The AWC Berlin Newsletter

The Bear FactsJanuary 2019


Dear {Contact_First_Name},

Happy Holidays! What a fantastic Annual General Meeting and holiday party we had at Festsaal Berliner Stadtmission on December 10th. In addition to our annual report, we elected our 2019 Board of Directors, selected our 2019 charity, raised 580 for FAWCO’s 2018 target project, “Hope Beyond Displacement”, collected three bags of warm clothing for Serve the City, honored our dear outgoing President, My-Linh Kunst, and topped the night off with caroling. Whew!

As your new President, I certainly have some big shoes to fill. Over the past three years, My-Linh has built AWC from five members to nearly three hundred women of various interests, ages and nationalities. Along the way, she and many dedicated volunteers have created a space for us to enjoy Berlin’s culture, pursue personal interests, make friends, support good causes and much more. I am honored to dedicate my time and heart in this coming year to this valuable and ever-growing club.

Janel Schermerhorn (incoming President) honors My-Linh Kunst (outgoing President). Photo credit: Susanne Ollmann.

Speaking of various interests, there are several activities and events to look forward to on AWC’s 2019 calendar. One highlight is our January General Meeting, featuring Catherine Hickley, who is among the world’s leading journalist on the topic of Nazi-looted art. Don’t miss it! Other highlights include tours of the US Embassy (Jan and Mar), our Auction of Talents (Mar), AWC Story Night (May), and a Summer BBQ (June). 

The Auction of Talents will be a fundraiser for our 2019 charity, JACK Berlin. JACK offers literacy, German and computer courses to migrant women currently denied access to education, many are survivors of human trafficking. Our donations will go toward expanding their classroom space and equipment to serve more women. The Auction of Talents will be a fun way for us to use the talents of our own members to support JACK's work. More information on that coming soon.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!

Love, Janel

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


Congratulations to the New Board of Directors 2019!

AWC Board from left to right: Allison Siegert (Second VP in charge of Membership); Angela Andersen (Treasurer); Sara Switzmann (Secretary)Lissa Rosenbloom (First Vice President in charge of Programs); Janel Schermerhorn (President)Click here to read their bios.

Karen Castellon will continue to serve as FAWCO Representative and on the Membership team; Stephanie Biery will continue to serve as Philanthropy Chair; Molly Brown will continue to serve as Community Relations Chair; and going forward, My-Linh Kunst will serve both as Parliamentarian (non-voting position on the Board) and Public Relations Chair.


Click "View entire message" at bottom left to see the complete newsletter


Welcome to our New Members

Stephanie Bansal
Kristin Bayer
Sydney Beaman
Amanda Falkenberg
Nadine Koelzig
Tina Mortimer
Danielle Sander
Lois Woestman

We look forward to seeing you at one of the events below! In the meantime, if you are not already a member of our private members only Facebook group, please request to join "AWC Berlin Members Only PRIVATE" for casual exchanges among AWC members. 

January Evening General Meeting

We have the honor to welcome speaker Catherine Hickley, journalist and author, at our first general meeting of the year. Catherine is among the world’s leading journalists in the field of Nazi-looted art and has published dozens of articles and a book on the subject.

Catherine will speak to us about the story of Cornelius Gurlitt and her book, The Munich Art Hoard – Hitler’s Dealer and His Secret Legacy. It is an investigation into the incredible trove of art, including works by Monet, Picasso and Chagall, found by German customs officials in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt.

“All Cornelius Gurlitt wanted was to live in peace and quiet with his art. But it was not to be: he and his collection captured the world’s imagination and provoked a debate about a Nazi crime that has yet to be redressed.”

Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. Join us for dinner afterwards 5€ for members / 10 for guests.

When: Thursday, January 17th, 6:30-8:30pm 
Where: Katholische Kirchengemeinde Heilig Geist (Charlottenburg), Bayernallee 28 
Berlin, 14052
RSVP: to your Evite (and please indicate whether staying for dinner)


Join the AWC Berlin

We are a vibrant group of women of all ages and our members come from not only the USA but from other countries around the world. Please spread the word and invite your friends to join!


Our LIFE STORIES project is accepting submissions. The LIFE STORIES project, envisioned to become a beautiful published book of stories from our members, was conceived in the Moving Pen writing group and launched in June, 2017. There have been 10 submissions so far. As soon as we have 20, we will look into publication. You don't have to write your life story, just a snap shot, a small story, an experience which has given you knowledge or a realization that you did not have before - therefore answering the prompt, "What I know now that I didn't know then." If you have interest in submitting something, please email Suzy and Janel at by March 30th - you DO NOT need a finished piece, just an idea. Suzy and Janel will work with you to shape your writing. 

