Dr. Mona Ackerman (right) with
Revital Pinkas and Pinkas’ mother.

Dr. Yashar Hirshaut (right) with
Amy Langer and Dr. Peter Pressman

Dr. Julie Mitnick (from left),
Dr. Orna Hadar and Dr. Deborah Axelrod.

Dr. Kenneth Offit (left) with
Emily Sonnenblick and ICRF executive
vice president Donald Adelman.

Dr. Yashar Hirshaut and ICRF vice
president Dr. Alfred Rosenbaum.

Experts Gather at
Mona Ackerman’s

Story and Photos by Tim Boxer

R. YASHAR HIRSHAUT, president of Israel Cancer Research Fund, gathered a highly talented panel of doctors and researchers for the organization’s fourth annual Evening of Breast Cancer Awareness. Dr. Mona Ackerman welcomed the distinguished guests and members of the ICRF Rachel’s Society to her plush Fifth Avenue salon.

Revital Pinkas, wife of Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkas and Rachel’s Society honorary chairperson, apologized for her accent. She said her four-year-old daughter told her, “Mommy, I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t speak in front of my friends.”

Hirshaut enlivened the program with a story about a meeting President George W. Bush had with Osama bin Laden.

“I had a dream,” the terrorist chieftain said. “I came to New York and all the signs said ‘Welcome bin Laden.’”

“I too had a dream,” the president said. “It’s several years later, and every city in Afghanistan was rebuilt. There were big signs everywhere.”

“What did they say?”

“I don’t know. I don’t read Hebrew.”

After the chuckles, the room got serious with discussion of breast cancer. “One of eight women will develop breast cancer if they live to 80,” said Dr. Julie S. Mitnick, panel moderator. She’s founder of Murray Hill Radiology and Mammography.

People feel very strong about taking mammograms, as well they should. Dr. Mitnick said one woman called her on Sept. 11 to confirm her appointment later that day.

“Haven’t you heard what happened today?” a surprised Mitnick asked.

But the woman was insistent: “I made this appointment a month ago and I’m coming in.”

The panel included Dr. Deborah Axelrod; Dr. Kenneth Offit, chief of clinical genetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering; Dr. Peter Pressman; Dr. Stefanie Zalasin, and Amy Langer, executive director of the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.

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