The Author’s Committee Chooses Winners Again!
Our Author’s team must be clairvoyant. They began choosing the authors in August after reading a multitude of galleys of books in different categories. Before the books are published and reviewed, the team extends invitations in September and October to the authors for the Book & Author event.
Now some of the reviews are out and the committee has triumphed again.
Lan Samantha Chang’s The Family Chao was selected as the Barnes & Noble February book club pick, People magazine’s book of the week, Amazon’s Editors' Pick for Best Fiction and Literature, and an Editor’s Choice in the New York Times Book Review.
Thrity Umrigar’s Honor was chosen as the January pick for the Reese Witherspoon Book Club. One of her previous books, The Space Between Us, was an unforgettable bestseller.
Thomas Perry’s The Left-Handed Twin is just the latest of the some 27 mysteries written by this Edgar Award-winning author. He is considered by some to be “the best living author of mysteries and thrillers.” He has written for several TV shows, such as: Simon & Simon, 21 Jump Street, and Star Trek. He has a new TV movie titled The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges.
Mesha Maren’s Perpetual West has received marvelous reviews in the New York Times Book Section. This book, like her first one, Sugar Rum, “….is in the same measured but stunning prose.”
Peng Shephard’s The Cartographers will be released on March 15. It is anxiously awaited since her first book, The Book of M, was one of Elle magazine and Amazon’s picks for Best Book of the Year.
Three of these books - Perpetual West, The Family Chao and Honor - have won Best Indie Book awards.
Congratulations to Michelle Fischler, Joyce Grant and Beth Messer for another successful lineup!
ALL attendees and vendors must submit proof of vaccination PRIOR
to the event, as part of their registration – see
Tables for 10 will only have 8
Ballroom is at 2.5 times larger than we require, so tables WILL be far apart
Program Books are “no contact”
ALL will be masked
We have requested that they all be vaccinated
Only open to registered luncheon attendees, no guests allowed during the event
ALL shoppers and vendors must be masked
Large area for vendors to spread out
Masks and hand sanitizers will be available for all attendees
For more information about all Book & Author 2022 events,
contact Event Chairs Nancy Sacks and Iris Wigal at

Charitable donations benefit
Brandeis National Committee's Honoring Our History campaign.

BNC Phoenix Chapter's COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols apply to all study groups
and events - attendees must submit proof of vaccination in advance to Masks are required indoors.
Presidents' Message
Dear Chapter Members,
Last March we quoted Fiddler on the Roof by saying, “Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles,” we had survived a year of the pandemic. Now, make that two years! In the past year, we have been given the opportunity to get vaccinated and, by predominantly staying on Zoom, we have put the safety and health of our members at the forefront of everything we do. As your co-Presidents, we have missed the in-person interactions, as you have. But, last month, as Covid numbers began to decrease, we went back to several in-person events.
B&A 2022
Thank you to our Membership VPs and their wonderful hospitality committee for a successful new member get-together in Carol Kern’s lovely yard. There’s nothing like hearing new and potential members tell us how welcoming they find this chapter. Thank you also to our Book & Author VPs - Nancy Sacks and Iris Wigal - and the Table Captain’s Brunch Committee chairs - Ruth Lerner, Jo Ellen Susman and Sue Lawler - for the lovely Table Captain’s Brunch, also held in Carol Kern’s yard on February 11th. Assisting the chairs, were invaluable members who cooked, baked, set up and cleaned up. Thank you Nyles and Gale Gradus, Sue Karp, Hana Lange, Sara Leopold, Jeff Lerner, Brina Pepper, Linda Perlman and Marti Zelicoff! Everything was beautifully presented and so delicious! Thank you Carol Kern, for your continued generosity in lending us the use of your home.

