May 29, 2020


from 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Moderated by Justin Regan,
journalist, former public radio host/reporter, and podcaster
of The American Rabbi Project
Justin will be joined by our panelists:
Rabbi Lisa Bock
Instructor, Officiant,
Religious Leader of the Jewish community of Ojai
Rabbi Michele Paskow
Spiritual Leader of Congregation B’nai Emet,
Simi Valley
Rabbi Ari Averbach
Spiritual Leader of Temple Etz Chaim,
Thousand Oaks

Message from Your Co Presidents:

Message from Your Co Presidents – winter 2020:

Dear Members,

Well, winter is almost upon us and we have been busy, here in Conejo Valley. We continue to hear from our members, how much Brandeis National Committee has to offer and how much we gain; friendship, learning, support, community involvement, opportunity for self expression, and personal growth. Great news: We have again been designated as one of the 4 chapters in the country as “Chapters of the Year”. We are grateful for your participation and support over the year and to our wonderful Board, which makes things happen, we say THANK YOU to you all! And let’s remember the foundation of BNC: as we enjoy all of those things, we contribute to Brandeis University, its research in neurodegenerative disease, and to the library, the foundation of a university. Elaine and I thank you for all you have done in the past year and we look forward to continue with you the 2019-2020 year.

We have begun a terrific Community Outreach project and so many of you participated in October, in bringing food for and feeding the homeless and needy people. In August we prepared Braille books for blind children.

Our Fall luncheon and boutique was a hoot and many of us shopped til we dropped.

In December we will have Klezmer music and we dare you to sit still while they play. Come join us. And in January we have our University on Wheels at Braemar Country Club. Lets all have a great showing along with the SFV and Los Angeles Chapters.

Browse our website to find pictures of your friends, and maybe YOU, learning and having fun.

So lets join in and continue to excel, learn, enjoy and reach out.

Happy Holiday Season, Judy and Elaine


Your presidents,

Judy Perlman
Elaine Bercy,


Study group updates – Check whats happening with our Study Groups!

Study Group monthly news & updates

Consider joining in the fun!


What are your needs and interests involving Brandeis Conejo Valley?

Creation and development of small and major events of interest to men?
What would make you interested in bringing your gentlemen friends into BNC Conejo?
Might your special interest be a men’s group for bridge? Investments? Legal cases? Life experiences? Opera? Rock? Sports viewing? Walking? Gym rats? Wine or beer or whisky tasting? You name it!
Interested in leadership such as leading a group, serving as Group V.P., serving on a committee or the board?

We have about 170 men in our chapter, about one-fourth the total membership, and we want to hear from you. Join us for a brainstorming session (time and date to be discussed) Interested? Email Paul Fisher at

Exceptional Study Groups for your consideration!


New Groups in the planning stages

Contact: Janet Brasler (click here to send email directly to Janet)


  • Men’s Mahj
  • Men’s Chess / Hearts
  • Couples Critical Thinking
  • Ladies Canasta
  • Couples on the Town
  • Couples Games
  • Ladies Instructional Mahj
  • New Ladies on the Town with an Art Focus
  • New Ladies on the Town

Contact Jessie Pearlman (click here to send email directly to Jessie)

Have we got a match for you…….Searching for couples interested in starting a Current Events and/or Movie Group.

Contact: Frona DeCovnick (click here to send email directly to Frona)

Let’s Talk – previously 4 in One – 2nd Tuesday beginning January 11th. Coffee and socializing begin at 10:00 followed by a discussion including anything of interest to the women members, except politics! Lunch afterwards. – 818 716 0887 for additional info.


