Cancer Risks: The BRCA Genes and What the Jewish Community Needs to Know
Leading genetics researcher Dr. Kenneth Offit and premier radiologist Dr. Miriam Levy discuss risks of cancers affecting the Jewish community and new options for genetic testing and medical management. Writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Dr. Michael Bergstein speak about their personal experiences of breast and prostate cancer. The program was moderated by Rabbi Lisa Gelber, a breast cancer survivor.
About the Speakers
Dr. Kenneth Offit is chief of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1996, his laboratory team discovered the most common BRCA2 mutation among Jews of European ancestry, associated with an inherited risk of breast, ovarian, prostate, and other cancers. Dr Offit graduated from the Harvard Medical School and is an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is a Principle Investigator of the BRCA Founder OutReach Study (BFOR).
Dr. Miriam Levy is the founder and medical director of Medical Imaging of Manhattan, a radiology practice specializing in Women’s Imaging. She received her MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, trained as a resident in Diagnostic Radiology at the George Washington University Hospital, and completed a fellowship in Cross-Sectional Imaging at the New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center. Dr. Levy is assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Michael J. Bergstein, MD, FACS is a double board-certified ear nose and throat and facial plastic surgeon with ENT and Allergy Associates; and an assistant clinical professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Bergstein is also a two-time competitor in the Ironman triathlon. He is a prostate cancer survivor and BFOR study participant.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a founding editor of Ms. magazine and the author of eleven books, most recently, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick, and the novel Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate. Pogrebin is a past president of the Authors Guild, a past chair of Americans for Peace Now, and a co-founder of several dialogue groups. She serves on the boards of the Women in Religion program at Harvard Divinity School and the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Brandeis University. She is a breast cancer survivor.
Moderator: Rabbi Lisa Gelber is profiled in the Emmy-nominated documentary ALL OF THE ABOVE: Single, Clergy, Mother. A breast cancer survivor, she lives, writes, and runs in NYC, where she serves Congregation Habonim. Rabbi Gelber was among the first cadre of women ordained by JTS.
This program was sponsored by the Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS.