In this issue:












A Year of NO Garbage??

A Brandeis Phoenix Virtual Program

Join us April 27, when the Phoenix Chapter sponsors a BNC Virtual Program on “Garbage"

Eve O. Schaub, humorist and stunt memoirist extraordinaire, whose latest book, Year of No Garbage: Recycling Lies, Plastic Problems, and One Woman's Trashy Journey to Zero Waste, is our guest speaker. 

The book has been described as “Super-Size Me meets our environment.” Eve will share her year-long journey with us, including how she convinced her husband and two daughters to go along with the challenge of living in the modern world without creating any trash and as it turned out, during Covid.

In the process, Schaub learns some startling things: that modern recycling is broken, and single stream recycling is a lie. That flushable wipes aren’t flushable and compostables aren’t compostable. That plastic drives climate change, fosters racism, and is poisoning the environment and our bodies at alarming rates, as microplastics are being found everywhere, from the top of Mount Everest to the placenta of unborn babies. If you’ve ever thought twice about that plastic straw in your drink, you’ll want to join the conversation.

This program is not only informative, but closely aligns with Earth Day and preserving our environment.

Thursday, April 27th

4:00 - 5:30 pm Arizona time

Donation: $18 to benefit the BNC library campaign,

The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry

Registration is a charitable contribution and tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Questions? Contact Carol Kadet • carolkadet@gmail.com • 415-828-1299

Register Here

Presidents' Message

Dear Friends, 

As the new board prepares to be installed and valued board members will be discharged from their responsibilities, it is a good time for retrospection and sincere expressions of gratitude.

Our deep appreciation to all who have worked so hard this season to provide our members with a diverse assortment of social, cognitive and physical experiences while supporting a world class university committed to academic excellence, social justice, nonsectarianism and service to the community.

To our 2022-23 Board of Directors

We are immensely grateful for the new board members who have stepped up, the members who are returning and those who will be leaving us. You help us make the decisions that ensure the BNC Phoenix chapter thrives as a community treasure. We are blessed with an enthusiastic and skilled group of leaders. Thank you all!

To our members who have accepted Appointed Positions

To the many hardworking volunteers, who provide both internal and external communication, advice and expertise in a variety of ways. You ensure our chapter runs smoothly. We greatly thank you all for your many efforts on behalf of our members.

To our Study Group Facilitators

A huge expression of gratitude to our study group facilitators. You exemplify the University’s commitment to excellence. Your efforts help meet the lifelong learning and social connections that mean so much to our members. You are the life blood of our organization. 

Arts • Books • Cinema •​ Fitness

Food • Games • Intellectual Pursuits

Men of Brandeis • Special Interest • Valley Adventures

To our Summer Camp Chairs

We offer our sincere gratitude for your broad reach in our community, with currently over 70 diverse activities offered in person and on Zoom. Your efforts greatly enhance the summer for our participants, wherever they are.


To our Event Chairs

Thanks to your efforts, and those of your committees, you enhanced our lives and helped meet our financial commitment to Brandeis University. With gratitude for the following events you coordinated this year:


Brandeis Alumni Making a Difference in Arizona

An Evening of Music and Conversation with Allan Naplan

University on Wheels

Our Annual Meeting with Rob Foster

Dance Fever

Our Leadership Training Event

To the VPs of our 33rd Annual Book & Author Event

Immense gratitude to our Book & Author event chairs and their committees, for a gala celebration of both the 75th anniversary of Brandeis University and the Brandeis National Committee. Our 33rd B&A Event can be counted as one of the most successful signature events in our history.


To our Executive Vice Presidents

Finally, a word about our new Executive Vice Presidents, Joyce Steinberg and Stephanie Klopper. Please accept our gratitude as we work together in the coming year to help you master all aspects of our multifaceted organization.

As VPs of Study Groups their herculean efforts helped us pivot and transcend the challenges of Covid and produced the largest study group offerings in our history. Their vast leadership experience, problem solving history, and commitment to this organization ensures that our chapter will continue to thrive. We are comforted to know that when our term comes to an end next year, our chapter will be in very good hands.

Many of our preparations for the next season are underway. We look forward to an exciting new season! 


Ellen and Leith

Summer Camp

The Summer Camp 2023 calendar is filling up!

Many chapter members have volunteered to lead activities in the following areas:


MOVIE discussion groups



CURRENT EVENTS or other discussion groups



We are still seeking more activities and activity leaders. Groups can meet in person or on Zoom.

Do you know of an interesting speaker for one or two sessions? Do YOU have a passion for an activity that you would

like to share with others? Do you have a friend who will co-lead an activity with you?

The time commitment is small but the appreciation you will receive from your fellow members cannot be measured.

