Brandeis Conejo Valley Chapter - Study Groups Update

Study group leaders:
Have any new or interesting information,
pictures or updates to share?
Please e-mail to Alvira

Study group updates - FEBRUARY 2018:

Check whats happening with our Study Groups!


Hi Everyone:

We hope that you all had a great holiday season and now it is time to think about how you can enjoy 2018. We have several STUDY GROUPS that are open now and I am sure that we can find at least one that fits your likes and time availability.

Bev Sklar is planning on starting a new group for Wine Appreciation which should appeal to both men and women. In addition, there are openings in Ethnic Dining. Also, the Art Groups would love to include more men in their tours. At the risk of sounding sexist, I have been told that the one gentleman in the group really would like to have more men join him. Step right up, you Art Connoisseurs.
(click here to send email directly to Beverly)

Honey Bencomo has been very successful in placing very many members in Study Groups but she has several Legal Puzzler groups that would welcome new people especially since a new group has just started.
HONEY BENCOMO - (click here to send email directly to Honey)

Ellie Puls has many openings, especially in the new Study Groups that just began: Women in History, The Supreme Court, and First Ladies. But do not forget the Study Groups that would be glad to welcome new members: Women's Issues, Book Groups, and Geneology.
ELLIE PULS - (click here to send email directly to Ellie)

Let Brandeis Study Groups make this a great and busy year and do not forget our other ways to make life easy.
Contact Renee at 805-374-9660
to order Brent's Cards and Tribute Cards to send to our friends and relatives for happy occasions as well as sad.

If you have a Study Group in mind, please fill this form and send/give to one of our Study Group VP's

Study group Request Form to join a new group.(pdf. format)

Thank you,

  Your Study Group Vice Presidents:

         Ellie Puls
         Honey Bencomo
         Beverly Sklar

CLICK HERE FOR FULL Study Group Schedule - 2018

Get detailed description about each Study Group and information when they meet.


On Sat Dec 23,2017 (at the age of 75) I became a Bat Mitzvah, along with 7 other adult women. It was one of the most amazing days of my life and it would not have happened were it not for the Conejo Valley Chapter, of Brandeis National Committee.
In one of our monthly Study Group E-mail blasts I read " Are you interested in learning to read Hebrew?". I have wanted to do this for years and years and years. I tried on my own, and previously went to a class that never continued long enough; and so I was ready to try again. At out first Brandeis class our teacher, Nancy Federman, introduced herself and we learned she teaches adult B'nai Mitzvah classes at her synagogue. Nancy is an amazing teacher, she has the patience of Job and the understanding of how to teach adults. She is a member of our chapter and was willing to take on these 10 men and women who wanted to learn to read Hebrew.
We began by learning our Aleph Bet, then we started to read words and it was really exciting when we read words and phrases that we had been hearing in synagogue for years and years. Then we started tackling the Shabbat prayers and Nancy would explain what the words meant.
Thus, in the fall of 2017, when my synagogue offered an Adult B'nai Mitzvah class I was now ready to give this a try. The others in my Bat Mitzvah class also had learned to read Hebrew in prior synagogue classes or with private lessons so we were all at about the same level; that of first grade readers. And thus began our training to become proficient with our prayers and learn to read from the Torah.
The journey was a joy and the actual day was a highlight of my life and it would not have happened without the Conejo Valley Chapter of Brandeis

Carol Smith

Updates and Photos from various Study Groups:

Day Time Divas visiting Santa Susana Train Depot in Simi Valley.
(click on the photo to enlarge)
February 2018

Potpourri study group had a blast on our karioke day singing, laughing and keeping the beat.(click on the photo to enlarge)
February 2018

"Divas at the Fire Station"
November 2017
The women of Dine and Discover were mesmerized to hear the unbelievable true story of Tomas Kovar who survived the holocaust. Tomas is the husband of Rita Kovar one of our members. We listened on the edge of our seats to his saga of survival. Tomas Kovar was born in 1936 in a small town in Slovakia. When he was eight years old, Nazi Germany invaded its former ally Slovakia. Tomas and his family sensed the looming danger, and fled to the mountains with a group of partisans. They hid in the small village of Ponicka Huta with a non-Jewish family until liberation in March 1944. After the war, Tomas and his parents moved to Chile, where he married and lived until immigrating to Los Angeles in 1965. He currently lives in Thousand Oaks.
Brandeis Players in its seventh year is led by Sid Wilner, a professional actor.
Sid has been a member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA for 35 years. His very extensive resume includes roles in Movie, TV and Theatre productions. None of the members in the group are actors. No critics, Do your best... Just have fun and enjoy!! We meet every month on the 4th-Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Scripts are then distributed for the following month. The roles for the reading assigned one week prior to the meeting via e-mail. For most scripts you will have multiple roles. And this is important...No "Stars" Everyone will read about the same amount of lines.
Sid Wilner


Are you Puzzled about what Legal Puzzlers Study Groups are all about?

Our group has been in existence for over ten years, meeting each month at a different member's home. The hostess is responsible for providing the topic for discussion. Our format is constantly changing with the times. We may debate legal issues regarding the current government policies, discuss a supreme court case, watch a movie pertaining to a legal issue, or have a guest speaker. We become the best of what a jury should be.

Laraine Karelitz and Sue Ruttenberg Kessler,
Co Leaders

"Knosh and Knowledge"
Knosh & Knowledge Luncheon - June 27th, 2017
The CHP 'Age Well Drive Smart' presentation was very well received this past Tuesday by 24 luncheon guests. The CHP volunteer presenters were Stu Olesker, my husband, and Harry Peck. The CHP Public Information officers were Leland Tang, who answered the many questions that everyone had, and Wes Haven.
On the left is a picture of Linda and me receiving the Certificate of Participation and a copy of the certificate.

Jackie Olesker
Lantern Masters, Inc.

Divas at 'For The Troops'
This becomes a tradition!

4 years in a row our study group "Day Time Divas" dedicates a day to make care packages for our troops.

These small contributions to our men and women who served and protect our country every day make everyone feel uplifted and this outing always gets the most attendance.

Every year we get letters from the organization with thank you notes from our soldiers serving all over the world.

Life and Times:
A Study Group to Pique Your Interest!
Life and Times

Life & Times is a great group of women who meet to discuss both notable women in history and topics of interest to all of us. Each month the person who is hosting the meeting does a short bio on a woman she admires, followed by a report on a topic of interest to her. Past topics have included women inventors, art history, women poets, stroke awareness, recycling, heart health, and Jews in China. Our presentations are followed by lively discussions. We avoid political and personal topics.
For more information please contact our leader,
Sharon Cohen,

Literary Potpourri celebrating their Anniversary, with the same people as they started with.

We are a book group that was established as a Valley Group and later moved into Conejo Valley.

Our Leader is Sherrie Weisman

Divas on the tour of Van Nuys Airport (click on the pictures to enlarge)