The slate for the 2022-2023 Chapter Leadership was presented and voted on at our fabulous in-person annual meeting held on February 16th. The new Board will be inducted at the spring luncheon on April 6th. At the annual meeting, which was held at the New Shul, we were wowed by a very special ballroom dance presentation given by Cheri and Art Rolnick. Thank you to Ellen Widoff, Cheri and Art Rolnick, their committee and Terriann Kleiner and Patti Grossman, our Fundraising Programs VPs, for this spectacular event! Thank you to all on the committee who set up and broke down the room and collected items for the Sojourner Center. We received so many wonderful comments about the meeting and dance presentation. It showed just how excited members are to be back together in person! We want to thank Rabbi Elana Kanter for her generosity in allowing us use of the New Shul - a wonderful space to hold our meeting!

March is a very special month. Not only is spring coming, but so are our much anticipated Book & Author events! We will be in person once again with the strictest of Covid protocols. Please join us for our luncheon and boutiques on March 18th. We have a fabulous lineup of authors! This is a NOT TO BE MISSED event! We encourage you to consider a higher level of giving and to join us on March 17th for the Bookmark Donor Cocktail Reception and Dinner with the Authors. All Book & Author events will be held at the JW Marriott, Desert Ridge.

We will finish off a spectacular month of events on March 30th, with a Game Day at Congregation Beth Israel, including lunch, Canasta and Mah Jongg. There is still space if you haven’t already registered.

This is our last month as your co-Presidents. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this incredible chapter. Even during a pandemic, we all worked together to accomplish so much! We will pass the torch on April 6th to Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff. Each Board builds on the legacy of their predecessors, while bringing their own new ideas to the forefront. We are Team Phoenix Chapter and every one of you makes this chapter all that it is!

Thank you for your support, enthusiasm and kindness over the past two years.

Best Regards Always,
Jan & Linda
Book & Author
March 17-18, 2022
JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Bookmark Donors
The Book & Author Luncheon has not only been the ultimate Brandeis experience for our members and the community, but it has been the highlight of the Phoenix Chapter’s winter season. Pre-COVID-19, almost 1000 people attended the luncheon.
As a Bookmark, you are invited to attend a lovely private cocktail party and mingle with the celebrity authors and your fellow Bookmarks (from $300). An even more intimate experience is to dine with the authors at a gourmet dinner (from $1200). The Levels of Giving appear below.
These experiences are unique and memorable. The Bookmark events take place on March 17, the afternoon and evening before the luncheon.
We urge you to participate in these two events this year. Once one has attended either or both of these Bookmark events, the day of the luncheon becomes more meaningful. Having met the authors personally and having gained insight into their personalities, literary careers and works, their presentations will be more enjoyable. It is like watching an old friend on the stage with a sense of pride in how they achieved that position.
The Brandeis Book & Author Event is the Chapter’s primary fundraising event. By being a Bookmark you not only have an opportunity to partake in very exciting activities, but you can thank the chapter for the many hours of pleasure you have received through the study groups and programs, as well as for the friends you have made.
Be a Table Captain!
You can be a Table Captain and invite your oldest and newest friends, relatives and neighbors to sit together at tables(s) of 8 at the upcoming 32nd Annual Book & Author Event on March 18. Table Captains are able to enter the ballroom early to distribute individual place cards at their table(s) and are acknowledged in the program for their support.

If you are interested, please contact:
Table Captain Committee co-chair Sue Lawler at
The Beautiful Table Captains' Brunch on February 11th
Photos: Gale Gradus
Boutique Vendors
Read about our wonderful Boutique Vendors!
Proof of Vaccination is required for all attendees to participate in all Book & Author events.
For details and to submit proof, please see our BNC Phoenix Chapter's COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact the Event Chairs:
Iris Wigal • Nancy Sacks 480-442-9623
Fundraising Programs
SPRING EVENT - April in Paris
Luncheon and Installation
of the 2022-2023 Phoenix Chapter Board
Wednesday, April 6
Doors open at 10:30
Congregation Beth Israel • 10460 N. 56th Street • Paradise Valley
It is time to say "Adieu" to our outgoing Board and
"Bienvenue" to our New and Returning Board Members!

