Chabad Houses are going pink. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and many Chabad centers from the Bronx, New York to Austin, Texas, will be joining the campaign, hosting Pink Shabbats at college campuses across the United States.
Organized together with Sharsheret, an organization dedicated to helping Jewish women with breast cancer, “Shabbat Pink raises awareness through a fun and meaningful Shabbat experience,” Elana Silber, Director of Operations at Sharsheret, told Lubavitch.com. “One in forty Jews of Ashkenazi descent, have BRCA1 mutation which increases the risk. Therefore these events are important to raise awareness, so they are aware and they could speak to their doctors and learn about how to detect the tests early.”
Malka Werde, Chabad representative at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, is going all out to make Pink Shabbat feel very pink with pink cutlery, salads and desert. “Professors on campus, parents of students, are survivors of the disease, our goal is to teach students to detect the sickness in its earliest stages and save lives,” says Werde. The Shabbat dinner will take place at FIT on evening of October 24th.
At Tulane University in New Orleans, partnering with the local AEPhi, students were encouraged to bring their friends and pledge towards every student who attends. The funds collected are donated to Sharsheret. “It is a meaningful experience for the students to celebrate Shabbat and raise awareness for the disease,” says Sara Rivkin, Chabad representative at Tulane.
“In addition to the awareness, the event destigmatizes the cancer for the attendees and makes families of survivors more comfortable to speak about their experience,” Werde says.