What do you call a fundraising walk/run with a Jewish bent? A schlep, of course.
Hence “the NYC Schlep,” the inaugural 5K event to benefit breast cancer research at the Davidoff Cancer Center at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center in the Tel Aviv area. Scheduled for Sunday, July 17, the run/walk beginning at Manhattan’s Battery Park is sponsored by American Friends of Rabin Medical Center.
Among the participants will be two Bergen County residents who work at Shiboleth LLP, a law firm with offices in Manhattan, Israel, and China.
“Over the past 35 years, our office has been struck, again and again, with cancer-related tragedies,” wrote Managing Partner Oren Heiman to the New York branch’s 20 attorneys, encouraging them and their families to sign up for the NYC Schlep. “Relatives, friends and even employees have had the misfortune to contract cancer, the world-wide epidemic, affecting more and more Israelis and Americans every year.”
For Liraz Geva, a Shiboleth partner who lives in Demarest, this is a subject close to her heart. “Unfortunately, I lost a very good friend to cancer and I know a few people who are sick right now,” she said. “It’s a scary subject, but you want to do whatever you can to help.”
Geva, 34, and her husband, Alon, plan to do the Schlep along with their two little girls. “I don’t know how we’ll survive the walk,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s a wonderful cause. And as a firm, we want to be involved in important community causes.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer afflicting Jewish women in the United States and Israel. Throughout their lifetimes, one in seven or eight Jewish women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to AFRMC spokesman Jeffrey Myers. Genetic mutations in the BRCA genes that cause the disease are known to be more prevalent among Jewish women.
“New research at Davidoff looks at ways to predict the disease based on the genetic marker – not just whether you have it, but how to take preventative measures and get an understanding of what causes it,” Myers said.
AFRMC leaders conceived of the event as a fun vehicle to attract active young professionals who can help raise awareness about breast cancer among their peers.
The Shiboleth communiquÃ© urged employees and their family members to join as a group in “a day of celebrating the lives and praying for the health of cancer victims in Israel and around the globe.” The company is covering registration fees.
Jonathan Shechter of Cliffside Park, head of securities and capital markets, said 15 to 20 Shiboleth participants will be getting additional giveaways as well as a picnic and music in Battery Park after the three-hour event.
He explained his own participation as a result of both professional and personal motivations. “The firm is active philanthropically and a lot of our partners are board members in Israeli and Jewish causes,” said Shechter, 32, who will bring along his wife, Aya, and their six-month-old daughter.
“I also have a personal reason for being involved in this cause, as a cancer survivor myself. I ran the New York City marathon twice to raise money for cancer research and I like being involved in these types of causes.”
According to information at the website http://www.afrmc.org, as of press time the amount so far donated through the NYC Schlep is about $29,000.