Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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Biography
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  Judi Hirshfield-Bartek
  Breast Cancer Activist
  Boston WWD Event 2001
  Born in 1952
  Lobbies for increased breast cancer research budgets, input into spending of research dollars, and access to treatment for all women
 
Biography  up to top

Judi Hirshfield-Bartek was born in 1952 and raised on the New Jersey shore by parents who both ran clothing businesses. Her grandparents lived nearby, and Hirshfield-Bartek learned about social action from her paternal grandmother's deep commitment to various New York aid societies. As an adult and a parent, Hirshfield-Bartek became involved in a Reform temple, where she discovered the link between social action and Jewish values.

Hirshfield-Bartek has been an oncology nurse since 1978. While working for Dr. Susan Love, Hirshfield-Bartek became involved in breast cancer activism - a cause that is important to her as a nurse and as the daughter of a woman who died from breast cancer. She serves on the board of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the Massacusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, for which she chairs the Legislative Task Force. Hirshfield-Bartek is also a founding member of the Jewish Women's Coalition on Breast Cancer, which addresses issues of genetic testing. Hirshfield-Bartek has two children, whom she has occasionally brought to Washington, D.C. to introduce to the process of lobbying and advocacy. Hirshfield-Bartek presently works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Beth Israel Deaconess BreastCare Center in Boston and lectures extensively on breast care issues including political activism and genetic testing.

Hirshfield-Bartek lives in Waban, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

 
What She Said  up to top
ON JEWISH VALUES
I was really involved with breast cancer activism before I really thought about that as Jewish social activism. Back in the early 1990s, I worked for a woman who ...More 
ON FAMILY UPBRINGING
My grandmother on my father's side was very social action oriented. She grew up ...More 
ON ROLE MODELS
I've definitely had some more recent role models over the last ten years ...More 
ON BEING A WOMAN ACTIVIST
In the beginning, the biggest challenge had been, quite honestly, arrogant Congressmen ...More 
ON WORK AND FAMILY
All of my work for the National Breast Cancer Coalition and also the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and more recently Jewish Women's Coalition for Breast Cancer is totally volunteer, on my own time ...More 
I do sometimes [feel that it is hard to have work that is paid work and work that is unpaid] because what happens is that there is so much stuff to be done ...More 
ON TRADITIONAL ROLES
Being a nurse is probably traditional women's work. But the part that makes it a challenge [to traditional women's work] is that I'm pretty outspoken in my role of advocating for women and for the care they deserve ...More 
ON PATH TO ACTIVISM
It was traveling once or twice a month, building a relationship with our statehouse, our legislators and within congress, working with legislators, educating them about breast cancer ...More  Audio available
[Getting involved in breast cancer activism] was one of those things that evolved. I happened to be working for Susan Love, she happened to be working on putting together this coalition ...More 
ON IMPACT ON WORLD
I never really thought about what I did as being anything great. It just seemed like a very little, small contribution ...More 
I see it as an obligation to be a role model to other people, to other friends who maybe wouldn't become involved in an issue if I hadn't said something ...More 
ON IMPACT ON SELF
So much of my identity is the work that I do. When you're younger, you have this vision of ...More  Audio available
Selfishly speaking, I think that [my work has] had an impact on helping me see that if I put my mind to something, I can really work at doing it ...More 
ON CHALLENGES
The most challenging aspect of the work that I do is - to see for many, many years that we only have the same treatments to offer women ...More 
ON REWARDS
All of it [has been rewarding]. If I separated out the nursing piece in terms of caring for women (my professional job) versus the activist piece (my volunteer work) ...More 
 
Multimedia  up to top
Photographs Photographs
Articles, Brochures, other papers Papers 
"How I'd Fight Breast Cancer," Self Magazine
Audio Clips Audio 
Answer - Impact on Self (Judi Hirshfield-Bartek - identity)
Answer - Path to Activism (Judi Hirshfield-Bartek - travel)
 up to top

How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Judi Hirshfield-Bartek." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pjhirshfield-bartek>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Judi Hirshfield-Bartek," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pjhirshfield-bartek>.