May 25, 2019


TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019


We are thrilled to have Ms. See back with us to talk about her newest book, “Island of Sea Women”.

Don’t miss this exciting event.


Message from Your Co Presidents:

Message from Your Co Presidents:

Dear Members,
Happy February/March

Many of our Board members joined us at the Western Region Conference, which was held at the Warner Center Marriott. There were more than 50 people attending the two-day conference. (click here to see some photos from the conference)

A highlight for our chapter was our being awarded the Brandeis Award for Excellence, the “Louie”. Only three chapters (of 27 nationwide) were eligible for this award; having met their goals in fundraising, and membership set by National, as well as conducting community service projects, sharing bulletins, newsletters and/or website with National, showing evidence of leadership training, and hosting University on Wheels, and utilizing Brandeis authored materials.

Did you know that many biologists build their own microscope to suit their groundbreaking research? It makes sense because the field develops so rapidly that one cannot purchase such a device “off the shelf”. Well, Josh Tractenberg, a Neurobiologist from UCLA presented information to us about the photon microscope that the researchers at Brandeis University are anxiously awaiting, and for which we are collecting funds. “The things that change the world are people working – not in the clinic- but are those who are working in the laboratories.” Think about that.

Another highlight for us was sharing of ideas and feeling the support of other successful groups and the learning from each other. We all expressed the experience that most people join our chapters to learn, meet new people, build a network of people to share new lives with. But we do not lose sight, and we all try to remind our members, that ultimately we are raising funds for Brandeis University and the important research in Neurodegenerative diseases. We thank you, our Conejo Valley members. for joining in to reach our National and personal goals. This is a terrific chapter and we are proud to be your presidents.

We have some interesting and exciting events coming up; our Special event on March 13. We have a scientist who will present us with “The Future” and what we can look forward to in terms of science and innovation. Someone said that for many of our grandchildren, the jobs they will hold have not been discovered yet.

May 14: Books and Brunch with Lisa See, a popular author and excellent speaker. Save the date so you are not SOLD OUT!

Also in March, look out for a community service activity that will be rewarding and fun. We can only put together two groups of 20, so check with us and get ready to respond when you hear about it.

And before you know it, it will be time to renew our membership, and continue to enjoy each other and what we bring to our community and to Brandeis University.

Thanks for making our term of office so enjoyable.


Your presidents,
Elaine and Judy
Judy Perlman
Elaine Bercy,




The Social Justice/Community Service Committee of the BNC Conejo Valley Chapter is actively involved in many areas of community service. It is our firm belief that the act of “giving” reaps a two-fold benefit of also “empowering” the giver. Our members are involved in many Social Justice projects, through our Temples and our Chapter. Through your contribution, you can play a part in helping us to reach out to many needy families.

It is my pleasure to give you information or to make arrangements for donation pick-up.

Please contact me at



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.


Intergenerational Challah Bake – November 14th at Temple Etz Chaim:
The Community Challah Bake was a lovely-fun evening.
Pictured is Elissa Lazarus her daughter-In law Robin and granddaughter Eden.

Collections of clothes, toilettrie and school supplies were brought to a shelter for people effected by the fires. Also a “FUND-ME” was set-up for firefighters and police officers and its recived gift cards and the money.

CHANUKAH toiletries-gift bags and toys will be delivered to a Homeless Shelter after our Holiday party, which will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2018
in Marvin E. Smith Community Room,
Thousand Oaks Library 1401 E. Janss Rd.,
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thank you to all who donated!


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.


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

Study Group monthly news & updates

Hi Members!

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your patience. I have to admit the number of new members has caught us by surprise. We are thrilled to welcome all of you to our chapter and cannot wait to meet you all. However, many of our most popular study groups are full. Bear with us a bit longer and we will start new groups so that we will have a very happy membership enjoying all their meetings. In fact, here are some of the new groups just for you.

Now let’s get to the important stuff!

What are CLASSES? They are groups with a limited amount of information to be shared. We will not set the time limit in advance but you can continue as long as you are still learning and enjoying. An asterisk after the group name indicates those classes we are considering:

Janet Brasler(click here to send email directly to Janet)
has arranged organization meetings for these new groups:
Beginners Mahj on Friday, October 26th, 1:00 -3:00 This is not instructional Mahj
Women’s Canasta on Tuesday, October 30th, 1:00-3:00
Creative Writing: Monday, November 19th,1:00-3:00
A new Couples on the Town group is in the planning stages. We already have a member who is willing to co-lead, so join us for the fun. Details to follow.

Sue Geiger (click here to send email directly to Sue) has arranged these meetings:
Women’s Legal Puzzler on Thursday, October 18th, at 10:00 at Agoura Hills Library
Roots Pursuit (Jewish Genealogy) is currently meeting Wednesday, October 24th at 1:00 at the Agoura Hills Library and if you can make it please RSVP.
A new group focusing on the history and current status of Women’s Rights has been suggested and we would like to know what you all think of it.

Ellie Puls (click here to send email directly to Ellie)
has arranged this organization meeting:
Jewish traditions, rituals, history, recipes, etc on November 2nd, at 10:30 at the Agoura Hills Library
Couples Pot Pourri will also have an organization meeting in November at the Agoura Hills Library so let Ellie know if you want to know the exact date.
A Woman’s Book Club is also forming and will meet at the library in November, too, so let Ellie know if you want to know the exact date.

There are also openings in a few groups, so if you have a choice of an existing group, contact the V.P. and find out if you can get in. Ellie has openings in Exploring the World of Drama and would really like more men to help make the play reading more like the theater. There also are openings in the 4 in 1 women’s discussion group and the women’s issues group Our Views.

Please remember how important it is to RSVP both to the V.P.s and the leaders because they need to know of your interests and who is attending. Thank you.

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

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)

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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