So, put on your creative thinking caps and contact the Summer Camp Chairs at the email address below as soon as possible.


Let us know:

  • The name of your activity
  • Descriptive details
  • Month, day and time you wish to meet
  • Your contact information


Zoom training will be provided, if needed.

Be ready to enroll in Summer Camp after May 1!

Ronee Siegel and Harriet Schwartz, Summer Camp Chairs


Book & Author Afterparty

From the Event Chairs



In March 2023, at the 33rd Annual Book & Author Diamond Jubilee, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Brandeis University and the Brandeis National Committee! The events were amazing, due to the efforts of all our volunteers.

The planning for this gala celebration began a year ago when committee chairs were chosen and committees were formed. 

The Authors were selected by the passionate work of the author committee chairs Joyce Grant, Beth Messer and Michelle Fischler, whose work was also crucial to securing the hotel.

The authors introduced their new books and received rave reviews in the media before the event. Joyce and Beth’s multi-year journey recruiting authors culminated with this year’s selection of phenomenal authors. We thank them for their years of hard work and dedication in this role. The authors’ information/bios/reviews and more can be viewed here.

The authors were revealed at a Volunteer sign-up meeting chaired by Carol Kadet, Hillary Kaminsky, Terriann Kleiner and Stephanie Klopper. Their very capable skills paved the way for securing and organizing our volunteers for the main event! We had lots of fun in January when an elegant Tea for our Table Captains was held at a member’s beautiful home. Coordinated by the Table Captain co-chairs, Patti Grossman, Terriann Kleiner, Ruth Lerner and their committee, the Tea was a thank you to those who had volunteered to become Table Captains and sparked enthusiasm for the upcoming March luncheon. 


On Sunday March 12th, we were able to have a lovely outdoor Bookmark cocktail reception in the courtyard of the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch, with delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine. Co-Chairs Sue Karp, Freyda Libman and Andrew Tievsky organized this special event where Bookmark donors mingled up close and personal with the authors and books could be purchased and signed.

The rest of the story continues HERE. It includes:

  • additional photos
  • links to the scrolling display from the luncheon
  • a downloadable program book - which includes the names of everyone who worked to make this event the success it was
  • the video from Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz
  • a link to the video about the event that aired on the evening news...
  • and more!

We thank all who attended and welcome the 34th Annual Book & Author Event Chairs:

Ileen Herberg • Joellyn Pollock • Marcy Strauss

Carol, Jan and Linda

Book & Author 2023 Event Chairs

From the Authors

Everything was wonderful throughout the entire event! Everyone was so nice and

Laurie (Burns) was just an angel.

The planning and execution of this event

was just flawless in every regard. Putting

on that ballroom luncheon was quite a task and it went perfectly from beginning to end!

Please give my regards to everyone! 

All the best,


A million thanks for a wonderful event; I can't imagine the work that goes into making something that large a success, and I hope you went home and slept for a full day. I met so many lovely and fascinating people... Please extend my deepest gratitude to everyone involved! 




I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to such a lovely event!! Everything from start

to finish was spectacular. Everyone was so

warm and welcoming. I even sent a note

to my publicist this morning telling her as much. 


Please give everyone my thanks and I sincerely hope you will call me when you come to Atlanta. I promise to show you a grand time!!




I had such a lovely time with you all, and am so impressed by everything the BNC does. What a force! It’s wonderful to hear that people enjoyed my talk, and that book clubs are selecting Signal Fires. It’s so kind of you to let me know, and your words about my book mean a great deal to me. 

It’s evident how much work, and how much care, goes into the Books & Author luncheon. I was so glad to be a part of it. 

I hope our paths cross again. 



Study Group News

Spotlight on Study Groups

Study Groups Need Facilitators!

We are having another successful Study Group season, with 81 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), 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 phxstudygroups@gmail.com

We welcome our 2023-24 Study Group Vice Presidents: Marcia Langer, Myral Robbins and Harriet Schwartz!

Study Group Vice Presidents 

Stephanie Klopper, Joyce Steinberg and Barbara Stern


Men of Brandeis

Wednesday, April 12

10:00 am at the Foundation for Blind Children

1234 E Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

On Wednesday, April 12, Men of Brandeis will tour the facilities of the Foundation for Blind Children at 10:00 am.

The Foundation for Blind Children was founded in 1952 by parents of blind children who wanted services for their children in Phoenix, instead of having to send them to the State Institution for the Blind in Tucson.

The Foundation for Blind Children serves the blind and visually impaired of all ages, from birth to, currently, 102 years old. As the only agency of its kind in Arizona, the Foundation for Blind Children is an essential resource to families and children with blindness or low vision.

With three Valley locations (East Valley, West Valley and Central Phoenix), The Foundation strives to serve as “the” community’s resource for blind, visually impaired, and multi-handicapped children, adults and their families.

