The AWC Berlin Newsletter

The Bear Facts

November 2019


Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Did you know that the U.S. and Germany are two of many countries that have a tradition of Thanksgiving in fall? While customs vary within and across cultures, a common thread is the act of coming together to be grateful. And in the U.S., as we know, it also centers on a meal. While I definitely look forward to pies and potatoes, what I love most about this holiday is the inclusiveness. No matter how busy and head-down we are, we stop to check on friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and even strangers, “Do you have somewhere to be this Thanksgiving?”

This annual check-in seems to me a critical component of a healthy community. How easy it would be to barrel forward and miss connecting with people outside of our daily orbit. So, who do we thank for this annual replenishment of our hearts and bellies? A woman, of course. Although the roots of U.S. Thanksgiving go back to the late 1600’s, it was only declared a holiday after an almost 40-year campaign by 1800’s social ‘influencer’ Sarah Josepha Hale. Sarah’s steady push to have the entire nation break bread on the same day culminated in writing letters to five different presidents. What commitment she had to her vision of uniting a still-young country in this way. I’m so grateful to her.

This November, I hope that all of you can join one of the AWC’s Thanksgiving potluck gatherings. We have arranged for both daytime and evening events, in order to accommodate as many members as possible. And if it happens that you can’t make it, then come join any other event this month. You don’t need pies or potatoes to connect with fellow members and to feel grateful for this wonderful community of women.  

Love, Janel

Janel Schermerhorn
President, The American Women's Club of Berlin

Apologies in advance for any and all mistakes in the newsletter. Feel free to email me if a correction is needed. 


Welcome New Members

Addis Anton

Kate Brady

Stephanie Hintzsche

Ute Maisl-Wust

Flora Christine Pich

Andrea Gorman Schwab

All members are welcome to join the New Member Wine Reception on Tuesday, November 12, 7:00pm-9:00pm. Come meet new members and reconnect with ones you already know. We look forward to seeing you soon! rsvp:


General Meeting

Join your fellow members for our General Meeting at one of our favorite locations, the Allied Museum. Our speaker is Dianne Reed with her amazing story of survival, recovery and strength. Thursday, November 14th 12:00pm-2:00pm - Details.


FAWCO Update

Ten AWC Berlin members will be attending the FAWCO Region 5 (for clubs in Germany and Austria) meeting in Leipzip on November 16-17, 2019. Look out for our report back next month.

MARK THE DATE: Join fellow members and other FAWCO clubs in a virtual reading of the Declaration of Human Rights on its special day, December 10th.  This is one action you can take for the 16 Days of Activism eliminating gender-based violence. We will gather together in Berlin and then have a video call with other FAWCO clubs and individuals around the world in a shared reading. Watch for more details in next month's newsletter.

FAWCO is accepting applications for Education Awards which have a $5000 value for YOU as a member, or your child/grandchild. More info here. The deadline is January 27, 2020. Don't delay. Start now. The application is detailed and gives you a sample timeline to help manage the process. Let your FAWCO Rep., Karen Castellon, know about your application so she can support you (or alternately dog you until you complete your application as you originally intended). Email Karen

For the planners among us: The FAWCO global annual meeting is March 20-22, 2020 in Luxembourg. Who's been to that country? Not me. Join your FAWCO Rep., Karen Castellon, on a weekend of learning more about the work of this amazing women's organization. Think global, act local, act global.


Volunteer Spotlight

Without dedicated volunteers, there would be no AWC Berlin. From every activity to administrative function, there are members stepping up to make this club a rich social, cultural and philanthropic outlet for our 250+ members. If you'd like to nominate a member, please email Thank you to Karen Castellon for the following submission. 

Thank you, Stephanie Biery!