Space in Existing Study Groups

Contact: Frona DeCovnick (click here to send email directly to Frona)


  • Women Behind the Presidents (2nd Thursday at 1:00 pm)
  • Life and Times – Discussion Group: (3rd Tuesday at 10:00 am)
  • Women in Transition 2nd Monday 10:00 am A feminine forum for exchanging ideas and perspectives on issues impacting women and their relationships.
  • Anything Goes – 2nd Thursday 10:00 Ladies discussion group
  • Crafty Needles – Group Projects (3rd Thursday at 2:30 pm)
  • Roots Pursuit – Genealogy (4th Thursday at 1:00 pm)
  • Short Story Book Club (2nd Wednesday at 1:00 pm)

Contact: Janet Brasler (click here to send email directly to Janet)


  • Soulful Strollers – 1st Monday 1:00 pm
  • Art & About – 4th Thursday
  • Just for Fun – 4th Wednesday

Contact Jessie Pearlman (click here to send email directly to Jessie)


  • Women in the Know 2nd Tuesday, 1:00 pm in the Calabasas Library Multipurpose Room – Ladies current event discussions
  • Legal Divas 2nd Monday 10:30 Women’s Legal Puzzler group
  • Legal Eagles 2nd Thursday 1:00 Women’s Legal Puzzler group
  • Drama Queens – various Fri. nights/Sat./Sun afternoons monthly – depending on the musical, drama, comedy being enjoyed in a variety of locations scattered throughout the greater LA area.


Have a desire to create a specific Study Group? Simple alert us as to what your heart desires!

Contact us if this or any other on the Study Group list interests you. Also check out the web site on regular bases to see more of what is available.


We also feel that there are a few groups that really need defining:

“On the Town” groups go someplace exciting and interesting every month. That includes educational, recreational, dining, crafts, and charity excursions.

“Pot Pourri” groups are a combination of events. They include trips to places you will enjoy and discussion and demonstrations of interest.

“Life and Times” groups” discuss first a “woman of history” and then a topic of interest. These can range from what a first aid kit should include to an era in history.

“Lunch & Learn” group members enjoy a great lunch and a lecture from a person of interest arranged by the group’s members.

Remember, if you have a question about any Study Group, contact the appropriate V.P.
Just a quick reminder. All those checks you are making out for Study Groups, don’t forget to make them out to: “Brandeis University”.

And, by the way, don’t forget to renew your membership by either mailing in your check to National or online at


FRONA DeCOVNICK – (click here to send email directly to Frona)

JESSIE PEARLMAN – (click here to send email directly to Jessie)

JANET BRASLER – (click here to send email directly to Janet)

Contact for Tribute Cards:
Florence Prushan –

and order Brent’s Cards:
Jackie Kantor – the San Fernando Valley and Calabasas)
and Carol Smith – (for Westlake, Thousand Oaks and Agoura)


Just a quick reminder. All those checks you are making out for Study Groups, don’t forget to make them out to: “Brandeis University”. The bank is a bit picky and does not want the money to go to the wrong place.

And, by the way, don’t forget to renew your membership by either mailing in your check to National or online at


SUE GEIGER – (click here to send email directly to Sue)

ELLIE PULS – (click here to send email directly to Ellie)

JANET BRASLER – (click here to send email directly to Janet)



Summer 2019:
Your assistance is requested as we continue to actively be invoived in the SOCIAL JUSTICE/COMMUNITY SERVICE component of our chapter. Kindly consider lending your support to our efforts. For more information on how you can be participate contact:

Elaine Leff – Janet Brasler – 

  • Dots for Tots – On August 28th and 29th, we will be working with the Braille Institute to prepare board books for children (for more informations CLICK HERE!).
  • Community Dinner – Wednesday, October 23rd, in conjunction with TAE – we will be feeding 50 food insecure people in our community.
  • Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Saturday, October 26th

~~ Non-perishable food for the Manna Food Pantry will be collected at our Special Events through-out the year.

~~ We conduct an ongoing collection of Sunday Comics & Parade Magazines for the Troops & aluminum can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

~~ In December, Toys will be collected for Jewish Family Service’s SOVA Community Resource Service.

Do you have a personal connection to a local charitable organization? We are always looking for ways that our members can be of service. Do check our website frequently for other Social Justice opportunities!

Committee members Elaine Leff, Jessie Pearlman, Sharon Billone, Margie Bauer and Elisa Lazarus put together 100 gift bags for parents staying at Ronald Mc Donald House while their children are being treated at Children’s Hospital.

We are collecting toiletries and gift items for Ronal McDonald House and SOVA.

3 Study Groups: “The Happy Wanderers”; “Lunch/Salon” and “Day Time Trotters” donated lovely gift items brought during their annual planning meetings. Those gift items were donated to Conejo Valley Charities.

