August 13, 2020

Social Justice Committee Reports on JFS Giving Circle Project

Fall /Winter 2017

Through the generosity of our members, in late October we fulfilled the Fall/Winter Wish List of
our Jewish Family Services (JFS) Giving Circle family. As you know, our family consists of a
single mom, twin boys who are now two years old, and their four-year- old brother, who is on the
autistic spectrum. The family is enrolled in the Family Mentoring Program of Jewish Family
Services of Somerset, Warren, and Hunterdon Counties.

The JFS social worker said Mom was so grateful and excited when she delivered our donations,
which included clothes for her boys and herself, toys, art supplies, and two costume jackets for

Through our generosity, the family will have the necessities they need for the winter
season. The social worker said, “This summer was particularly difficult for the family, Mother
lost her job and was stressed not knowing how she would provide for her family. She
worked very hard and successfully to get another job that is better than her previous one.“

 As JFS shared in a “Thank You” letter, “Even though there have been difficult times, Brandeis
has been a reminder of kindness and generosity for the L.W. family. JFS appreciates  your
(Brandeis’s) consideration … in making this donation  through Jewish Family Services.”


A “Thank you” letter from Interfaith Hospitality Network

(On Tuesday, October 17, chapter members made dinner for the homeless who are in the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) program. They were housed at the Middlebush Reformed Church (MRC) here in Somerset. This letter comes from church member Sallye Poff.)

I want to thank you and your wonderful ladies for the absolutely elegant banquet you all prepared for the IHN folks on Tuesday evening.  I only wish you could have seen how much they enjoyed it.  Christina, the intern, joined them for dinner and was delighted to be part of such a special evening meal.  It was so great of you all to volunteer your time and labor to us for MRC’s IHN week.  You know that it’s sometimes difficult to cover all the evenings needed, so you really helped us complete what we needed for the week.

Please convey our gratitude to the ladies and let them know how their delicious food was so completely utilized.  They took leftovers from dinner into the center the next day for everyone.  I spoke with Karen in the morning and she was just amazed at the quality and quantity of your offerings.  The muffins were a big hit, and I even left them a note for that morning so they would remember to take them.  They have been a good and very appreciative group, and we all hope and pray for good things to happen in their lives.

Brandeis Professors Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall win Nobel Prize

Rosbash and professor emeritus Hall win prize with Rockefeller University’s Michael Young for work on circadian rhythms

Brandeis University warmly congratulates Michael Rosbash, the Peter Gruber Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and professor of biology, and Jeffrey C. Hall, professor emeritus of biology, on being awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Read more here: M. Rosbash and J. Hall win Nobel Prize


BNC’s National Awards for 2017

We are very excited to announce BNC’s National Awards for 2017!
Congratulations to all of our winning chapters.

The Louis Brandeis Award

Goes to


This chapter succeeded in meeting its financial and membership goals, conducting a Brandeis authored study group, submitted its slate, bulletins, minutes, highlights planned giving and hosts a University on Wheels program (UOW) with a Brandeis featured speaker.

Membership Goal Awards
Cape Cod
Central Westchester
Conejo Valley
Northern Virginia
Santa Clara Valley
South Miami Dade
Staten Island
Washington D.C.

Financial Goal Awards
Cape Cod
Central Westchester
Conejo Valley
Los Angeles
San Dieguito
Santa Clara Valley
Staten Island
Washington D.C.

Your contributions support Brandeis libraries, science research and student scholarships. Thank you for all that you do for Brandeis University and wishing much luck and success in the 2018 calendar year. We are all so proud.


Jewish Family Service’s Giving Circle Project

Thanks to the generous contributions of our Somerset Brandeis members, our Jewish Family Service’s Giving Circle family was able to buy much-needed spring/summer clothing and food and use the donated items that we gave them.

JFS’s Family Mentor Program Coordinator acknowledged our efforts, saying, “For a single mom raising three boys with very limited resources, your Giving Circle has been instrumental in improving their lives. Mom, Lauren, was so grateful she wanted to share her name as did the family mentor, Randy A.”