January 2019
Calendar of Events

 Daytime Activities

London 1938 Defending "Degenerate" German Art 11

Thursday, January 10th
11:00am - 1:00pm
Location: Liebermann Villa in Wannsee at Colomierstr. 3 Berlin, 14109 Germany

Cost: entrance fee 11

In anticipation of our GM with Catherine Hickley, one of the world’s leading journalists in the field of Nazi-looted art, please join us for this special exhibition at the Liebermann Villa in Wannsee, which tells us a story of Twentieth Century German Art. The exhibition – London 1938: Defending “degenerate” German art – brings together a representative sample of the original London artworks, together with documentary information regarding their lenders, the reasons for their loans, and the impact of the exhibition in both Britain and Germany.

The painter Max Liebermann was among the best-represented artists in the exhibit, which contained at least 22 of his works. His widow Martha Liebermann was also among the lenders to London. She sent Liebermann’s Portrait of Albert Einstein to the exhibition for sale.

For more information click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

American Embassy Tour

Friday, January 18th

Location: US Embassy, Pariser Platz 2 
Berlin, 10117

RSVP: and please indicate whether you'll join us for lunch afterwards

Join us for a very special guided tour of the American Embassy, ending with a glass of sekt in the rooftop Quadria room. Participants will be requested to submit security information in advance, a passport is required for entry and will be left with the front guard station during the tour. If there is interest, we can go to the Adlon afterwards for their 18€ business lunch. Located on the southwest corner of Berlin's prestigious Pariser Platz square, home to the Brandenburg Gate, the new embassy opened in the spring of 2008. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pariser Platz has been rebuilt according to the principle of "critical reconstruction," where the spirit of the pre-war square is retained in the design on the new buildings. 

See details about the history of the Embassy construction, and about the tour here in AWC calendar.

Bijoux-Bijoux! Costume Jewelry Event 8

Thursday, January 23rd
Museum of Decorative Arts at Matthäikirchplatz 
Tiergarten, Berlin 10785


Premier exhibit showcasing masterpieces of costume jewelry dating from 1930 to 2007, around 500 objects from the Gisela Wiegert Collection - all celebrated designs  from major fashion houses and renowned designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and William de Lillo - in Berlin for the first time.  Costume jewelry - or, to be more precise, "couture jewelry" - has become an integral part of haute couture collections since Coco Chanel's innovations.

The show at the Fashion Gallery of the Kunstgewerbemuseum consists of two parts. The first features costume jewelry along with the outfits they were designed to accompany. The display presents a survey of costume jewelry and its evolution in Europe and the USA over the decades. The second part of the exhibition is dedicated exclusively to the creations of the House of Dior and features, decade by decade, brilliant parures from the mid-fifties to 2007.  

See event here in AWC calendar.

Recurring Daytime Activities

Travel Bug Forum

Thursday, January 4th
10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Goldhahn & Sampson at Wilmersdorfer Straße 102/103 
Charlottenburg, BERLIN 10629 Germany


Our Travel Group meets monthly to share their passion for seeing the world! This month globetrotters are gathering

See event here in AWC calendar.

Tennis - Beginner to Advanced

Mondays & Thursdays,
10:00am - 12:00pm
LocationSteglitz Blue/Gold Club (Leonorenstraße 37-39 Berlin, 12247)

All levels are welcome to join our weekly group! Price is 700€ for the Winter season, lessons for Beginners would be at extra cost. 

Click here to learn more about this event in the AWC calendar. 
German Conversation

Mondays, January 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Wiener Conditorei at Truman Plaza (Clayallee 175 in Dahlem)

Come join us for weekly German conversation over coffee in a safe and judgement-free environment. We always have a good time! Usually we are joined by native German speaking AWC Berlin members. Please check the AWC Facebook page or email before heading over, to make sure that someone will be there.  

Click here to learn more about this event in the AWC calendar. 

Creative Writing Practice 80

Tuesdays, January 8th,15th, 22nd, and 29th, 10:00am - 12:30pm
Cost: 8 wks/€80

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. Uncover the building blocks of good storytelling and discover the seeds of fuller, more developed pieces - from memoir to fiction. If you've never taken the class before, your first one is free. No classes during school holidays, 

Kaffee Klatsch West

Friday, January 11th

Location: centrally located Park Cafe, Fehrbelliner Pl. 8, 10707 Berlin (at U7/U3 stop)
Kaffee Klatsch is our monthly “Coffee Chat” from 10:30 to 12:00.