Join us for a delicious brunch and entertainment by David Gorgie.

Watch your email for registration information!
If you have questions or would like to volunteer, contact :
Patti Grossman, or Terriann Kleiner,
Event Chair: Sandi Oppenheim,
Game On!
Calling all Mah Jongg and Canasta players
Game Day has been rescheduled!
Wednesday, March 30
10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Lunch will be provided by Arizona Bread Company
and will be eaten outdoors.
Congregation Beth Israel • 10460 N 56th Street • Paradise Valley
Attendees will have the choice of playing either Canasta or Mah Jongg.
Please bring your Mah Jongg set and card with tablecloth, and cards and spinner for Canasta.
Canasta rules & Splashes will be sent to all registered Canasta players prior to Game Day.
Tables and playing partners will be randomly chosen at the event.

If you registered for the original date, your registration will roll over for the new date.
Cost: $36 Spade - $54 Club - $72 Heart - $90 Diamond

We will also collect items in support of JFCS - Just 3 Things.

Register early as seating is limited to 80 people.
Reservations will be available through Saturday, March 26 or until the maximum seating is reached.
Have registration questions? Contact Laurie Burns,
NOTE: Congregation Beth Israel's 250-person Friedman Ballroom will allow us to keep sufficient spacing between game tables. We can also open the doors to the outside.
Event Chairs: Marcia Langer, Ruth Lerner, Lori Roth
Any amount over $23 is considered a charitable contribution and tax-deductible, to the extent allowed by law, to the Brandeis National Committee's Sustaining the Mind fund, which supports neurodegenerative research at Brandeis University.
Join Brandeis Professor Ann Koloski-Ostrow for a virtual University on Wheels program on sanitation in Ancient Rome!

Professor Koloski-Ostrow will reveal the challenges of studying Roman sanitary conditions from first century CE Rome, what literary references can teach us about Roman sanitation and how the remaining archeological evidence, including graffiti, can support or contradict the literary evidence. Read more

Ticket Price: $20,40,60

Your registration fee is a charitable contribution and tax-deductible, to the extent allowed by law, to the Brandeis National Committee's Honoring Our History campaign.
For questions, please contact the Brandeis National Committee at

Annual Meeting - Ballroom Dance Presentation by Cheri and Art Rolnick
Our Chapter's COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols will be observed at all chapter events and study groups:
  • Masks must be worn indoors.
  • All participants must provide proof of vaccination 3 days prior to an event (not accepted at the door).
To provide proof of vaccination:
  • Take a picture of your vaccination card with your phone and email it to:
  • Include your name and preferred phone number in your email.
Please Join Us to Plan Events!
Fundraising Programs is always welcoming new committee members to add new energy and ideas to our chapter. Contact us if you would like to join us.
Fundraising Programs Vice Presidents:
Patti Grossman 602-885-0158 (phone or text) and Terriann Kleiner 314-761-3132 (phone or text)
Presenting the Brandeis Phoenix Chapter Leadership 2022 - 2023
Congratulations to the following individuals on their election to our Board of Directors as Chapter
Officers and Board Members for the 2022 - 2023 Board year.
Thank you to all these dedicated volunteers for their willingness to serve our Chapter!
Leith Baletin, Ellen Widoff
Executive Vice President
VP Book & Author
Carol Kern, Jan Lebovitz, Linda Ullman
VP Study Groups
Joyce Steinberg, Stephanie Klopper, Barbara Stern
VP Fundraising Programs
VP Membership
Laurie Burns, Gale Gradus
VP Strategy & Leadership Planning
Joellyn Pollock
Recording Secretary
Andi Carrino
Joan Davis, Bonnie Furst
 Community Outreach Co-Chairs
Wendy Cohen, Ellen Kirschenbaum
Corresponding Secretaries
Joyce Grant, Linda Perlman
Members at Large
Helen Abrams
Linda Burech
Hindie Dershowitz
Michelle Fischler
Geri Gould
Patti Grossman
Terriann Kleiner
Frank Lange
Louis Lantz
Toni Leonard
Ruth Lerner
Freyda Libman
Beth Messer
Martha Patrick
Myral Robbins
Respectfully Submitted by the 2021-22 Nominating Committee
Co-Chairs: Marcia Langer and Judy Levine
Members: Sue Karp, Carol Kern, Freyda Libman, Anne Mondlick, Harriet Schwartz, Andrew Tievsky
Note: This list is comprised of elected Officers and Members at Large; it does not include Appointees.
Study Group News
Study Groups Need Facilitators!
We have had the most successful Study Group season in our Chapter’s history with 94 study groups. The chapter continues to attract new members and a major part of that attraction is the availability of many and varied study groups in which people can participate.

