Links In A Chain

Over the past several years a handful of programs have graduated from the ‘Jewish incubator world’ as they have reached sustainability. One such organization is Sharsheret, an early incubated project at Bikkurim in New York City; an endeavor of love that deserves special note during this, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Founded by Rochelle Shoretz after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, Sharsheret (from the Hebrew “chain”) provides culturally sensitive support for young Jewish women facing breast cancer and those most closely affected by such a diagnosis.

Situated at the forefront in raising awareness of the increased prevalence of a mutated BRCA gene in Ashkenazi Jewish women, Sharsheret has fielded more than 13,000 phone calls from those living with breast cancer, health care professionals and women’s and Jewish organizations. Its Links program alone has connected more than 450 young women from 35 states who are newly diagnosed or at a high risk of developing breast cancer, with others who share similar diagnoses and experiences.

Its two newer programs, Empower and Embrace, target single women facing breast cancer and those living with metastatic and advanced stage breast cancer.

about Bikkurim and Sharsheret: Matching entrepreneurial drive with organizational know-how, Bikkurim transforms the dreams of visionaries into a tide of initiatives that contribute meaningfully to Jewish life and expand the nature of Jewish community.

Founding Director Rochelle Shoretz, in her own words:

“Bikkurim offered Sharsheret a networking platform to introduce our organization to the broader Jewish community. Having graduated from the incubator – and benefited from all of the learning, sharing, and support that came with membership – Sharsheret is now truly a national presence for Jewish women facing breast cancer.”

Sharsheret was listed in the 08/09 edition of Slingshot, a resource for Jewish innovation.

To request information about Sharsheret, their resources and programs, click here. Also check-out this informational video on the work they’re doing. While you’re at it, if your organization has a Web presence, help spread the word.