In this issue:














Summer Camp Activities begin in June

Activities are either in-person or virtual and include:



MOVIE discussion groups




CURRENT EVENTS and other discussion groups



  • Click the link below to view the Calendar.
  • Participants in Summer Camp ($30 individual, $40 household) may attend all activities listed on the calendar, providing there is sufficient space.
  • Summer Camp is for the benefit of chapter members, so please remember to join or renew your membership for the 2024-2025 year.
Summer Camp Calendar

For more information, contact

Susie Sacks and Ronee Siegel, Summer Camp Chairs


Presidents' Message

Dear Brandeis members, 

We are honored to be your new Co-Presidents. Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this role for our wonderful Brandeis National Committee - Phoenix Chapter. However, we are only two members of a much larger team. Without the passion and commitment of so many, none of our chapter’s successes would happen and we would not be able to fulfill our mission to raise funds for the Brandeis University library and current fundraising campaigns.

As your new Co-Presidents, we want everyone in this chapter to feel welcome and to know they can reach out to us to share ideas. We want to thank our two outgoing Co-Presidents, Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff, for their mentoring and guidance to help us become the best leaders of this organization we can be. Over the past two years they have given boundless time and energy and accomplished so much; we will have big shoes to fill.

On April 17 at the Spring Event, we enjoyed a wonderful program and we thank the event chairs: Carol Kadet, Hillary Kaminsky and Marilyn Reinfeld. In addition, we had the Installation of new members and continuing members of our Board. We expect great things from this group of talented individuals. We want to thank everyone who served on the previous Board and all members for their contributions towards making this such a successful Chapter.

For those of you who do not serve on the board, there are always opportunities to get involved, at whatever level feels comfortable. Whether helping out in planning an event, joining a committee or working in the community, all are welcome and all efforts are needed and appreciated. If you are interested in participating in any way, you can reach out to us or to the VPs of the various events and committees Their contact information is always in the bulletin.

We are gearing up for Summer Camp and Fall Study Groups. We would love your ideas and your involvement. We need participants for Summer Camp and facilitators for Study Groups in the Fall. Everyone loves attending, but we need your help leading these groups. It’s a wonderful way to get to know people in a smaller setting.

To those who celebrate, we wish you a happy and meaningful Passover, and to all a happy spring season. Thank you again for all you do to keep our chapter growing and thriving, and for putting the “FUN” in fundraising. We both look forward to reconnecting with friends and meeting new members during Summer Camp and at upcoming chapter events and Study Groups in the Fall. Please come up to us and say “Hello.”

Warm regards,

Stephanie and Joyce

The 2024-2025 Board of Directors

We welcome these chapter leaders who were recently installed - we wish everyone the best in their new positions!