Stephanie Biery

Stephanie Biery, our Philanthropy Chair, deserves a huge shout-out for the incredible philanthropy program she has built, starting with the uber-successful first Auction of Talents. That event raising more than 15K euros to benefit JACK Berlin, a service for refugee women and their children. No sooner had she declared that we didn't need to fund raise any more in 2019 than she turned around and partnered with KCRW Berlin, journalist Soraya Saharddi Nelson and Ascend Athletics to raise 9K USD in support of female Afghan mountain climbers, who are changing the leadership trajectory and opportunities for women in their war-torn country.

Stephanie is fearless. She breaks all those moldy old excuses about needing to have Berlin connections, needing to know where you're going, or needing to speak German to be a champion of women and children who need our help. Stephanie had been in Berlin for less than a year when we caught her dragging a mitten tree for many blocks to the 2018 Annual Meeting at Stadtmission, because the taxi refused to take the monstrosity. What an inspiration to all of us. Get out there, AWC Berlin member! 

Stephanie has helped us to become more cohesive as a club, with more members spreading their wings, offering their talents (or lack of talents) and really getting to know one another. Thank you, Stephanie.


Philanthropy Update

On September 25th, 2019 AWC Berlin partnered with KCRW Berlin and journalist Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson to bring the inspiring documentary Ascending Afghanistan: Women Rising to the Astor Film Lounge in Berlin. This event raised money and promoted awareness for Ascend Afghanistan, a U.S. NGO founded by Marina LeGree, that teaches leadership and life skills to young ladies in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

The team of AWC volunteers worked with Soraya and Marina from early May through the matinee and evening screenings to make this Ascend’s top fundraiser, netting over $8,800 for their program. The theater expense was generously underwritten by Jutta Von Falkenhausen, which allowed proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales to go directly to Ascend. Artwork created by students of the program was available for purchase, as was Ascend logo merchandise. Over 150 people attended the two screenings. 

During the program, Soraya and Marina spoke about the program and the life of women in Afghanistan. Herr Muller, from the foreign affairs office representing Afghanistan, attended the matinee screening and also addressed the audience. Two of the young Afghan ladies in the program spoke with the audience live via a Skype connection from Kabul, Afghanistan after the film concluded. They shared their message of hope and made us all aware of how much work still needs to be done to create a safe and empowering environment for them in a country they love.

With this funding, Ascend will send more Afghan girls on their first-ever camping and hiking trips and help them learn the value of voluntary service in their local communities. They will ensure they have safe climbing gear and equipment and provide daily activities that help them grow stronger in mind, body, and spirit. Thank you to all AWC members that supported this event with monetary donations, time or both. The planning committee members were: Stephanie Biery, Karen Castellon, Sandy Chen Kluth, My Linh Kunst, Maggie Repp, Lissa Rosenbloom, Janel Schermerhorn and Sara Switzman. Silvia Malo, Sharon Owen, Adri Oldham, Sydney Ware, Guevara Rowand, Rose Finley, Rhonda Staudt, Elyzabeth Simpson and our two student volunteers, Andrew and Paul, ensured the day of the event ran smoothly. 

If you would like to learn more about Ascend or make a donation to this organization, visit:


Community Volunteer Opportunities

Thanks to Molly Brown, we have three volunteer opportunities. Please contact Molly to RSVP or get more information: 

BE AN ANGEL - Kruezberger Himmel (Syrian restaurant)

Looking for teen volunteers (age 16+) of AWC members to participate in a special cooking program. In this intercultural exchange program, member's teens will partner with Syrian teen refugees to prepare and share a starter, main course, and dessert under the professional guidance of the restaurant's chef. Teens can choose one or more dates: Mondays 2 and 26 December 2019, and Mondays 13 and 27 January 2020. Each date is limited to 3-5 teens. Please contact Molly for more information, including consent form, which you must sign.


AWC Volunteers and their elementary and high school-aged kids are needed to help Serve the City Berlin with a holiday wrapping party between 25 November and 7 December. More than 1000 gifts will be wrapped and distributed to over 1000 refugee children. Serve the City Berlin is part of a worldwide movement of volunteers doing simple things to express loving kindness and make a difference in local communities. RSVP to Molly with your availability during those dates.


