Sharsheret: Serving Jewish Women with Breast Cancer

It has been a great pleasure and distinct honor to be involved with Sharsheret for the past decade. I care for a large number of young Orthodox Jewish women with breast cancer.  In the pre-Sharsheret era, many of my patients felt very isolated, frightened, and unable to connect with “experienced” patients who had already walked in their shoes.   It seemed a paradox to me that despite their deep faith and dedication to Judaism, many women were unable to receive support from their community due to their concerns about stigmatization and confidentiality.  There was a great deal of misinformation and lack of understanding particularly relating to the Askenazi “Jewish” breast cancer gene. With the birth of Sharsheret, I was able to witness, first hand, the enormous culturally sensitive support that my new patients could receive.  They now can be fully supported by peers and receive medically correct information in a caring way. I have been pleased to be a member of the Sharsheret Medical Advisory Board since 2003. I am firmly committed to help expand the work and reach of this wonderful organization so as many patients as possible can be helped. 

By: Sheldon Feldman, MD, Chief, Breast Surgery Section at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, Sharsheret Medical Advisory Board Member

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