NO ONE from Brandeis will email you and ask you to purchase gift cards, so don't do it - you will NOT be reimbursed. 

THIS IS A SCAM!  Delete any email that asks for money in any form.

• You should always check the email address a sender is using - scammers use a real name that you know, but not the real email address. If you click “forward,” you can see the sender’s actual address next to the name you know.

• Also, remember: NEVER click on the links in any suspect email.

• If you are not sure an email is real, contact the sender - not by clicking reply, but by forwarding or opening a new email and using their correct email address.

Presidents' Message

Dear Brandeis Friends, 


This is a love letter to our chapter’s leadership and volunteers, who made our past two years as Co-Presidents so fulfilling, and for the trust you put in us to ensure the implementation of our chapter’s goals.

As we approach the end of our administration, we do so with the joy and satisfaction that comes with leaving our Chapter strong, vital and prepared for the future.

We are particularly proud of the development of our Internal and External Communications Coordinators, whose collaboration across all platforms, has ensured clear, consistent and timely messaging, expanded our reach in the community and increased participation at all events.

Our emphasis on mentoring continues to ensure successful succession planning and well-trained leadership as we strive to meet the social, intellectual and physical needs of so many people in our community, all while supporting a world-class university.

This year's highlights:


There are currently a total of 1083 members, of whom 148 joined since April of 2023.

Many new members attended at least one of the 4 new member socials held in the last year.

Study Groups

97 active study groups with 123 facilitators (25 of them male)

There were 684 study group participants at an average of almost 3 1/2 groups per participant

Program Events

Participation across all our events so far this year totaled over 1600 people. (Book & Author, University on Wheels, the Canasta Tournament, An Italian Feast)

Please join us for Let's Dance! and the Annual Meeting and Program in March and the Installation/Spring Event in April.

Community Outreach

Supporting In part:

Be Kind People Project, Boys and Girls Clubs, Nourish Phoenix, Scottsdale Schools, Sojourner Center, The international Rescue Committee, Gesher Disability Resources, Desert Mission and St. Mary’s Food Bank

Leadership Development

Creation of a mentoring process to promote effective succession planning and the continuation of a strong infrastructure. Development of specific task lists for each leadership position to be transmitted and mentored by outgoing leaders to their successors.

Summer Camp

We are now gearing up for this year.

Last year, 164 individuals and households attended  92 summer camp activities.

Thank you for the honor and opportunity to lead our BNC Phoenix Chapter and best wishes to our successors Joyce Steinberg and Stephanie Klopper.

Leith and Ellen

A BIG Thank You from Ellen and Leith

We pay special tribute to the following leaders:

Book & Author VPs: Ileen Herberg, Joellyn Pollock and Marcy Strauss

Bulletin Editors: Sara Leopold and Ronee Siegel

Chapter Advisors: Carol Kern, Nancy Sacks and Iris Wigal

Community Outreach Chairs: Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum

Event Chairs: Laurie Burns, Carol Kadet, Hillary Kaminsky, Terriann Kleiner, Rich Kleiner, Stephanie Klopper, Jeff Lerner, Ruth Lerner, Brina Pepper, Marilyn Reinfeld, Susie Sacks, Gale Stam, Joyce Steinberg, Barbara Stern, Andrew Tievsky and Ken Walter

Executive Administrator: Linda Burech

External Communications Coordinator: Carol Kadet

Internal Communications Coordinator: Sara Leopold

Leadership VP: Patti Grossman

Membership Milestone Outreach Coordinator: Gail Vinik

Membership VPS: Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin

Nomination Chairs: Jan Lebovitz and Linda Ullman

Secretaries: Geri Gould, Joyce Grant, Sara Leopold and Linda Perlman

Study Group VPs: Marcia Langer and Harriet Schwartz

Summer Camp Chairs: Harriet Schwartz, Ronee Siegel and Susie Sacks

Sunshine Fund Coordinator: Sue Lawler

Treasurers: Joan Davis and Bonnie Furst

Upcoming Events

Spring Luncheon & Installation

April 17, 2024

11:00 am ~ 1:30 pm

Congregation Beth Israel (CBI)


The day includes Installation of our 2024-2025 Board,

a Luncheon and a Dynamic Program

New Frontiers in Genetic Testing and Your Health


How much do you know about your genetics?