We delivered toys, food and gift bags to Ronald Mc Donald House during this holiday season. House staff, volunteers and parents of children were welcoming and very appreciative. We enjoyed a heartfelt-delightful and fun afternoon with lots of hugs and kisses.


We are a group of gals pleased to be of service to preform the MITZVAH of being at a home while mourners are attending a funeral. We will let in the delivery of the food so it will be set-up for the return of the mourners.

If you are interested and would enjoy doing this Mitzvah {we welcome you} or if you need this MITZVAH call Gertie Sanders 805-230-1252 or Judy Perlman 818 878 0483.
Gertie will then contact one of the MAVENS.
(There is a Bereavement Support Group that meets at Temple Etz Chaim, Thousand Oaks the 2nd. and 4th. Wednesday From 9:30am. to 10:30am. Call for more information to: 805-497-6891. NO CHARGE. )

The Mavens are: Jessie Pearlman. Bev Sklar. Elaine Blonder. Elaine Leff Frona DeCovnick.



Many of our members want to do even more to contribute to others in need. So we have begun an OUTREACH COMMITTEE where we engage in a helping project. Our first project will be DOTS FOR TOTS, pasting dots into children’s books to be used for blind children. STAY TUNED for dates , probably in February for our first project. We will ask for volunteers.



Louis Brandeis Award

We are very excited to announce that the BNC Conejo Valley chapter has won the Louis Brandeis Award for 2018. This award recognizes the achievements of the chapter in various areas over the past year including meeting financial and membership goals, running study groups with Brandeis authored study guides, hosting a University on Wheels program, serving the community, and participating in leadership development training, among other criteria.

We would like to thank all of our members and chapter leadership for their support of Brandeis University and enthusiastic participation in chapter activities. We look forward to spending another wonderful year learning, exploring, and supporting Brandeis together.

Announcement: Magnify the Mind

Brandeis has long had one of the best neuroscience programs in the country. Nobel Prize winner Michael Rosbash, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Gina Turrigiano and world-renowned neuroscientist Eve Marder are all pioneers in the field. Their breakthroughs have helped transform our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism.

But to remain cutting edge — and continue to make advances in our understanding of human health — Brandeis needs to upgrade its microscopes. The university currently owns an aging fluorescence microscope that uses a technique called two-photon excitation to image intact brain circuitry in the living brain. This technique has allowed Brandeis researchers to study how genes and experience interact to produce functioning brain circuits. However, this equipment is no longer state-of-the-art because it uses old and slow scanning technology that takes only one image per second. This speed severely limits the type of research questions that can be answered.

The Brandeis National Committee would like to provide Brandeis with a next generation resonant scanning two-photon microscope. This new technology would enable Brandeis researchers to take 30 to 50 images per second. This increase in speed can be used to observe the brain much closer to its native processing speed, or can be used to take many photographs of the same tissue that can be averaged together to create very high resolution views, allowing Brandeis researchers to study structures as small as single synapses in the living brain.

Brain plasticity — how neurons react to changes in the environment — is one of the most important areas in brain research, understanding what brings about changes in behavior. When the processes responsible for plasticity malfunction, it can give rise to neurodegenerative illnesses. Resonant scanning will generate a trove of new insights and data to understanding why this happens.

Researchers at Brandeis will further be able to explore the role of molecules, dendrites and synapses in the brain and reveal operating principles. The Brandeis National Committee’s campaign to raise $500,000, launches July 1, 2018. Contact 781-736-7588 to donate today.

View the video here.

BOOKS and BRUNCH – MAY 9th, 2018

Women Writers in Entertainment

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 – 9:30 a.m.
Westlake Village Inn
30943 Agoura Road – Westlake Village, CA

(Directions to Westlake Village Inn: From the 101 Freeway take Exit 39
Lindero Canyon Rd. off ramp. Go South to Agoura Rd.
Turn right for about 1/2 mile. Inn will be on your right.)

Buffet Brunch at approximately 11:30 a.m.

For more details

Questions? Contact Nancy at

Thanks and the Nobel Prize

From December 6th to the 12th, Nobel laureates from around the world gathered in Sweden to receive their awards. During the week known as Nobel Week, winners attended dinners, ceremonies, and concerts in their honor. They met Swedish royalty, delivered lectures to be broadcast across the globe, and received their Nobel medals and diplomas as VIP guests of the Swedish government. Swept up in the excitement were Michael Rosbash and Jeff Hall, biologists from the Brandeis community.

