Let’s Meet Sharsheret’s Young Board Member – Adina Minkowitz Silberman
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from Toronto, Canada but I have lived in the USA since 2009. My husband, Ricky Silberman, and I moved to Chicago about one year ago. My husband is originally from here and I am a general dentist working in Evanston, IL with my father-in-law. In my spare time I enjoy reading, doing graphic design, cooking, and entertaining.
And, I love to bake! I sell cookies in the Lakeview community – @doughemgee– and contribute my recipes to the Chicago Advertiser, monthly.
Sharsheret is an organization that supports Jewish women with breast and ovarian cancer, and their families. They provide support and the necessary connections to help get these women and their families through a most difficult time. Additionally, Sharsheret helps educate the Jewish population about breast and ovarian cancer and its’ possible prevention.
Yes. This is scary. Taking the test means gaining a certain level of knowledge that may require you to take action. Does carrying the knowledge of being a carrier for BRCA mean you will undergo prophylactic surgery? Will you avoid surgery for now, and undergo screenings more frequently? Are you going to tell your children that you are a carrier? Should your children get tested? Did you know that your life insurance can be affected by getting this test result?
It is a lot.
Why is this an important cause that is close to your heart?
Judaism is remarkable in that when our brothers and sisters are going through something we feel as though we are going through it ourselves, and feel the need to help and act – and when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer, that is where Sharsheret comes in. But, what I find most important is Sharsheret’s role not only in the lives of women who have breast and ovarian cancer but also in their role to educate the Jewish population about genetic diseases, testing, and treatment to help prevent breast and ovarian cancer.
What ways are you trying to reach young women?
As one of the members of the Sharsheret young professional committee here in Chicago, we are trying to create events that cater to young women and men who may benefit from the knowledge and information Sharsheret has to offer them. Additionally, spreading Sharsheret’s mission statement through word of mouth and personal conversations can be extremely successful. Since starting to get involved with Sharsheret in Chicago, I’ve interacted with more than a few people who have experienced breast and ovarian cancer personally because the organization is on my radar.
Tell us more about the BRCA gene?
1 in 40 Ashenazi Jews (both men and women) carry the genetic mutation called BRCA. If you are a carrier for the BRCA mutation you are more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. We live in a time where disease prevention is possible. Genetic testing is common for Ashkenazi Jews, as there are many other diseases Ashkenazi Jews are susceptible to. BRCA is not one of the commonly tested genetic diseases and has to be requested specifically.
How are young women involved in this cause?
In Chicago, there is a Sharsheret young professional committee made up of women who are passionate about Sharsheret for various reasons. Some of the women have personal connections to breast cancer and Sharsheret, others believe in their mission statement and think what they are doing is remarkable. The YPC plans events that help spread the word about Sharsheret in Chicago and about what Sharsheret does.
Spread the word about Sharsheret Chicago!
Spread the word about Sharsheret as an organization and about its’ role in support but also education. Help advertise upcoming young professional events – Scoops for Sharsheret June 13 in Lakeview!
We are always looking for help on the YPC, planning events, and spreading the word. We’d love to hear from anyone who may be interested in getting involved. We would also love to hear from anyone who thinks they or someone they know may benefit personally from Sharsheret’s work. Get in touch!
Samantha Alter Shimra Barnett Elana Lipman Alexa Bryn Micley Lynnley Miller Carly Nashban Adina Minkowitz Silberman