To continue this success, we need your help. As we begin to think of next season (yes, your Study Group Team is already looking ahead to next year) we are looking for facilitators with ideas for new groups.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  •  Is there anything you are specifically interested in seeing offered as a study group? (Note: we especially welcome input from members of our men's study groups.)
  • Are you interested in starting a group (hiking? film? lunch?) that meets on weekends?
  • Would you enjoy participating in or leading 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 (i.e. weekly Mah Jongg or Canasta) which starts later in the year?
  • Do you want to meet interesting people and make new friends?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, please email the Study Group VPs at
Even a group that has reached its maximum enrollment 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 calendar linked below for group details, which include contact information for the facilitators. A $5 guest fee will apply.

*This Link is for your initial registration only. For additional registrations, use the link to "edit your registration information" from your previous confirmation email.
Monday, March 21
12:30 - 2:00 pm
12701 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale

Bob Boze Bell is known as "America's Western Storyteller." He is an artist, author, writer and serves as executive editor of True West magazine. Bell is a popular, sought-after figure in television documentaries about the Old West, appearing as an expert in dozens of Wild West history shows.

Bell won an Emmy for writing and directing Outrageous Arizona, a zany look at the state's centennial (1912-2012).

As an author, Bell has brought to life Billy the Kid,
Geronimo, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok in his best-selling Illustrated Life and Times series. His books Classic Gunfights I, II and III are must-reads about the most important Old West gunfights. Bell’s Bad Men: Outlaws & Gunfighters of the Wild West is now in its fourth printing, while his illustrated autobiography, The 66 Kid: Raised on the Mother Road, gives personal insight into the passions that have driven him on his lifelong quest to interpret the history of the American West for audiences around the world.

Guests are welcome with a $5.00 fee at the door.
RSVPs are required so that we will have enough chairs:
Merrill Kalman
Wednesday, March 9
1:00 pm
4725 E Mayo Blvd., Phoenix

On March 9, the Men for Brandeis Activities will visit the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix for a docent-led tour by one of our own members, Joe Widoff, who is a museum guide at the MIM.
Joe will guide us through each of the five galleries: Africa, Asia, Latin America, US and Canada, and Europe. We will also see the special exhibit currently on display at the Target Gallery of the MIM - Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments. The exhibits share stories of some of history's most notable moments, makers and instruments, covering the Mayan civilization to Jimi Hendrix. 

Lunch will be at noon at the MIM's Cafe Allegro. The tour will begin at 1:00 pm. At 2:00 pm, we will hear from Rich Walter, Associate Curator for Canada, USA and Europe in the Target Gallery for a brief greeting and introduction to the Treasures exhibition and then we will continue with our tour of Treasures.

There will be a $27 per person charge for the tour.

