June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Sharsheret Celebrates 14th Annual Benefit Luncheon

Six hundred Sharsheret supporters gathered at Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe for the 14th annual Benefit Luncheon. Once a support group of five breast cancer advocates, Sharsheret impacts over 57,000 men and women of all ages across the United States and continues to expand in treating patients with breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The event commemorates the first yahrtzeit of Sharsheret founder, Rochelle Shoretz z”l.

The event honored Dana Post Adler (Guest of Honor), Deborah Leipzig (Lisa Altman Volunteer Award) and Dr. Elana Rusman (Young Leadership Award).

Adler has been an active supporter of Sharsheret for over 10 years. She gained inspiration from the resilience of breast cancer survivors, including Shoretz, her longtime friend, and said, “[Sharsheret] is my life legacy.”

Adler took an integral role in starting Team Sharsheret in 2010, as she teamed up with five other Sharsheret advocates to run the New York City Half-Marathon. Team Sharsheret now runs in many events, such as the New York City Marathon and the New York City Triathlon. Adler also has coordinated Pink Day at the Jewish Women’s Foundation in New Jersey.

Leipzig, a fellow breast cancer advocate, also runs in the New York City half-marathon for Sharsheret, and was integral in the establishment of Sharsheret’s first regional office in South Florida.

Leipzig spoke about her battle with breast cancer, and the inspiration she received from fellow survivors. Her mother, who passed away from breast cancer when Leipzig was 23, and Shoretz, her longtime friend and mentor, exemplified for her a proactive life, and taught her that even in the most difficult times, “[One should] always be ready to make a difference, and to believe in oneself and in others.”

Rusman, who was in medical training during her diagnosis of breast cancer, spearheads many advisory programs within the medical community throughout Long Island, and serves on Sharsheret’s Evaluation Advisory Board.

Rusman appreciated the guidance and support that Sharsheret gave to her and to her family. Rusman was particularly impacted by the Link program, as she appreciated the advice that her Link, Chana, gave to her. [Rusman] felt a particular connection with [Chana], as they have children similar in age, and their prognosis was strikingly similar.

The silent auction raised thousands of dollars for Sharsheret, and sold hundreds of items ranging from appliances to jewelry to sports memorabilia.

Dalia Shoretz Nagel, Rochelle’s sister, gave tribute to Rochelle’s tireless work and dedication to Sharsheret’s growth and development during her battle with breast cancer. Nagel recalled Shoretz saying, “We were helping people at a time that was so delicate… we had to be perfect.”

Nagel also introduced Sharsheret’s newest fundraising initiative, Rochelle’s Dream, a lofty fundraising goal of $10 million over the next three years, to ensure Sharsheret’s growth throughout the country and across the world. Many donations to Sharsheret contributed to this fundraising goal.

Sharsheret’s featured documentary, Sharsheret: Partners for the Future, was shown. The documentary highlighted outreach events on college campuses around the country, such as “Pink Shabbat” and “Fashion for a Cure.” Breast cancer survivors emphasized the increased risk of those with the BRCA gene, as women with the gene have an 85 percent chance of getting breast cancer. The survivors affirmed the importance of early prevention in the form of mammograms, as well as genetic testing to determine women with the BRCA gene. Family members also expressed appreciation for Sharsheret’s unconditional support through difficult and unfamiliar times.

Elana Silber, Executive Director of Sharsheret, talked about memories with Rochelle Shoretz, including the time former Senator Joe Liebermann, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wore the Sharsheret cap. She also thanked the supporters for their time, donations and effort.

The Sharsheret Benefit Luncheon was a smashing success once again, and Sharsheret plans to reach out to more communities and to expand their support programs in the future.

By Dovid Mirsky

Dovid Mirsky is a TABC work-study intern at The Jewish Link.

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