Ask the experts from the Minkoff Center for Jewish Genetics!

Learn the pros and cons of over-the-counter DNA kits

Explore medical advances that have been made possible

as genetic testing has become more common

Hear how your genetics contribute to

your overall health and that of your family

More information and registration coming soon


Questions? Contact Marilyn Reinfeld

Event Chairs: Marilyn Reinfeld, Hillary Kaminsky and Carol Kadet

Summer Camp

Amazing how time flies! We are starting to plan for Summer Camp (June, July and August, 2024). Put on your thinking caps and let us know if you wish to lead a Summer Camp activity.

Please send us an email with a brief description, tell is whether the activity is in-person or on Zoom, and we will contact you.

Ronee Siegel and Susie Sacks, Summer Camp Chairs


Recent Events

Book & Author 2024

Book & Author 2024 was a huge success, due to the amazing committee chairs and overall teamwork. Their execution was nearly flawless.

  • Sara Leopold created a festive atmosphere with centerpieces and red heart balloons for the Thursday night cocktail party for Bookmark donors. Over 127 donors registered, due in part to the efforts of Carol Kern and Marcy Strauss, who solicited our high level donors. The food was appealing, hearty and delicious and there was seating for all. Everyone got to meet the authors and have books signed, if desired.
  • Iris Wigal and Michelle Fischler continued the trend with the more intimate dinner reception. Authors were asked to describe the "oddest thing that has happened since they became an author." Attendees got a more personal experience with each author.
  • On Friday morning, Brina Pepper and Linda Perlman had the Boutique vendors up and ready to sell before 9 am. There was plenty of room between each vendor, so shoppers had space to easily select their items. Many people walked out with shopping bags filled with purchases; it was a fun, successful part of the day.
  • Susie Sacks, Gail Tenn and Ronee Siegel had the check-in committee on it with plenty of volunteers to keep the lines moving as attendees flooded in through the doors. Michelle Fischler, Terriann Kleiner and Beth Messer positioned volunteers inside and out. The greeters were welcoming and helped people find their way to more shopping and restrooms.
  • Bonnie Furst and Harriet Schwartz had Poisoned Pen prominently placed to sell our authors’ books. Many attendees were so inspired by the presentations they rushed out to buy the books right after the luncheon.
  • The table decorations, led by Wendy Cohen and Terri Levenson, colorfully supported the Valentine theme. The luggage strap favors selected by Ellen Kirschenbaum will be seen at Sky Harbor and other venues, as not one was left on a table, and Georgia Heller’s and Sara Leopold’s program book (a digital version of which can be seen here) provided all the information attendees needed. Joyce Steinberg’s slides for the big screens were beautiful as well as informative.
  • So much behind-the-scenes work was done. Notably, Joyce Steinberg had posters made for the event’s various needs and Marcia Langer spent tireless days registering people to accommodate their individual needs. Paula Eckstein meticulously organized table seating groups so attendees were able to sit with the people they requested and Barbara Stern supported Paula and the co-chairs with table assignments. Truda Chick was available and ready to coordinate with people who needed transportation to and from the Westin.
  • We had 667 registrants due to the internal marketing of Sara Leopold and the external marketing by Carol Kadet.
  • People raved about the six authors. Kudos to Joyce Goldstein and Janis Lipman, who created a strategy to get big name authors with new books for this year's event. They powered through a lot of rejections, but ended up with renowned authors who not only had interesting books, but were also excellent speakers. Definitely a winning combination! Martha Patrick kept everyone on time with their presentations and attendees noted that in several follow-up thank you notes after the event.
  • Gale Gradus was everywhere during the two day events with her camera, and many of her wonderful photos can be seen on our website here, with more to come.
  • Michelle Fischler's diligent work and help with contracts was greatly appreciated.
  • Plans for securing a venue and date for next year’s event are already underway!

We thank all our committee chairs, volunteers and attendees, who all contributed to the success of this event!

