Guest speakers enliven recent Brandeis event

Staff Writer

JACKSON — The Harmony Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee held its first women’s conference, “Yearn to Learn,” on Oct. 19 at the Radisson Hotel in Freehold Township.

“This event was the culmination of more than a year of work by our hard-working committee,” said co-chairwoman Lita Diamond. “It was truly wonderful to see more than 100 women attend the event.”

Diamond said the event had an educational setting where attendees had the opportunity to partake in a variety of new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Guest speaker Polly Letofsky, known as “the woman who walked the world,” told the guests how she left her home in Colorado and set out to increase awareness of breast cancer.

Letofsky traveled 14,124 miles and crossed five continents and 22 countries on foot. She shared her experiences of how she was welcomed by strangers who shared meals with her, having dinner with farmers, politicians, poets and in one case a female bomb maker. She raised more than $250,000 for breast cancer organizations.

The event allowed attendees to attend various seminars.

During the first session, attendees heard Jayanti Tamm speak about her experiences growing up in a cult and her journey to find her own way; Susan Shapiro Barash spoke about toxic relationships and how to escape that environment, as well as how to recognize true friendships; and Lois Yuhasz presented “A Users Guide to Aging.”

Second session presentations included “A Holistic Approach to Health and Healing” presented by Shoshanna Katzman; “Surviving to Thriving in the Second Half of Life” with Dr. Doris Klein Hiatt, who examined the challenges of women over 50 years of age; and Dr. Janice Stapley, who presented the topic “Speaking With Adult Children.”

Co-chairwoman Hope Lewis said it took the talent, hard work, cooperation and expertise of all the women on the committee to make the undertaking so successful.

Committee members included Linda Ballan, Ruth Pashkin, Jo Ann De Vory, Nesha Parry, Hope Eisman, Harriet Popkin, Harriet Eisenberg, Pam Ronan, Dee Ganz, Marie Santoro, Judy Harris, Sue Shapiro, Steffi Isaac, Bobbi Schwinger, Estelle Levy, Lona Steiner, Bunny Marin and Sandy Tilis.

Brandeis National Committee is a nonprofit organization composed of 45,000 men and women with a commitment to Brandeis University, the Brandeis Library and medical research for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Sponsors who contributed to the event included ShopRite, Home Goods, CVS, Jackson Premium Outlets, New Jersey Natural Gas, Ray Catena Lexus, TD Bank, Arrow Exterminator, ViPac, Night and Day Magazine, and Ann’s Hallmark.

Donations made to the Brandeis National Committee go to the Brandeis Science Laboratory Fund for research in neurodegenerative diseases.