April 24, 2014

Study Group Update

On Friday afternoon, April 4, 30 Brandeis National Committee members were treated to a one-of-a-kind Study Group at the Roskamp Center. Elinor Borenstine, daughter of Eddie Jacobson, a former Kansas City, Missouri, haberdashery partner of President Harry S. Truman, talked to our group and enthralled us with the story of how Eddie Jacobson influenced the President to recognize the State of Israel.

Mrs. Borenstine, age 93, resident of Sarasota, told stories, read letters, showed photos and talked of her continuing contact with the Truman Library on these matters. We were able to hear about a piece of our collective history from a first-source witness.

It was Eddie Jacobson, lifelong friend of Harry Truman, who was able to convince the President to recognize the State of Israel in the U.N in 1948. We were all mesmerized by her talk and awed by our ability to hear of this vitally important piece of Jewish history from the source.


THE KNOWN WORLD, Special Study Group

For two decades, the New Student Forum has fostered conversations between incoming first-years and notable authors. Over the summer, students are asked to read a selected work and come to campus prepared to discuss it with classmates, faculty and the author.  This year, the selection committee chose Edward P. Jones’ 2003 novel “The Known World,” an epic work of historical fiction exploring the life of a black slaveowner in the antebellum South. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize Award for Fiction in 2004.  This special study group will be held at the Roskamp Center on April 11th from 1:00 to 3:00p.

April Study Groups

AprilStudyGroupsYour schedule changes…you have a free day…company cancels. Check out the April listings as there are still some very interesting study groups that will be taking place. The month of April is still of ongoing interest, so please review our offerings and COME IF YOU CAN!! Call or email the Registrar or if this is last minute, just show up! You can attend one session before purchasing a study group card.

A Successful Art in the Afternoon

The 3rd and final event in the BNC’s Art in the Afternoon series concluded on March 11 at the Meadows Country Club with a stunning presentation by Phillip Gainsley, a regular voice on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast. The talk  featured  Stephen Sondheim, the greatest and best known artist in American musical theater.  Mr. Gainsley played music from Follies, Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and West Side Story. While commenting on the Artist’s words and creative process, he even played comments in Sondheim’s own voice. It was a thrilling and informative talk. Upon completion, 47 BNC members adjourned to the dining room for a fresh salad lunch. All agreed that the series was spectacular again this year.

On Feb. 11, we spent a delightful time listening to Diane Steinbrink discuss the life and work of Neil Simon. She regaled us with stories about his personal history, and the humor and pathos of his vast body of work. He wrote over thirty plays and movie screenplays that are familiar to all of us including, “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” and the trilogy of “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Biloxi Blues” and “Broadway Bound.” Diane performed several monologues from his various plays that illustrated his ability to see into the underlying feelings of his characters. Her performance was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We then adjourned into the light and lovely dining area for a nice lunch and conversation. We are all looking forward to another wonderful Art in the Afternoon next month on March 11.

On Tuesday January 14, the popular series, Art in the Afternoon, began its 5th successful year at the Meadows Country Club.  Jean Renoux spoke  on the Art and Architecture of Prague with a special emphasis on Jewish Prague.  Jean is a knowledgeable and experienced traveler with a sense of adventure who gave a witty tour of this elegant old world city and its famous residents,  including the Municipal Building, Franz Kafka , Alphonse Mucha, old synagogues, the golem, the Charles Bridge and the old clock in the Wenceslas Square. He contrasted this with wit and humor showing us the contemporary and irreverent sculptures in the city.
Following his talk we adjourned to the gracious light-filled dining room overlooking the golf course where 73 Brandeis members and their guests enjoyed a lovely salad lunch.

March Study Groups

Your schedule changes…you have a free day…company cancels. Take a second look at March Study Groups to see if there is something you did not previously register for and might want to do now! Call or email the Registrar or if this is last minute, just show up! You can attend one session before purchasing a study group card.

New Member Reception – March 7, 2014

ReceptionOn Friday, March 7 at 11: 30 am., there will be a reception for new and prospective members of Brandeis National Committee of Sarasota immediately following  the general meeting.  Men and women are invited to attend the meeting and brief reception and take advantage of a new member only 15- month membership.  The meeting will be held on the Jewish Federation campus, 580 McIntosh Road, Sarasota, Florida.  This is an opportunity to learn about the Brandeis mission and meet the Brandeis members.  For more information call Joan Magiet at 941-346-7013


March 7, 2014 – General Meeting

March7GM2014The Brandeis National Committee (BNC) of Sarasota will hold a General Meeting on the Jewish Federation Campus at 580 McIntosh Road, Sarasota.  The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.  Richard Russell, Executive Director of the Sarasota Opera will speak about the history of our Sarasota Opera, an important economic driver of our community.  It will be a day of fun, history, charm and enjoyment!  Light refreshments will be served.  For more information about the meeting or BNC, contact Audrey Lourie at 941 927 1900 or mandd02@aol.com.

Book and Author Luncheon – Enjoyed by All!

Flo Korchin, Toby Halpern and Sara Benesch, Book and Author Co-Chairs, with Paul Green

Flo Korchin, Toby Halpern and Sara Benesch, Book and Author Co-Chairs, with Paul Green

Nearly 90 people attended the Brandeis National Committee’s Book and Author Luncheon, which was held on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at Michael’s on East.  The speaker at the event was Paul Green who discussed his book “Forgotten Hostages:  A Personal Account of Washington’s First Major Terror Attack.”  During the attack, Paul Green and over 125 of his colleagues faced threats of beheading and death for 40 hours from the Hanafi Muslim terrorists who had captured the B’nai B’rith building.  Across town a second attack almost killed future Washington mayor Marion Barry and killed a young reporter. At a third location, a mosque, multiple hostages were also taken.  With Washington in chaos, the lives of all the hostages hung in the balance.  It was the first time local and federal law enforcement authorities faced such a terror attack in DC. It became an international incident as well since three Arab ambassadors became involved in finding a way to save the lives of the hostages. Co-chairs of the event were Toby Halpern, Florence Korchin and Sara Benesch.

University on Wheels – A Great Success!

The University on Wheels Patron Party was held on January 11, 2014, at the home of Susan and Harold Halpern.  The chapter welcomed acclaimed author Stephen McCauley, who spoke at the Sarasota Chapter of Brandeis National Committee’s University on Wheels on January 12th, shown here with event chairs Fran Spring and Shari Paler, Chapter President Shelly Youngelman, Regional President Norma Feinsod and National President, Barbara Sander.

Chanukah Party 2013

The Sarasota Chapter of Brandeis National Committee held its 2013 Chanukah Party on December 6, 2013 at The Jewish Federation.

Laurie Vodnoy-Wright, known for her exceptional technique and versatility, entertained us with Yiddish and Chanukah music. It was great fun!

The delicious brunch was catered by Word of Mouth Catering. Although we didn’t have traditional latkes, Word of Mouth catered a fabulous brunch of quiche, scones, muffins, potatoes and array of fruits.

Members brought household goods and donations for Hope Family Services.  They are a non-profit organization providing services to survivors of domestic violence. It is the tradition of our Chapter to support this organization for the holidays.

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