Ileen Herberg, Joellyn Pollock and Marcy Strauss, 2024 Book & Author Event Chairs

Photos from the Event

Photographer: Gale Gradus

The Beginning of Book & Author

by Carol Kern

It all began in 1991, when I wanted to raise funds for Brandeis University. I found what I was looking for at the Los Angeles Chapter - they had an Author and Celebrity event, including a Breakfast for donors. We could do that!


We could start out small and build it! We did not have local celebrities then, but we were able to enlist some good speakers and the first event drew 150 people. After a few years, we decided it should be a community event, since we had grown to 300 attendees. All we needed were a few big names! In 2000 we reached 950+ in attendance with Anita Hill, Diana Douglas Darrid, Amy Ephron, Stephen Cannell and David Brancaccio as our authors. It was Anita Hill, with her book Speaking to Power, that mesmerized.


Was it hard work? YES! But ‘We’ persevered. Who is ‘WE?’ The Book & Author event utilizes over 100 volunteers tasked with many roles, such as signing up volunteers, creating table decorations, taking reservations and arranging the seating - all handled by amazing volunteers. A person once said to me that she marveled we could do it without staff. 


We never forgot the main reason for wanting to do this: to raise money for Brandeis University. We had tried many things - selling cards, a silent auction and raffles – but it was the Bookmark Program that made it all come together. When you become a Bookmark donor, you are honored with a cocktail reception the evening before the luncheon. We value our donors by giving them something special for their donations.  


The inducement of shopping at the boutiques was added and it has created a consistent draw for attendees, who contribute to the funds raised for the University. Our Book & Author event now has its own momentum and is recognized as one of the best events of its kind in the country.   


We have built it into an amazing event with fabulous speakers, a moderator and a day that enlightens and delights. Brandeis reached its 75th Anniversary this year, and for 74 years the BNC has been a proud supporter of the University. This fledgling University and the BNC have enriched our lives ever since they began and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come. 

Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups




  • Interested in sharing a special talent or idea you have
  • Looking to meet new people
  • Enjoy leading a limited special interest group (4 sessions)
  • Want to have fun!

Please email phxstudygroups@gmail.com for more information.

Many Study Groups are Still Available

Two groups of interest:


March 26 at noon MST via Zoom we have an extra special speaker...Mark Gerson, Chairman of United Hatzalah in Israel--the brave people in orange vests who provided lifesaving care on Oct. 7 and who regularly save 200 lives a day. Mark, a philanthropist, businessman, author and Torah scholar, will tell us about repairing the world with United Hatzalah and will provide insights from his inspiring book, The Telling. Please register and reply to Elaine Howard Elaine.howard@comcast.net
Co-ed monthly bowling activity open to all chapter members, Great way to have fun and make new friends. All levels of bowlers are welcome. Meet the third Wednesday of the Month at 1:00 pm through April at 9027 E Via Linda, Scottsdale. Register and contact Michael Horn hornmd@comcast.net
  • You can read about available groups in the Study Guide on our website. There is also information on how to register on the website. 
  • 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.


Even a group that has reached its maximum participation may have openings from time to time - if you are interested in a particular group, contact the facilitator(s) to see if space is available. Very often there is! Look in the study guide for group details, which include contact information for the facilitators. A $5 guest fee will apply.

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 Groups Out & About 

The Exploring the Valley group attended the exhibit The Edge of Exploration: ASU Explores the Solar System

Brandeis Boomers visited the Barbie™ A Cultural Icon and

The Power of Pink exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum

The Leisure Hiking group at the

Butcher Jones trail

Men of Brandeis

Wednesday, March 13

1:00 pm

Speaker: Cynthia Campbell

On Wednesday, March 13 at 1:00 pm, the Men of Brandeis will host its next event at the JCC in Scottsdale. Our guest speaker will be Cynthia Campbell and her subject will be WATER. As usual, our group will meet at noon for a nosh at Milk and Honey before Ms. Campbell’s talk.

Cynthia Campbell is the Water Resources Management Advisor for the City of Phoenix, a position she has held for over 8 years. She manages the City’s water portfolio and advises the City Manager and Water Services Department on policy issues relating to long-range water planning and strategy. Ms. Campbell serves on Governor Katie Hobbs’ Water Policy Council and is a member of its Assured Water Supply committee.

