Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The differences between the American Jewish community of the early 1900s and today’s American Jewry are vast and notable. Volumes have been written about the ethnic division that marked the earlier community, between the well-established, often wealthy German Jews, who began arriving in the 1840s and ‘50s, and the more than two million new arrivals from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, many of them mired in poverty and “Old World” ways.
In the early 1990s, two oncologists — troubled by how frustrated and confused their newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients felt — decided to comprehensively address their lists of unanswered questions. The doctors teamed up to publish the first edition of a guidebook to breast cancer in 1992.