We need approximately 35 VOLUNTEERS for our third annual collaboration with Agape and Leben Lernen e.V. (LL). As a volunteer, you will be given a handwritten letter from one of the young women at one of LL's mother-child facilities for whom you (perhaps partnered with your daughter) will prepare a Christmas shoe box. These are vulnerable, often physically and emotionally traumatized young women with young children, who have found refuge in a facility that provides support in the areas of education and training as well as counseling to help the women regain the health, confidence, and practical skills to re-enter society. RSVP to Molly.

November 2019
Calendar of Events

 One-Time Activities

Kaffee Klatsch

Date/Time: Friday, November 1, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Park Cafe 
Cost: cost of your order  
RSVP: no rsvp needed, just show up!

Kaffee Klatsch is our monthly "coffee chat". Stop by to connect with old friends or make new ones.  Details

Visit Altar of the Dead at the Embassy of Mexico

Date/Time: Friday, November 1, 11:00am
Location: Mexican Embassy,
Klingelhöferstraße 3, 10785  

RSVP: Diana at

Join Diana for a private visit to the impressive building of Mexican Embassy. See the beautiful Altar and learn the importance of Altars of the Dead for the Mexican Culture.

Following this very interesting visit, we could have a lunch at the Nordische Botschaften. Please indicate on your registration if you will stay for the lunch. Details.

Weekend Salon – Nicole Montéran

Dates/Time: Saturday, November 2, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location: private home

Bring: snack to share (drinks provided)

Nicole Montéran is a French artist living in Berlin since 1967. Come meet Nicole, view a selection of paintings, photographs, masks, and works on paper from her 40-year career, and listen to the stories and history that infuse Nicole’s work. Wine and cheese reception to follow the artist’s talk. Details.


Kaffee Ost

Dates/Time: Tuesday, November 5, 10:30-12
19grams Chaussee, Chausseestr. 36 , 10115
Rose at

Join us for coffee in the East as monthly we try different cafes in this interesting part of Berlin. Please try to let Rose know if you are coming, but feel free to come last minute to enjoy a cup of coffee and your fellow AWC members. Details.



Date/Time: Wednesday, November 6, 10am-12pm
Location: private home, Charlottenburg
Cost: free

This time, we are limiting it to clothes (ideally fall & winter), accessories and books only. Please bring your own hangers (which you would get back) for hanging clothes.

We'll also collect household items in good condition to donate to a women’s shelter (towels, sheets, kitchen items). Leftover clothes and books will also be donated.

Soft drinks provided. Feel free to bring nibbles. Details.

Travel Group

Dates/Time: Friday November 8, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Location: Goldhahn & Sampson, Charlottenburg
Cost: the cost of your order

The Travel Group meets every second Friday of the month at to share their passion for seeing the world. Details.

Veterans Day Commemoration

Dates/Time: Sunday, November 10, 2:00pm
Location: Nicholson Building, Allied Museum, Clayallee 135
Cost: free
RSVP: (with a copy to by Nov 1. Include your name, "org: AWC of Berlin", and # of people. Family welcome.

Image result for veterans day

In honor of Americans who served the cause of Freedom in uniform, VFW Post 10506 “Last Outpost” Berlin invites you to a Veterans Day Commemoration and receptionRefreshments will be served. Flier attached.

New Members Wine Reception

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 12, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: Private Home

Cost: free

Welcome to AWC Berlin!

Whether or not you have already had a chance to experience an event, outing, or meeting with our club, this is the perfect opportunity for you to meet other new members. Details.

Blogger's Meetup

Date/Time: Wednesday, November 13, 9:00am - 11:00am
Location: Private Home, Charlottenburg 
Cost: free  

An informal discussion for anybody managing a personal blog, interested in starting one, or wanting to improve something specific about theirs. Details.