Stephanie Klopper and Joyce Steinberg

VPs of Book & Author

Patti Grossman

Ileen Herberg

Joellyn Pollock

VPs of Study Groups

Carol Kadet, Harriet Schwartz, 

Barbara Stern

VPs of Event Planning

Wendy Cohen

Ellen Kirschenbaum

VPs of Membership

Laurie Burns

Gale Stam

VPs of Strategy & Leadership Planning

Joyce Grant

Terriann Kleiner

Immediate Past Presidents/

Nominating Committee

Leith Baletin

Ellen Widoff

Recording Secretaries

Geri Gould

Kathleen Witkin


Joan Davis

Bonnie Furst

Community Outreach Chairs 

Debbie Gordon

Gale Gradus

Corresponding Secretaries

Helen Abrams

Myral Robbins

Members at Large

Sheri Bretan

Linda Burech

Lisa Del Valle

Michelle Fischler

Donna Heller

Elaine Howard

Craig Hibbs

Beth Messer

Jytte Methmann

Marilyn Reinfeld

Barbara Schwartz

Andrew Tievsky

Bulletin Assistant Editor 

Bulletin Editor 

Chapter Advisors

Chapter Campaign Coordinators

Chapter Historian/CIO

Contract Liaison to Event Chairs

Event Registrar

External Marketing Coordinator 

Internal Communications Coordinator 

Liaison to the NEC


Summer Camp Chairs 

Tributes and Donations


Ronee Siegel

Donna Germuska                

Iris Wigal, Nancy Sacks

Carol Kern, Judy Levine

Sue Karp

Michelle Fischler

Sheri Bretan

Carol Kadet

Sara Leopold

Andrew Tievsky

Barbara Stern

Susie Sacks, Ronee Siegel

Beth Messer

Craig Hibbs

Photos from Recent Events

Spring Event and Installation • April 17

Event Chairs: Carol Kadet, Marilyn Reinfeld,

Hillary Kaminsky

Photos: Gale Gradus

Let's Dance! March 16

Annual Meeting, March 20

See photos and slideshows from these and other 2023-2024 events here

Upcoming Events

Please Join Us to Plan Events!

There’s always room for more members of this fun committee!

If you have an idea for an event or would like to help plan and implement fabulous programs and events for our Chapter, please contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you! 


Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbaum

Event Planning Vice Presidents


Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Time to Plan for 2024-2025 Study Groups

Study Groups Need Facilitators!

Thank you to all BNC Phoenix Chapter study group facilitators and participants for a very successful Study Group Season.

The wide variety of study groups we offer engages current members and attracts new members.

As we have seen, people want to participate. The availability of the many and varied groups is key to our success.

We need your help. As we plan for next season, we are looking for facilitators. The Study Group committee will be contacting existing Study Group facilitators. We hope that you will offer the same and/or new Study Groups for next year.

We also need new facilitators to maintain and increase the quantity and variety of our study groups. Becoming a facilitator – either alone or co-facilitating with a friend - is a great way to begin new friendships, enrich ongoing relationships and engage with others in exploring creative and/or intellectual pursuits.

  • Is there anything you are specifically interested in seeing offered as a study group?
  • Would you enjoy participating in or facilitating a limited group discussion (4 sessions) on a favorite topic or activity?
  • Do you have a special interest, talent or skill that you want to share with others?
  • Are you a winter resident who wants to create a group that starts later in the year? Or facilitate via Zoom ?

We are here to help facilitators get started. A few ideas for new weekday or weekend groups include:

Netflix Limited Series discussion group

Book Group covering a specific era or type of book (we can never have too many book groups!)

Film Group dedicated to movies for a specific genre, actor, director, etc.

Art or Craft Group (drawing, knitting, needlepoint, diamond dots, etc.)

Walking, hiking, or a group for a different sport or physical activity

Funday (games or other activities for couples and/or singles)

Lunch, Brunch or Dinner group


Please email your ideas or questions to the Study Group VP’s at phxstudygroups@gmail.com

The rewards are many: interact with like-minded people in an activity that you enjoy, see your efforts appreciated by your group participants, make new friends and most of all - HAVE FUN!

The time commitment is modest and in return, the approval, acclaim and admiration you receive is beyond measure.

Please contact us with any study group questions and ideas:

Carol Kadet, Harriet Schwartz and Barbara Stern


Study Group Vice Presidents

Study Groups Out & About 

Mitzvah Mavens participated in the Read Across America - Operation School Bell program on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Pizza Pizza! Andiamo's on Scottsdale and Shea

Real NY thin crust from Brooklyn! Yummy!

Photo: Abby Tucker

The Wine Not group celebrated their

last meeting of the season

Photo: Bob Kirschenbaum

For their last session this season, the Movers and Shakers were at Orit Feinberg's studio in Scottsdale

Thank You to our Facilitators! 

Photos: Gale Gradus

Save the Date

Summer Camp is coming!

June • July • August

Enrollment begins May 1

See the Calendar of activities

Book & Author 2025

Monday, February 24, 2025

Luncheon • Authors • Boutiques

Sunday, February 23

Cocktail Reception and Donor Dinner with the Authors 

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Congratulations to Sheila Shapiro on the birth of her seventh great-grandchild, a girl named Noa
  • Congratulations to Andrew Tievsky on the birth of his granddaughter, Sasha Beth Jeske. Proud parents are Dana Tievsky and Brett Jeske.
  • Congratulations to Linda and Robert Ullman on the birth of their grandson, Gavin Rhett Ullman. Proud parents are Adrianne and Michael Ullman.
  • Best wishes to Laurie Herman for a speedy recovery
  • Best wishes to Gale Stam for a speedy recovery
  • Our sincere condolences to Bonnie Clewans on the passing of her partner, Sam Summer
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Nancy Siefer on her passing
  • Our sincere condolences to Loreen Silverman on the passing of her husband, Perry
  • Our sincere condolences to Susan Sloan and family on the passing of her husband, Dennis