For additional information, contact the facilitator:
Leith Baletin 480-874-9434
Note: All attendees must show proof of vaccination in advance and our Chapter's
COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols will be strictly observed.
The Neighborhood Walks group visits Old Town Scottsdale
Photo: Yale Dolginow
The Red Wine Connoisseurs Group - outdoors with the facilitators:
Linda Ullman, Sharon Nova, Jan Lebovitz
Photo: Gale Gradus
2021-2022 Study Group Vice Presidents
Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern
Save the Date
In-Person Events Planned for this Season:

Virtual University on Wheels
Wednesday, March 9
1:00 - 2:00 pm AZ
32nd Annual Book & Author Event
JW Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix
Friday, March 18, 2022
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Bookmark Donors Cocktail Party
Thursday, March 17, 2022
5:00 - 7:00 pm

Dinner with the Authors
Following the Cocktail Reception
Game Day
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Congregation Beth Israel

April in Paris
Spring Event and Installation of the 2022-2023 Board
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Congregation Beth Israel
Membership News
Membership Milestones
  • Congratulations to Linda and Robert Ullman on the birth of their granddaughter, Stella Frances. Proud parents are Adrianne and Michael Ullman.
  • Best wishes to Judy Krockey for a speedy recovery.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Diane Felsenthal.
  • Our sincere condolences to Betsy Seligman Gometz and family on the passing of her mother, Julia Seligman.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Lillian Rosenzweig.
  • Our sincere condolences to Nancy Siefer on the passing of her sister, Barbara Chess.
  • Our sincere condolences to Rebecca Sostrin on the passing of her husband, Ellis.
  • Our sincere condolences to the family of Fran Wasserstrom.
We Welcome Our New Members
Susan Berger, Carmen Blank, Donna Germuska
To report life-cycle events, please contact:
Marilyn Reinfeld • mkr1227@cox.net480-620-5601

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.
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.
A Social for new and prospective members was held on February 4th
Photos: Gale Gradus
Membership Vice Presidents
Carol Kadet and Gale Gradus
Honoring Our History
Brandeis National Committee's Honoring Our History
campaign, continuing through June 2022, supports the digitization of select archives and special collections in the Brandeis Library that highlight social justice.
For more information about the campaign, or to make a donation, see the BNC website.
Community Outreach
Charitable Organizations Need Our Help!
We are collecting non-perishable food items to distribute to worthy organizations such as JFCS and Sojourner Center. If you would like to contribute, we will accept your donations at our homes.*
We are also collecting costume jewelry for children to give for Mother’s Day. We were very successful the last time we did this! You can give the items to Ellen or Wendy or to anyone who can get them to us.

We hope to share our good fortune with others.

Stay safe and HEALTHY!

Wendy and Ellen

*You can contact either of us for our home address:

Wendy Cohen
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 to Sojourner Center
and chemo caps to

For more information, please contact:

Ronee Siegel 917-273-0393

Joan Davis 602–499-8357
Mitzvah Mavens
Participants in this study group volunteer at a variety of Valley non-profit organizations. They meet at the specific locations of the organizations on various dates when possible. 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 ~ 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 our Volunteer Chair, Ruth Lerner
Brandeis Happenings
Mayim Bialik with Joey Kornman in Jeopardy! National College Championship (Brandeis University/Twitter)
Jeopardy! National College Championship: Brandeis student Joey Kornman enters semi-finals

The quarterfinals for Jeopardy! National College Championship is on, and aired on February 9, 2022, on ABC. Who's excited? The show promised two weeks of intense competition and one like you’ve never seen before.

The contestants for the nerve-wracking quiz show were Joey Kornman, a junior at Brandeis University; Mitch Macek, a sophomore at Villanova University and Yejun Kim, a senior at Northwestern University. Hosted by Mayim Bialik, this quarterfinal will have students compete to move up and become the 4th of 12 semifinalists. Who was the brainiest to win on this round? Keep reading to find out.
by Akhila Suresh
Feb 9, 2022
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 generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am.

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 16 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

Editors: Kathleen Witkin and Sara Leopold ~ Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel