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Episode 29: BRCA: A Jewish Legacy (Transcript)

Episode 29: BRCA: A Jewish Legacy (Transcript)

Episode 29: BRCA: A Jewish Legacy

One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries the BRCA genetic mutation, which is strongly linked to breast and ovarian cancer. In this Episode of Can We Talk?, we explore the legacy of BRCA-linked cancers among Ashkenazi Jewish women. We discuss the difficult choice of whether to get tested for the mutation, how to interpret the results, and what to do next. Host Nahanni Rous talks with a mother-daughter team on a mission to fight breast cancer, a genetic counselor who has helped thousands of women grapple with genetic test results, and a survivor of ovarian cancer.

Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt

Female Heroes in STEM: Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt

by Shira Minsk

Female leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are few and far between, and Jewish female role models in those fields are even harder to find. Emmy Noether and Martine Rothblatt are superheros whose hard work and intellect propelled them to defy the odds and make contributions to the world that will outlive them.

Red Rope Stock Image

Ritual and Obsessions

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

“This is the part of your brain that holds your obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she said, her tone firm. “We can fray this cord, but we can’t just break it.” ... I imagined a dark red cable, floating somewhere in the space between my ears, demanding my attention every waking moment of the day. In light of Passover approaching, it seemed particularly cruel that I found myself struggling with the concept of freedom.

Episode 21: TRYmester: Lifting the Silence on Infertility

Infertility is seldom discussed openly in a tradition that prioritizes children and families, but many Jewish adults struggle with it, and isolation compounds the painful experience. With a new theater piece called TRYMESTER, Naomi Less is working to de-stigmatize infertility and build support for families going through it. This episode is the second in our series exploring infertility in the Jewish community. It was funded in part by the UJA Federation of New York to support awareness of fertility challenges.
Unrest and Rivka Composite Image

A Woman Who Dared, with ME

by Rivka Solomon

It was late afternoon, and I could barely get my body out of bed. It wasn't that I lacked the desire to get up or that my limbs couldn't function. I just didn't have the cellular energy to power up my muscles. I couldn't do anything except lie flat. Even that was exhausting. This state of sheer debilitation was not new to me. And it hadn't been going on for days or weeks. It had been a decade.

Helena Kagan

Dr. Helena Kagan improved the lives of generations of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children in Jerusalem.
Rising Voices Fellow Isabel Kirsch and her Grandmother

L'Dor Vador: Lessons from my Grandmother

by Isabel Kirsch

My grandmother, Marguerite, was born in Paris in 1937 to Polish parents, Fania and Adam. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Jarnac, a tiny village in southwestern France. The family was Jewish, though they were not observant. Regardless, after the fall of the Third Republic in 1940, it became dangerous for them to even speak of their religion. 

Topics: Holocaust, Medicine
Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio with her Aunt

Because There's More to Russian Jews than Borscht

by Maya Jodidio

My aunt and I share so much more than our smile, passion for math and science, and college (go Barnard!). Our strongest and arguably our most important similarity lies in our shared sense of civic responsibility. Although I still have more to learn about social justice work, my aunt is the perfect model of a passionate, hard-working, and persevering activist.

Anna Braude Heller

A brilliant pediatrician used to working in difficult circumstances, Anna Braude Heller struggled to keep children’s hospitals open through both WWI and WWII.

Andrea Gyarmati

Andrea Gyarmati won two Olympic medals for swimming before stepping away from the spotlight at the height of her career.
Grey's Anatomy Cast

Doctor, Doctor! How Shonda Rhimes Changed My Perception of Medicine

by Madisen Siegel

When someone says “doctor,” the first person that pops into my head is Meredith Grey. Yes, she may be a fictional doctor, but she’s the first doctor who inspired me to look into medicine as a possible career choice.   

Topics: Television, Medicine

Elisabeth Goldschmidt

Elisabeth Goldschmidt worked on the cutting edge of genetics, doing research and offering counseling on inherited diseases in the Jewish community.

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman spent years crafting novels that explored relationships and magical realism before the “overnight” success of 1995’s Practical Magic catapulted her to success.

Ethel Shilmover Grossman

While serving as a member of the Army Nurse Corps in WWII, Ethel Shilmover Grossman was moved and astonished to see the kindness with which American soldiers treated wounded German POWs.

Clara Raven

After a distinguished military career as one of the first female doctors to serve in WWII, Clara Raven went on to do pioneering research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Flossie Cohen

Flossie Cohen pushed the boundaries of pediatric medicine throughout her career, from providing bone marrow transplants to creating a pediatric AIDS center.

Flora Suhd Hommel

As an early proponent of the Lamaze method, Flora Suhd Hommel helped normalize natural childbirth through the Childbirth Without Pain Education Association (CWPEA).

Sheyna Gifford

Sheyna Gifford’s passion for both scientific exploration and writing has enabled her to work for NASA in many different capacities, from science journalist to health and safety officer on a year-long simulated mission to Mars.

Emma Nuschi Plank

Emma Nuschi Plank’s multidisciplinary approach to child development helped doctors, teachers, psychologists, and social workers find a common language to work together.

Liebe Sokol Diamond

Born with a congenital defect that had caused the loss of several fingers and toes before birth, Liebe Sokol Diamond went on to become a leading pediatric surgeon.

Rochelle Shoretz, 1972 - 2015

Rochie lived with a spirit that was equal parts intensity and carefree exuberance. In the last few years of her life, when her cancer returned, she talked about “the strength that comes with living with a sharpened sense of time.”

Laura Stachel

Stunned by the poor conditions in which Nigerian doctors were working, Laura Stachel created We Care Solar to offer hospitals “Solar Suitcases” that fuel reliable lights.

Laura Spero

In Nepal, where oral decay is the most prevalent childhood illness and adults fully expect to lose all their teeth as they age, Laura Spero established Jevaia Oral Health Care to provide sustainable, community-based rural dental care.

Karen Sokal-Gutierrez

After recognizing a neglected epidemic causing severe pain to children around the world, Karen Sokal-Gutierrez founded the Global Children’s Oral Health and Nutrition Project (GCOHNP) to improve diet and dental care for children and their families.
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