Here are the thank you notes we received from Lauren and JFS’s family mentor:
From Mom:
“To My Giving Circle:
I wanted to thank you so very much for not only the gift cards and cash, but the diapers, beautiful scarves and
body wash! I will definitely be using every single thing! With thanks, love Lauren.”

From JFS’s Family Mentor:
“To Lauren’s Giving Circle:
Thank you so much for your generosity to Lauren. It means so very much to her and the boys!
Randy A.”

Thank you again for your generous contributions, time, and effort. We anticipate collecting additional
items for our family in late summer for their fall/winter needs.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact:
Margo Siroty at 973-366-4883 or
Marilyn Altman at 732-868-5463 or

Marilyn Altman and Margo Siroty
Social Justice Committee Co-Chairs


A “thank you” from “The Center of Great Expectations”

We’ve got a very warm “thank you” letter from “The Center of Great Expectations”!

To read it click here:  CGE Letter


A “thank you” note from the social service agency

Dear Members of Brandeis National Committee, Somerset Chapter:

I want to express the deep gratitude we are feeling here at Jewish Family Service when you found it in your hearts to be a Giving Circle for the W—— family. Mother was thrilled and so grateful when I delivered jackets and shoes for her boys.

This winter has been particular difficult for the family. Her children were sick often and the mother had to miss work whenever they could not go to daycare. Mother struggles raising her three children alone while working full time with very limited resources and support. Thoughtful and generous gifts allow us to better serve her family. I was able to witness smiles and a deep reaction when I delivered the gifts.

We appreciate your consideration of the needs of other families in making this donation through Jewish Family Services. The family has requested that I extend their great appreciation for your generosity.
Thank you.

Warm Regards,
Young-In Shin, LSW
Family Mentor Program Coordinator

What Gives You Hope?

paulinaBrandeis students like Paulina Kuzmin ’17 give us hope. A BNC Scholar from Tucson, Arizona, Paulina  is double majoring in neuroscience and biology. She works as a community advisor (CA) for two freshmen halls where she  helps residents discover their passions and inspires them to get the most out of their college experience. Paulina also works in the Lovett lab as a biology technician. She credits her own Brandeis experience to members of the BNC who have helped her realize her goals and dreams through the  endless opportunities afforded to her as BNC Scholar. Paulina plans to graduate ahead of schedule, in December 2016, to pursue a career in medicine and also earn a dual master’s degree in public health (MPH).

Read Paulina’s thank you letter where she describes the lasting impact your support has made on her life and those of other BNC Scholars.

Since 1948, BNC members have raised more than $131 million to support Brandeis students, faculty, the library and cutting-edge research in neuroscience. Please consider making a gift today to ensure students like Paulina continue to fulfill their potential through a Brandeis education.


Liebowitz inaugurated as Brandeis’ ninth president


Ronald D. Liebowitz, former president of Middlebury College, was inaugurated the ninth president of Brandeis. Photo/Mike Lovett

Ronald D. Liebowitz, former president of Middlebury College, was inaugurated the ninth president of Brandeis University on Thursday November 3, 2016.

His inaugural address emphasized Brandeis’ Jewish roots and openness to all, as well as its commitment to academic excellence in the liberal arts and world class knowledge-creation from its outstanding faculty. And Liebowitz called for a new era of transparency, decisiveness, and accountability in governance and administration.

Read more here



Watch online the inauguration of Ronald D. Liebowitz as the ninth president of Brandeis University

RonaldDLiebowitz - BrandeisPresidentThe inauguration of Ronald D. Liebowitz as the ninth president of Brandeis University will be livestreamed beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3. BNC members are encouraged to tune in and watch the event.

Anita F. Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, will serve as grand marshal for the inaugural procession. In addition to Liebowitz and Board of Trustees Chair Larry Kanarek ’76, speakers will include Middlebury humanities professor Stephen Donadio ’63; Christine Ortiz, MIT’s Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; and Brandeis Provost Lisa M. Lynch, the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy.

Over the course of the program, the Brandeis Chamber Singers, the University Chorus and the University Orchestra will perform the three movements of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.”

The inauguration will begin at 2 p.m. at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center with a procession of dignitaries. Inauguration is a ticketed event for the Brandeis community and friends.  For more information, visit

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