She is also the City’s liaison with the State of Arizona, Central Arizona Project, Salt River Project, and other organizations on water resource issues. She represented Phoenix on the Drought Contingency Committee and currently serves on the Arizona Reconsultation Committee dealing with Colorado River shortage.

Previously, Cynthia served the City of Phoenix as an Assistant City Attorney for five years. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Guests (men and women) are welcome for a $5.00 guest fee.

ALL participants must RSVP to the facilitator in advance in order to attend.

For additional information or to RSVP, contact the facilitator:

Leith Baletin • lbaletin@gmail.com


Please contact us with any study group questions:

Marcia Langer and Harriet Schwartz


Study Group Vice Presidents

Save the Date

Let's Dance! 🕺🏻

Saturday, March 16 • 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Imperial Ballroom

Annual Meeting and Program

Wednesday, March 20 • 2:00 - 4:00 pm

3535 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

  Spring Event/Installation

Wednesday, April 17 • 11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Congregation Beth Israel (CBI)

All of our events are open to the public.

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.

Collection of Items

Community Outreach started with collecting children’s books, both new and old. These books were given to schools serving underprivileged children. More recently, we have given to organizations such as the Be Kind People Project, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many others.

We have expanded our collection to include:

  • Purses. Purse Impressions (Merri Rubin) for women coming out of Rehab.
  • Pill bottles with safety caps and other items given to Nourish Organization (which used to be Interfaith Ministries), and have put the items in boxes in Congregation Beth Israel. Beth El has a box. We are hoping Or Tzion will one day also have a collection box.
  • Bras. Used bras are given to Soma at Fashion Square; (perhaps other locations will accept them also). Dillard’s also accepted bras pre-Covid.
  • We just started collecting eyeglasses. LensCrafters no longer collects them. We have some eyeglasses but have not yet delivered them to the Lions Club. 

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Contact Ellen or Wendywencohen@cox.net

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

We have been receiving your volunteer information.

Please continue to let us know:

  • Where you volunteer
  • How often
  • The number of hours you put in

Please submit your volunteer activities to Wendy Cohen at wencohen@cox.net.

So many of you are true community advocates! We thank you all - you DO make a difference!

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbau



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


Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Congratulations to Hillary & Harry Kaminsky on the Bar Mitzvah of the grandson Seth, son of Erica & David Kaminsky
  • Congratulations to Linda and Robert Ullman on the birth of their grandson, Carter Alexander Ullman. Proud parents are Allie and Phillip Ullman.
  • Best wishes to Sandy Dishman for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Bev Gordon for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Gladys Simon for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Joyce Steinberg for a speedy recovery
  • Our sincere condolences to Paul Garry on the passing of his mother, Eileen Garry
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Barbara Gutman
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Beth Hoffman

We welcome our new members:

Alan Adler, Penni & Ron Bordey, Cheryl Dworman, Henry & Nancy Gostony, Joan Oppenheimer, Robbie & Scott Schreiber, Leslie & Ralph Seligmann, Laura Strauss, Shaul Streifler

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 Social for New and Prospective Members

We hold these gatherings several times throughout the year to welcome new and prospective members

Our next event will be on Monday, March 18 • 1:30-3:30 pm

If you are a new member or are interested in learning more about membership, please join us. 

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

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

A Special Gift

The board of directors express their gratitude and deep appreciation to Nancy and Larry Moffit for creating a provision of their endowment trust fund that will direct funds specifically to our Chapter. These annual donations are intended to continue in perpetuity. 
This funding will be used to continue to grow our chapter as we meet both the social and intellectual needs of our community and contribute to Brandeis University, founded by the Jewish community to allow everyone access to higher education.
"It is our intention to provide an endowment to support local Jewish organizations upon our demise. We are honored to include Brandeis as one of the organizations that we believe in."
~ Nancy and Larry Moffitt





Hillary & Harry Kaminsky

Seth Kaminsky

in honor of our grandson Seth's Bar Mitzvah

Joyce Lefco

Terriann Kleiner

in honor of Terriann Kleiner

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

For future inclusions, please notify Beth Messer.

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, March 20, from 2:00 - 4:00 pm

This will be the Annual Meeting and Program


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



Let's Dance logo: Image by brgfx on Freepik

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