Social Justice

The Big Jewcy: Rochelle Shoretz – Founder And Executive Director Of Sharsheret

Law degree from Columbia, check. Former attorney at top-notch firm, check. Clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, check. Mom to two amazing teenage boys, check. Founded and runs Sharsheret (Hebrew for “chain”), a now ten-year-old national non-profit supporting young Jewish women in their fight against breast cancer, check. Read More

By / June 3, 2011
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Blond curls bobbing, fingers rapidly texting, Rochelle Shoretz interrupts her own story of an unworthy date the previous evening to tell me she has been named to the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women – a huge national honor. You’d think she was commenting on her dry cleaning. Underplaying her many accomplishments is her hallmark – pure Rochelle.

Just add it to the list – Law degree from Columbia, check.  Former attorney at top-notch firm, check.  Clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, check.  Super-mom to two amazing teenage boys, check.   Founded and runs Sharsheret (Hebrew for “chain”), a now ten-year-old national non-profit supporting young Jewish women in their fight against breast cancer, check.

Two-time breast cancer survivor, first diagnosed at age 28, and living with stage four breast cancer.  That gets a check, too.

I heard Rochelle speak on a panel where an emotional testicular cancer survivor preceded her.  He finished his earnest story and turned to Rochelle.  Rochelle gave him and the audience a big, warm smile and said sweetly, “I know you are all so focused on his testicles, you aren’t even thinking about my boobs!”

“You have to laugh!” she told me after the session.  “Life is too short.”  To be fair, the ‘life is too short’ argument is the same one she used to get me to stay out and dance with her until four in the morning later that night. When I called her on it, I got that same grin, accompanied by a patented toss of the curls/shrug maneuver, “cancer perk!” she said, while graciously allowing the young man buying us drinks, to buy another round.

Positive energy just radiates from her, it’s what makes her an excellent fundraiser, businesswoman, mother, sister and friend.  It only makes sense that potential suitors are only too happy to buy her a drink if given the opportunity.