Rosbash, currently a professor in Brandeis’ biology department, and Hall, a professor emeritus of biology, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Michael Young of Rockefeller University. While winning the most prestigious prize in the world and the various perks that come with it (such as a personal attaché, first-class trip to Sweden, and intellectual celebrity status) is exciting, it is far from the main reason for Rosbash and Hall’s work. Their discovery of the fundamental workings of the circadian rhythm have far reaching implications, especially in the medical world. The circadian rhythm, also known as the body clock, has connections to many bodily functions including sleep cycles, hormone balances, enzyme production, body temperature, and metabolism. This internal clock is also connected to several neurodegenerative diseases. Studies have linked chronic sleep disorders with higher levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, while Parkinson’s is often marked by sleep disorders. Three quarters of patients with Parkinson’s disease have a sleep disorder and disordered sleeping may be an early indicator of the disease. It is necessary to understand the body’s underlying workings in order to develop targeted treatments. Foundational research like Rosbash and Hall’s is critical for advancing medical knowledge.

As the scientific and medical communities, and the world acknowledge the significance of Rosbash and Hall’s discovery, the two biologists recognize Brandeis University’s role in their research as a whole. Not only was Brandeis the place they met, but its collaborative, intellectual environment and financial support allowed them to perform critical research. In a time when pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on research coming out of universities; government funding for scientific research is more competitive than ever; and research in flashier, more profitable areas is more attractive; Brandeis provides a haven for an exploratory approach to the base questions, without which we can never fully answer the bigger questions. Brandeis University’s attention to foundational research and specialization in neuroscience fosters an environment of research and discovery for both faculty and students. Cognizant of the costs of research, the University provides financial support in the form of grants, fellowships, and scholarships, allowing minds like Roshash and Hall’s to stretch and push the limits of conventional science.

We must also recognize the role the Brandeis National Committee plays in Brandeis’ science. Through funding campaigns, and general support for the libraries and scientific journals, BNC members ensure Brandeis scientists have access to the resources and stability necessary to perform quality work. The Sustaining the Mind Fund for research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases and scholarships in science specifically targets the needs of Brandeis’ science departments. Without the generous support of BNC members research into these diseases and progress towards their treatment and cure would be significantly slowed, and the future less secure. So in addition to congratulating Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall on their Nobel Prize, the Brandeis community and the Brandeis National Committee would like to recognize the role our members play and extend our thanks for your support in this meaningful discovery.

Happy Holidays and Healthy Prosperous New Year!

Brandeis Conejo Valley want to wish EVERYONE

Happy Holidays and Healthy Prosperous New Year!


We recently have received comments of praise from “National” about our recent email blast leading everyone to our quarterly Newsletter on our Website. That was great news.

We give to Brandeis National Committee and the BNC gives a lot to us.
We are thankful for your friendship and for your participation in Brandeis Conejo.

We both wish each of you a Happy Holidays Season and Hapy New Year filled with joy and good health…

Judy Perlman 
Elaine Bercy,
your Co Presidents of Brandeis National Committee Conejo Valley

Save the Date: University on Wheels – January 8th

Save the date for the annual University on Wheels event taking play January 8th!

Please join BNC Conejo Valley on January 8th, from 10:00am – 2:00 pm at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles for the annual and much anticipated University on Wheels event. We are excited to announce, for the first time, we will be joining with the BNC San Fernando and Los Angeles chapters to enjoy presentations by TWO Brandeis University professors.


This years presentations will focus around health, healthcare and healthcare reform. One professor is a researcher in the University’s biology department whose research focuses on neurodegenerative diseases. The other is an expert in healthcare policy and reform. This is sure to be a fascinating and relevant event.

But wait, there’s more! We will also enjoy a delicious bagels and lox brunch while socializing with fellow BNC members.

Mark your calendar so we can fully represent our chapter and learn together at this exciting event.


Carpools will be available. More information about tickets, which will be around $45 including a donation, and reservations will be coming shortly.

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