 Guests 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.com480-874-9434

Study Groups Out & About

Dipping in chocolate and decorating marshmallows and

pretzel rods with the Cake Decorating study group

The Delicious Dramas & Dinners group met at Tutti Santi in Phoenix for an Italian dinner and to discuss the film Big Night

The Mosaic study group with their creations

The Mitzvah Mavens read Dr. Seuss to students at Sunnyslope Elementary School

The Mitzvah Mavens also read Dr. Seuss

at Sandpiper and Sonoran Sky

elementary schools

The Leisure Hikers had

a snow day at

Marcus Landslide

Save the Date

Phx Chapter hosts a BNC Virtual Program

Year of No Garbage: One Woman's Trashy Journey to Zero Waste

Thursday, April 27 • 4:00 - 5:30 pm MST


Summer Camp Enrollment

Begins May 1

Summer Camp

June 1 - August 31

In-Person and Virtual Activities

Study Guide Orientation

Thursday, August 3

More details to follow

Membership News

Membership Milestones

  • Congratulations to Caryn Balaban on the birth of her granddaughter, Millie Stryker Bauman. Proud parents are Ashlee and Zackery Bauman.
  • Our sincere condolences to Jane Berkley on the passing of her husband, Terry
  • Our sincere condolences to Jeff Lipsman on the passing of his wife, Barb Jackson, as well as to her family
  • Our sincere condolences to Merri Rubin on the passing of her mother, Ruthe Goldblum

We welcome our new members:

Andrea Friedman, Cindy Katzoff, Ellen Solowey

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 Coffee/Tea for New and Prospective Members

The next Coffee/Tea be Monday, April 3 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

For more information or to attend, contact Membership VPs

Gale Gradus and Kathleen Witkin at phxbncmembership@gmail.com

There will be a Study Group Orientation on Thursday, August 3rd. Details to follow.

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

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.

Mother's Day is coming up, and this month we are collecting jewelry for Janice's Women's Center and Sojourner Center.

Why not “play it forward?" Rosie’s House accepts used instruments. They are a non-profit organization that provides music education to low-income children.  

Gently used handbags, totes and purses for Purse-Impressions, are still welcome. They collect new and used handbags, fill them with toilet articles and distribute them to women coming out of rehab. You can read about this charity on the Purse-Impressions website.

We’re still collecting bras, and prescription pill bottles without labels. Safety caps only, please. You DO make a difference!

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

Wendy Cohen and Ellen Kirschenbau


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.

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


The Current Campaign

The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry

The Brandeis National Committee is proud to announce its newest campaign, The Legacy of Louis: Inspiring Inquiry, as the university nears its milestone 75th anniversary in 2023. 

The 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.


The Legacy of Louis Campaign

Helen Greenberg to Stephanie & Hal Klopper • In honor of the birth of their granddaughter, Maisie Adalae Klopper.

Helen Greenberg to Stephanie & Hal Klopper • In honor of the marriage of their daughter, Courtney, to Corey Salter

Jo Ellen and Steve Ham to Joyce Grant • In honor of our dear friend Joyce Grant

Scholarship Fund

The Contemporary Reads Book Group to Jeff Lipsman and Barb Jackson's children • In memory of Barb Jackson

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

This list is current as of March 28. We regret any errors or omissions.

For future corrections or inclusions, please notify Beth Messer.

Brandeis Happenings

Brandeis forms partnership with Robert K. Kraft Family and Foundation to Combat Antisemitism

March 2, 2023

Brandeis and the Robert K. Kraft Family and the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) have formed a partnership to address the rise of antisemitism across the country. The Robert Kraft Family-Brandeis Collaboration on Antisemitism is a comprehensive, multi-pronged collaboration to equip students, higher education leaders, and Jewish communal professionals with knowledge, resources and tools to engage diverse communities in the critical work to address hate against Jews and other communities.

"The rise of antisemitism and hate targeting Jews across the country is a threat to the Jewish community’s survival and needs strong leadership to combat,” said Robert Kraft, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Kraft Group. “Through our Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, we are working to find innovative ways to educate and empower Jews and non-Jews to stand up to Jewish hate. Brandeis is the right partner for this important work, as its founding values are based in a commitment to create a better world.”


SOURCE 2020 FBI Hate Crime Statistics

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, May 17, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

RSVP: Email Corresponding Secretary Joyce Grant

at jhgrant35@gmail.com in order to receive the Zoom link

Chapter Presidents: Leith Baletin and Ellen Widoff

Board of Directors 2022-2023

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.

BNC Phoenix Chapter Website

Presidents: Ellen Widoff and Leith Baletin

Editor: Sara Leopold • Assistant Editor: Ronee Siegel


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