Bridging the Gap Between the Jewish and Health Care Communities


Rochelle Shoretz is the Founder and Executive Director of Sharsheret, a not-for-profit organization supporting Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Rochelle founded Sharsheret after her own diagnosis at age 28. Rochelle served as a law clerk in 1999 to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, Rochelle speaks to audiences across the country and serves as a resource for major media on issues related to breast cancer in young women and Jewish families.

I recently returned from the 2014 Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference in Atlanta, where I gathered with health care professionals, cancer survivors, policy makers and public health experts to discuss emerging cancer survivorship research. As Founder and Executive Director of Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting Jewish women and families facing breast cancer, I was able to learn critical information about survivorship, as well as actively contribute to the state of research through a poster presentation we coordinated. The poster described the development and implementation of Sharsheret’s program for young Jewish breast cancer survivors, and represented the key role that Sharsheret plays in advocating for the Jewish community in the world of public health.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Advancing Survivorship Care Through Multilevel Collaborations.” Educational sessions at the conference addressed almost all aspects of survivorship care, and provided strategies for professionals to work together to provide higher levels of care. Sharsheret’s 12 years of experience has taught me and Sharsheret’s staff the importance and benefit of involving not only a patient’s entire health care team, but their families and communities as well, throughout the cancer journey. This conference emphasized something that I, as a member of the ROI Community, have always believed: Bridging the gap between the Jewish and health care communities is key to increasing quality of care and raising awareness about the unique needs of Jewish women facing breast cancer.