Sharsheret | sharsheret.org
Rochelle Shoretz, founder and Executive Director of Sharsheret (www.sharsheret.org), is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women. A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School, she served as a law clerk in 1999 to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In November 2001, while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Ms. Shoretz founded Sharsheret, a national cancer organization that has served more than 45,000 young women and families facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, with an expertise in Jewish families at increased risk of certain hereditary cancers.
Since the organization’s founding, Sharsheret has launched 12 national programs that include support for women and families, and education for communities and health care professionals. Sharsheret’s programs and services are open to all women and men, without regard to age, race, religion, or nationality. For its critical services, Sharsheret was awarded the New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Research Award and two grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and enhance culturally relevant programming for young Jewish breast cancer survivors.
For her pioneering efforts, Ms. Shoretz, a twotime breast cancer survivor currently living with advanced breast cancer, was named a Yoplait Champion in the Fight Against Breast Cancer. She is a Board member of First Descents, a national organization that provides outdoor adventure for cancer survivors. The mother of two, Ms. Shoretz has appeared as a resource on The Today Show, national news programs, and in more than 100 media outlets across the country. Follow her on Twitter @rshoretz and the organization @sharsheret.
Breast and ovarian cancer, once viewed as secular concerns, are increasingly recognized as heightened health issues for Jewish women. 1 in 40 Jews of Ashkenazi descent carries a breast cancer gene (BRCA) mutation, compared to 1 in 345 in the general population. Until Sharsheret (Hebrew for “chain”) was founded in 2001, there was a large, unmet need for support and resources for young Jewish women facing these diseases. Sharsheret’s mission is to offer a community of support to Jewish women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer or at increased genetic risk, by fostering culturally-relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health care professionals, and related resources. We address the needs of our constituents through 12 education and support initiatives. Our reputation as the premier resource for Jewish women and families garnered Sharsheret two multiyear grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a seat on the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women. We have responded to more than 45,000 inquiries and involved more than 4,000 peer supporters from 50 states.