June 28, 2017

Meet our board members


JoyceJoyce Biegen

Joyce Biegen is our Secretary. A former resident of Edison, she had a career as an administrative assistant. She has been active in the Terra Nova Garden Cub in Edison, in which she has served as sunshine and membership chairs. She has 3 children. “I enjoy our talks and trips.”







ChrisChris Retz

Chris Retz is study group chair and website editor, as well as being on the program committee. “I joined Brandeis because I am interested in ensuring quality educational opportunities for our youth. I treasure the many friends I have met since joining Brandeis, and enjoy trips to places I wouldn’t otherwise visit.” Her current volunteer activities include leadership positions in several organizations dedicated to historic preservation. An active member of the Catholic Community of St. Matthias, for which she authors both weekly and monthly publications, she chairs the parish’s Loaves & Fishes ministry, which is dedicated to directly serving the poor both near and far. She and her husband Dave have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She enjoyed a long career as managing editor of a scholarly press.




EllieEllie Goldman

Ellie Goldman is co-chair of our membership team. A Boston native, she was co-owner of a food distribution company and was also an administrative assistant to the executive director of a computer network company. She is active in the Women’s Club of Somerset Run. She and her husband Michael have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. “I enjoy the camaraderie and friendship with other members, as well as raising funds for research on neurodegenerative diseases.”






JanetJanet Hirschfeld

Janet Hirschfeld is a native of Newark, and serves as our movie coordinator. Her teaching career focused on being a Learning Disabilities Consultant. Janet is a member of ORT, Hadassah, the Women’s Club at Somerset Run, and the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Married 57 years, she and her husband Bob have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. “What I like about BNC is the aspect of giving to it and getting so many things from it.”







TobyToby Marks

Toby Marks is our board’s Corresponding Secretary. A native of Newark, she taught 5th grade in Hillside for 5 years. She also taught English as a Second Language for 25 years at the 1st Avenue School in Newark. She has been active in the Maplewood-South Orange Women’s American ORT. She organized the chapter and has served both as its president and membership vice president. Her daughter, Liza Castles, is an attorney qualified to practice in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Her son-in-law, Stephen Castles, is in debt collection and process serving. “Brandeis National Committee (BNC) encourages members to participate. I joined for socialization and education. BNC has excellent programs and I support their scholarship program.”





EllenEllen Schorr

Ellen Schorr is treasurer of Brandeis-Somerset. Born in New York, she was raised in Miami. A retired RN, she was a clinical research consultant, and president of EAS Associates. Active in Hadassah, she is married to Donald Schneider. Together they have an extended family consisting of eleven grandchildren. She joined Brandeis because we “offer stimulating educational opportunities for all members.”







SteveSteve Levine

Stephen Levine is our communications coordinator. A native of Manhattan. A graduate of both Cornell and New York Universities, he is a retired electrical engineer, where he enjoyed a variety of positions at GE, Bell Labs, AT&T, Ty Com, and CACI, including doing some interesting work for the federal government. He has been active in the Somerset Run Civics Club, the South Aberdeen First Aid Squad, and Temple Shalom of Aberdeen. He was a member and President of the Matawan – Aberdeen Regional Board of Education. He and his wife Elaine have 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and Arthur the cat. “We strongly support Brandeis because, among other things, our son is a graduate of Brandeis.”





DorothyDorothy Gitter

Dorothy Gitter is our bulletin chair. A native of the Bronx, she lived in Old Bridge, NJ for many years, and worked for the Social Security Administration. She notes that she is “a widow and has 2 daughters and sons-in-law and 2 grandchildren.” What is her favorite thing about BNC? “I enjoy the activities/trips and study groups as well as the many interesting and congenial people I have met through Brandeis.”







marilynMarilyn Altman

Marilyn Altman is our social justice and national liaison. Born in New York City, she has lived in several places along the east coast before settling in Somerset. Her career has included Jewish communal service, community organization, and development. She and her husband have 2 children, and 5 grandchildren. “My goal is for Brandeis University to maintain its high standards and open policy of admission based on merit, not race, religion, or national origin. The people I’ve met are the favorite things about BNC.”






judyJudy Dorfman

Judy Dorfman is our co-president. She hails from Brooklyn and lived in Bergen County for many years before moving to Somerset Run. She had a career as an elementary school teacher and then was a catering coordinator, planning weddings, B’nai Mitzvahs, and other life-cycle events. She is Past President of her Temple Sisterhood, a Past President of the NJ Region Reform Sisterhoods, and a Literacy Volunteer NJ. Judy serves as a court municipal mediator. She and her husband Joel are the parents of three, and grandparents to 6. “My goals for this presidency are to increase chapter membership, add more varied, new, and interesting programs, initiate a chapter website/blog, get more members actively involved, get our chapter further exposed to the unique opportunities offered by the Brandeis National Committee, and create chapter by-laws.”





IrisIris Kislin

Iris Kislin is President Emeritus of our chapter. A Bronx native, she resided in North Brunswick before moving to Somerset. A former talent agent, she has boundless energy for her many volunteer activities, which include a trustee of the Board of Directors at the Franklin Township Public Library, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Middlesex County, and many years as a vice president of the National Council of Jewish Women-Middlesex section. A “widow, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend,” Iris’s goals are “to support Brandeis’s mission and to fund raise for the university.” She also wants to offer “interesting and educational programs to the community as well as helping her friends and neighbors.”





JudyStregerJudy Streger

Judy Streger is in charge of our tribute cards. She hails from Bergen County, NJ, where she enjoyed a career as a marketing/sales educational publisher. She humorously notes that she is in “too many organizations to list.” She and her husband have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. “A favorite thing about BNC are the friends I’ve made.”







Tassie Becker

Tassie, who hails from Scotch Plains originally, is our membership co-vice president. She has taught Hebrew both publicly and privately, as well as being a TBI tutor. She also enjoyed a long career as a professional calligrapher. Tassie was on the Executive Board of the Westfield Hadassah for 35 years. She was also with NCJW for 35 years, as well as being co-president of the Attorneys’ Wives Club of Middlesex County. She and her husband Sandy have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. Her goal for BNC-Somerset is to “expand our social action and educational programs, as well as do fundraising for medical research.” Tassie added, “I enjoy educational programs, trips, and the company of smart, dedicated women.”





 Nancy Clancy

Nancy is our program chair “shadow” as well as being our bulletin designer. Native to Erie, PA., she has more recently hailed from the Randolph/Denville area. Her varied career includes being a public school art teacher (2yrs.), child rearing (10 yrs.), Director of Randolph Community/Adult School 22 years, including being Founder and Administrator of District School-Age Child Care, Summer Camps, and Summer Enrichment Programs. She has also been active in the League of Women Voters and PTA.
Her husband John is fully supportive of her active role in BNC-Somerset. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She eagerly said, “I admire the mission statement of BNC and want to take an active role helping our chapter achieve those goals. The two best thing about BNC are the very friendly, helpful people and the stimulating programs.”





 Margo Siroty

Our Social Action Committee Co-Chair. Grew up in Brooklyn; lived in Randolph, NJ.

Career: School Social Worker, Mt. Olive, NJ

Other organizations in which she has been active: League of Women’s Voters, CASA, Board of NJ Assn. of School Social Workers; Literacy Volunteers

She has three children and three grandsons.

Why she joined Goals for Brandeis /her favorite thing about BNC: Commitment to education, service, charity as well as stimulating programs and congeniality of members.

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