We welcome our new members:

Avram & Sheryl Greenspan, MaryBeth Kravets, Pat Kutzbach, Lynn Levin, Joan Lowell, Lisa Penn, Debbie & Harry Popeil, Marcia Reynolds, Leon & Marianne Rubin, Livia Russell, Jack Shartsis, Devra & Ilan Shiba, Janet & Larry Sills, Peter Winkler, Michael & Roberta Zatkowsky

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 socials several times throughout the year to welcome new and prospective members

Our next event will be a study group orientation in the summer, date to be determined.

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 Committee Meetings

Our next Membership Committee meeting will be Monday, May 20 (the third Monday instead of the fourth because of Memorial Day) from 10:00am to 12:00 pm.

If you are interested in learning more about membership or interested in joining the committee, please contact the Membership VPs.

If you join or renew now, your membership will be in good standing through June 30, 2025

Membership Vice Presidents 

Laurie Burns and Gale Stam


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 Mavens Study Group provides participatory activities for our members to volunteer directly with specific agencies.

Collection of Items

Pet Shelter

The shelter we have chosen is: Home Fur Good

Items that are needed are:

  • Gently used clean towels; NO linens or blankets
  • Bleach
  • HE unscented laundry detergent

For the Homeless

Over the summer, we will continue to collect items that are desperately needed for the homeless:

  • Empty and clean medication bottles with safety lids
  • Personal care items such as: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, bath soap, washcloths, sanitary care products.
  • We will continue to collect costume jewelry, bras, glasses, books and purses.

Contact our new Community Outreach co-chairs,

Debbie and Gale, for pick-up of any of these items.

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.

Debbie Gordon and Gale Gradus


Community Outreach Chairs


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


BNC Medical Science Fund




Elaine Fleischmann

Stu Siefer and Family

in memory of Nancy Siefer

Patti Grossman

Stu Siefer and Family

in memory of Nancy Siefer

Georgia Heller

Stu Siefer and Family

in memory of Nancy Siefer

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.

A Special Gift is Appreciated

Leith and Judy Baletin are planning to create a permanent legacy gift at Brandeis, with the intention of donating to support a fully endowed scholarship for future engineering students. Brandeis does not currently have an Engineering Program, but is developing one to be offered by 2026-27.

Stephen Rodriguez, VP of Development at Brandeis, expressed a heartfelt thank you to Leith and Judy, in part as follows:

Your thoughtful gift promises a future where bright, aspiring engineers can pursue their dreams without the burden of financial constraints. This scholarship will not only be a testament to your legacy but also a beacon of hope and opportunity for generations of students to come. It embodies the essence of what we strive for – empowering students to innovate, excel, and contribute significantly to our communities and beyond.

We are deeply moved by your willingness to make such a profound impact on the lives of students who wish to explore the boundless possibilities of engineering. Your proposed gift stands as a pinnacle of philanthropy, inspiring others to consider how they, too, can make a lasting difference.

We understand that estate planning is a deeply personal and significant process, and we look forward to ensuring your legacy is honored exactly as you envision.

Thank you for your belief in our mission and for all you do as a BNC leader in the Phoenix chapter.   

Best regards, 


Brandeis News

The ADL graded universities in a Campus Antisemitism Report

See what's happening on the Brandeis campus here

Read about BNC's current campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspring Inquiry

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,

except for June and July, when there are no meetings

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 10:00 am

If you would like to attend,

contact Myral Robbins for the Zoom link

Chapter Presidents: Stephanie Klopper and Joyce Steinberg

Board of Directors 2024-25

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.

The Phoenix Chapter Bulletin is published 4 times a year. Our next issue will come out late this summer.

Presidents: Stephanie Klopper and Joyce Steinberg

Editor: Sara Leopold • Assistant Editors: Donna Germuska, Ronee Siegel



Let's Dance! logo: Image by brgfx on Freepik

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