Rochelle Shoretz, a longtime advocate for women with cancer, died at her home in Teaneck, N.J., on Sunday from complications of breast cancer. She was 42.
Shoretz was the founder of Sharsheret, a national non-profit support organization for young Jewish women fighting or at risk from breast and ovarian cancer, which she established in 2001 shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Shoretz’s cancer went into remission but returned in 2009 and was no longer curable.
Upon learning of her cancer’s return, Shoretz, a lawyer who was the first Orthodox Jewish woman to clerk for a Supreme Court justice (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), told the Forward:
“I’ve had such a rich and meaningful life. Of course I wish I had more time. I would love to see grandchildren, to see weddings, to be a part of these amazing things for more time, but I love life and don’t want to spend any of it mourning the loss of that which I can’t have. I’d much rather embrace that which I do.”
Sharsheret issued the following statement upon Shoretz’s passing:
“Rochelle’s legacy is her children and an incredible organization that only she could have built. Her passion and drive will forever remain the foundation of Sharsheret. No words can adequately express our sadness at Rochelle’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with her. We will honor her memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the critical work she loved so much.
More than 500 people attended Shoretz’s funeral on Monday at Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors in Hackensack.
Shoretz is survived by her teenage sons, Shlomo and Dovid Mirsky; her mother and stepfather, Sherry and Jeffrey Tenenbaum; her father and stepmother, Morris and Carol Shoretz; and her siblings, Dalia Nagel, Sara Tenenbaum, Michael Shoretz, Selig Tenenbaum, Shayna Tenenbaum, Jenny Tenenbaum, and Lily Shoretz.