Monthly General Meeting

Date/Time: Thursday, November 14, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Location: Allied Museum, Clayallee
135, 14495  
Cost: free  

Image result for Dianne Reed

See description above. Details.

Girls Night Out

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 19, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Southern Vittles, Lychener Str. 6, 10437

Cost: your own meal 

Join us and get ready to take your stomach on a journey down south for some serious comfort food a la Americana. Chicken & waffles, ribs, mac & cheese, cobbler, oh my! Need we say more? Please RSVP by November 12th to guarantee your spot. Details.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Date/Time: Wednesday, November 20, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: pr
ivate home
email invitation

You are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at our members-only Thanksgiving Dinner. Turkey and drinks will be provided - sides and desert will be potluck. This year, we have both a Lunch and Dinner. You will receive an email invitations, so that you can choose to attend either the daytime celebration or the evening celebration. Details.

Sunday Afternoon Dog Walk (dog not required!) 

Date/Time: Sunday, November 24, 1:15pm - 3:00pm 
Location: Grunewald Forest

Cost: Free 

Dogs can run free off leash! Let’s do a casual walk and talk together in true German tradition. Spouses, families, and of course pets are welcome! Details


Thanksgiving Luncheon

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 26, 12:00pm-2:30pm
Location: Christine's Home in Westend, Charlottenburg

Cost: Free  
to email invitation

You are invited to celebrate Thanksgiving at our members-only Thanksgiving Lunch. Turkey and drinks will be provided - sides and desert are potluck. This year, we have both a Lunch and a  Dinner. You will receive an email invitation, so that you can choose to attend either the daytime celebration or the evening celebration. Details.

Evening Book Club

Date/Time: Tuesday, November 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Location: private home/Mitte
Cost: Free 

This month’s selection is Snap by Belinda Bauer.

From Goodreads: “On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long. But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever."  Details.

Multi-Date Activities

German Conversation - West

Dates/Time: Mondays 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Wiener Conditorei at Truman Plaza (Clayallee 175)
Cost: the cost of your order

Come join us for casual German conversation meetups!  We meet over coffee in a safe and judgement-free environment and always have a good time. Usually we are joined by AWC Berlin members who are native German speakers. RSVP to AWC Facebook page before heading over or send an email. Details

German Conversation - Ost 

Dates/Time: Thursdays 10:30am - 12:30pm
Lawrence Mitte, Oranienburger Straße 69
Cost: the cost of your order

Come join us for casual German conversation meetups!  We meet over coffee in a safe and judgement-free environment and always have a good time. Usually we are joined by AWC Berlin members who are native German speakers. RSVP to AWC Facebook page before heading over or send an email. Details.

Creative Writing Practice

Dates/Time: Tuesdays 10:00am - 12:30pm 
Location: contact instructor
Cost: 105€ for 7 weeks

Join this diverse group of writers, whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional. No previous experience necessary! 

At our weekly gatherings, we apply various writing prompts as springboards to unlock and unleash our authentic voices, and share these writings in an atmosphere of trust and deep listening. If you've never taken the class before, your first one is free. Details

View the AWC November Calendar


AWC Berlin Facebook Policy

The AWC Berlin Private Members Only Facebook group is open to current members only and is a casual, respectful and friendly forum for member announcements (for example, babies! weddings!, etc.), discussion, information and questions regarding AWC-related topics and/or life in Berlin. 

  • Only authorized AWC Berlin events that are already listed on the AWC calendar can be created as an event in our Facebook group.

  • Please do not post charity donation requests or political items not related to the AWC Berlin.

  • You are invited to let us know about your business, but please limit commercial, self-promotional posts to Mondays and be sure to preface your post with MARKETING MONDAY. No comments are allowed on these posts.

  • When in doubt, please send your question to

Thank you for your cooperation!

AWC Berlin Facebook Page | AWCB Website

Forward this newsletter to your friends in Berlin! 

AWC Berlin Logo

Veterans Day.docx