Week of Sessions with Israeli Leaders and NGOs Lays Groundwork for First Komen Race for the Cure in Israel in 2010
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — November 5, 2009 — Susan G. Komen for the Cure® founder Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Global Ambassador Hadassah Lieberman traveled to Israel October 27-30 for a series of meetings with government leaders, grantees, NGOs, partners, advocates and survivors. They reviewed existing programs funded by Komen for the Cure and began planning for future events in Israel highlighting breast cancer, tobacco control and health diplomacy.
This visit to Israel is part of the organization’s extensive global efforts to share knowledge and resources to end breast cancer around the world, and to lay the groundwork for the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Israel in 2010. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, has granted more than $2 million in Israel for breast cancer research and outreach programs since the organization was founded by Brinker nearly 27 years ago.
The October visit included meetings with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife, Beverly Barkat, to discuss Komen’s investment in breast cancer research and outreach in Israel as well as future collaboration to raise awareness about the disease.
Israel is primed to host a series of events late next year, including the first Israel Race for the Cure. This unique collaboration between government agencies, NGOs, youth movement groups, high school teachers, scientists, doctors and advocates will showcase breast cancer awareness work led by Komen and highlight Brinker’s global leadership in cancer control for the United Nation’s World Health Organization.
The Komen delegation then visited Tishkofet/Life’s Door and met with its founders, Dr. Benjamin and Dvora Corn. Tishkofet is a holistic center for cancer patients, providing services such as support group sessions, yoga classes and art and music therapy. Eighty percent of Tishkofet’s patients are battling breast cancer.
Brinker and Lieberman then traveled to the Knesset to meet with Dr. Rachel Adato, an obstetrician/gynecologist who is a noted leader in women’s health issues and a new member of the Knesset. The group discussed ways in which to raise awareness of breast cancer in Israel and spur public action to fight the disease.
The day concluded with a visit to a candle lighting ceremony commemorating the anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Brinker and Lieberman visited with Dahlia and Yuval Rabin, the children of Yitzhak Rabin, and with President Peres.
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October 29 began with a site visit to a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grantee, Beit Natan, in an ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem. The delegation met with Chaya Heller, founder of Beit Natan, to discuss the Komen-funded early detection outreach project “Woman to Woman” which targets ultra-Othodox (Haredi) women with life-saving early detection messages and mammography reminders.
Following Beit Natan, the delegation traveled to Abu Ghosh, an Israeli Arab town just six miles west of Jerusalem, to visit a women’s health clinic supported by Hadassah Medical Organization. Here they met with Audrey Shimron, executive director of Hadassah Israel, and Hiyah Rahman, director of the Abu Ghosh Community Center. The delegation was briefed on the cultural barriers and lack of education facing many Arab women in Israel. To address this problem, the Hadassah Medical Organization recently opened a “one-stop shop” for women’s health care in Abu Ghosh.
Following the trip to Abu Ghosh, the delegation met with Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s current work in Israel and potential future plans.
The group then met with Miri Ziv, director general of the Israel Cancer Association (ICA), at the organization’s Tel Aviv headquarters. They were briefed on ICA’s public education and advertising campaigns featuring breast cancer awareness and early detection. Ziv, longtime ICA leader, shared the organization’s growth and impact in leading the country’s cancer education and outreach programs as well as funding leading cancer research in Israel. The leaders discussed collaborating on upcoming breast cancer awareness and tobacco control activities to be planned in Jerusalem in 2010.
The trip concluded with a dinner hosted by US Ambassador James Cunningham and his wife, Leslie, at the Ambassador’s residence. Leaders in the Israeli cancer community were invited to discuss cancer control in the region and discuss Brinker’s work as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control.
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