Stop by to connect, catch up with old friends or make new ones. There will always be someone there to chat with.

Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

No RSVP necessary, just show up!

Blogger Round Table Meetup

Friday, January 25th

Location: Nancy's Home in Berlin 10713 


Calling all Bloggers! Whether you already manage your own blog, are interested in starting one, or have started it but then abandoned it, we welcome you to join our informal discussion. We hope to all benefit from exchanging personal experiences and to identify areas we could each use a little help in. We look forward to seeing you there. And if you are extremely interested, but not available during daytime hours, please let us know so we can plan an evening get-together.  

Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

 Evening Activities

Mindfulness 101: The Basics

Wednesday, January 9th

Location: Evolve Yoga Studio at Rheinstrasse 67 
Friedenau, 12159

This short introduction to mindfulness can give you a good overview of the basics, give you a safe space to ask questions, sample a meditation (or two) and get you started in the right direction for a regular practice in the new year if you’re interested.

All AWC members are welcome regardless of mindfulness or meditation experience.

For more information and to register online click here

General Meeting: Looted Nazi Art

Thursday, January 17th

Location: Katholische Kirchengemeinde Heilig Geist (Charlottenburg) 

RSVP: by replying to your Evite

See Featured Event above. 

For more information, click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. 

Evening Women's Salon: Opera

Thursday, January 24th

Location: Lissa Rosenbloom's House in  Berlin, 10711

Join us for an evening with American-born opera singer Jennifer Porto. Originally from Iowa, singer and performer Jennifer has spent more than a decade captivating audiences on stages across Germany, including seven years as a soloist at the Oper Leipzig. Jennifer's talents bridge the worlds of classical, modern and popular music. She now lives in Berlin and will share her passion for music with us. 

For more information, including Jennifer's bio click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. 

Recurring Evening Activities

Evening Book Club

Tuesday, January 8th
Location: Sara's at Berlin 10117

We’ll be discussing Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Please bring a light snack to share. Sara will provide wine and water.

Open to AWC Berlin members only, except nonmembers may attend once prior to joining.

You can get Sara's address in your members directory copy, or when RSVPing. 

Click here to see this event in the AWC calendar.

Girls Night Out: Bahadur

Tuesday, January 15th

Location: Bahadur,  Sigmaringer Strasse 36 
Wilmersdorf, 10713

Kick-off the New Year with Renee and Nancy and a flavorful northern Indian meal at Bahadur in Wilmersdorf! We have left Indian cuisine off of our agenda the last few years due to the fact it continues to be a struggle for people to find acceptably authentic Indian restaurants in Berlin. But Bahadur's loyal fans pronounce it the real deal, please come explore Bahadur with us.  

For more information click here to see this event in the AWC calendar. 

 Weekend Activities

Dining Out: Korean 

Saturday, January 19th

Location: Hanok Korea Grill & Restaurant, Kurfürstendamm 134 Berlin, 10711
It's time for Kimchi! Betty and June have selected Hanok on Kurfürstendamm as an inspired Korean dining experience in Charlottenburg. Located directly between Adenauerplatz and Halensee stations, we can enjoy impressively composed Korean dishes in elegant minimal chic. Especially the bibimbap and home-made noodles come highly recommended.

Click here to find this event on the AWC calendar.

Winter Swap

Sunday, January 27th

Location: Janel's House in 
Berlin, 14199

Ladies, you know that scarf you never wear, even though it's perfectly lovely? Or the serving platter that you never use that's taking up precious space? 

Throw them in a bag and bring them to the Winter Swap. We'll all set our items out for display, enjoy some wine and social time, and then shop for free. Suggested items: clothing, accessories, household goods, books, even non-perishable food or beauty items that you just can't seem to use up. This time we WILL include children's items.  

Click here to find details on the AWC calendar.


FAWCO Update

FAWCO Youth ProgramThe FAWCO Education Award deadline is January 27, 2019. There are nine awards of $5000 each, and as AWC members you are eligible to apply. And through you, your children or grandchildren also qualify to benefit. Contact Karen Castellon if you intend to pursue this.

Two upcoming conferences afford opportunities to meet fabulous women from all over the world, come and discuss how we are changing it right now for the better. The United Nations conference, Commission on the Status of Women 63, is March 11-22 in New York City. Attend for the length of time you choose, and represent FAWCO which has status at the United Nations. Preference is given to first-time attendees. 

The FAWCO biennial conference is in Edinburgh, Scotland March 21-24 with opportunities for both pre-conference and post-conference touring. 

More information available at, or contact Karen Castellon to discuss. 

Forward this newsletter to your friends in Berlin! 

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