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The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan Presents:
Broadway’s Best for Breast Cancer!
Co-hosted by Hamilton Star Mandy Gonzalez and the JCC’s Caroline Kohles in a livestreamed event sponsored by Breastlink New York
New York, NY (August 3, 2020) – This Summer, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan will raise the curtain once again on the virtual health and wellness series Broadway’s Best for Breast Cancer! featuring Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who is currently battling breast cancer, offers guidance to those facing health challenges during the pandemic. This virtual program will air on August 24th at 6 p.m. and is free to join. Register online in advance here.
Co-hosted by Caroline Kohles, senior director of health and wellness programming at the JCC, each episode will include live interviews and provide an opportunity for viewers to engage with the co-hosts and health experts in a live Q& A on zoom and Facebook Live.
The August 24th episode will tackle the topic of life after treatment and feature a conversation with positive psychologist and author Maria Sirios.
The series is part of the JCC’s cancer care partnership with Breastlink New York, an initiative that offers free supportive care to those living with or at risk for breast cancer through a range of fitness classes, lectures, and events that focus on self-care through movement, massage, yoga, Nia and Moving for Life. The aim is to boost healing, increase vitality and help manage side effects from cancer treatment
“People facing cancer right now have to be especially vigilant,” Kohles says. “They need to know what they can do at home to help promote their health and wellness. Mandy’s inspiring story and talent will keep them entertained and tips from top medical experts will help them stay hopeful and manage fear and anxiety.”
Adds Gonzalez, “Together we will laugh, cry, and learn—while boosting our health. Along the way, I will share my personal journey with cancer. I will also share how my theater skills and loved ones got me through some tough times.”
Throughout the series, Gonzalez—the daughter of Jewish-Mexican parents, and a mother of one—candidly will discuss her journey and treatment for breast cancer. Her Bubbe’s love for Ethel Merman and her grandfather’s love for Elvis Presley propelled her to sing, eventually taking lessons. Gonzalez attended Hebrew school and had her bat mitzvah in Los Angeles, going to the local Jewish theater to watch performances, and eventually making her debut public performance there.
Broadway’s Best for Breast Cancer!—which is endorsed by JCC community partners Sharsheret, The Nia Technique, and The American Cancer Society (the latter of which will honor Dr. Estabrook this fall)—is just one part of the JCC’s robust array of health and wellness programs for cancer care, all of them free for those in treatment or at risk for breast cancer. People can visit jccmanhattan.org/cancer-care for a complete schedule, course descriptions, and to register.
Bios of Co-Hosts and Participants
Mandy Gonzalez. Before Broadway’s closure due to the pandemic, Gonzalez was starring as Angelica Schuyler in the megahit Hamilton, Gonzalez also originated and starred as Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In the Heights, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, for which she was honored with a Broadway.com Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical, Aida, and Lennon, in which she portrayed Beatles icon John Lennon. She made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires. Gonzalez received an OBIE Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli’s Comin’. Her television appearances include Madam Secretary, Quantico, Doubt, White Collar, and The Good Wife. She appeared in Across the Universe, After, Man on a Ledge, and in Disney’s Mulan 2. A frequent concert soloist, she performed with symphony orchestras, including New York Pops, Philly Pops, Cleveland Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Arkansas, Anchorage, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Youngstown Symphonies. Her debut album, FEARLESS, with Warner Music, debuted at #13 on the iTunes charts. She is the founder of the online #FearlessSquad platform that focuses on positivity and inclusiveness.
Caroline Kohles is the senior director of health and wellness programming at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. In her 16 years at the JCC, she has spearheaded a progressive slate of fitness programming, creating 100+ group fitness class schedules and health and wellness programs for populations ranging from tweens/teens to prenatal/postnatal moms and seniors. Her signature work includes developing a range of cancer care programs in partnership first with Mount Sinai Hospital and now Breastlink New York. A health and wellness professional for over 25 years, Kohlesis co-founder of Nia New York, a holistic lifestyle and fitness practice. She also designed the nationally and internationally recognized Edmond J. Safra Parkinson's program at the JCC, now in its 12th year, in partnership first with The Fresco Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center and now with Northwell Health.
Guests & Partners (in alphabetical order):
Alison Estabrook, MD, is recognized as a Top Doctor by many national associations over her extensive career, and is a founding breast cancer specialist for Breastlink New York, a comprehensive total breast cancer care practice in Manhattan.
Melissa K. Rosen, Sharsheret’s Director of Community Education, holds a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University (1991) and has been working in the non-profit sector for over 30 years. Her professional experience includes informal education and programming, advocacy, and community outreach. Melissa’s work has allowed her to facilitate unique and lasting connections among organizations in the diverse American Jewish community.
Maria Sirois is a master teacher, facilitator and author. As a positive psychologist (Psy.D.) and international consultant, she focuses on the resilience of the human spirit when under pressure and/or during significant transition.
About the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape. Located at 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. The cornerstone of progressive programming in Manhattan, the JCC serves over 55,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants' minds, bodies, and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs, classes, and events that extend beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages of their lives. Learn more at jccmanhattan.org.
About Breastlink New York
As a leader in breast care, Breastlink New York's goal is to provide complete and total care to all of their patients—from initial screening to the successful completion of treatment. Breastlink breast health experts thoroughly assess each breast cancer patient’s diagnosis to ensure a custom, individualized treatment plan is presented. Learn more at breastlink.com.