FEATUREJune 2021

The Service Continues for Brandeis

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Young woman sitting relaxed in armchair at home and taking part in video conference using tablet PC and earphones

The Brandeis National Committee’s San Dieguito Chapter activities have moved seamlessly from in-person to online without much interruption this year. Although no special events were possible, community service continues, and virtual participation in Study and Social Groups is high.

BNC was formed in 1948, the same year Brandeis University was founded, by eight women raising funds to purchase books for the near-empty library, which was then housed in a stable. Since then BNC has placed over 1 million books on the shelves, endowed a Librarian’s Chair, and raised millions for several projects. It is the world’s largest friends-of-a-library organization with 37 chapters around the country. Although the purpose of the non-profit organization is to support Brandeis University, most women and men join in order to participate in the Study and Social Groups and for social reasons.

Some current study and social groups include book and movie discussions, such as Jewish themed literature and Jewish themed film, local TED Talks, mah jongg for beginners and advanced players, and topics involving music, art, medicine, and current events. The chapter partners with Congregation Beth Israel’s DayTimers program online.

Social groups include trivia, puzzles, and a virtual cooking class, and next year’s plans, hopefully mixing Zoom and in-person meetings, include Pickleball, a walking group, and ‘Let’s Have Lunch’.

Virtual meetings provided an unexpected benefit as new members joined from as far away as Chicago and San Francisco. One book group even interviewed an author via Zoom as he drove from Chicago to Florida. Until this pandemic year, meetings were held at Seacrest Village in Encinitas, where the residents were encouraged to attend, and the chapter looks forward to the day they can return.

For more information, please contact membership chair Becky Thein at rebeccathien2@gmail.com.

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