The breast-shaped silhouette of the Shrine of the Book at Jerusalem's Israel Museum was lit up in pink on Monday night, along with the Empire State Building, the Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower and other famous buildings around the world all to inaugurate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Jerusalem event, launched by Gila Katsav, the wife of President Moshe Katsav, will be followed by the distribution of many thousands of pink ribbons to promote early diagnosis of breast cancer.
One out of eight women will at some time be struck by the tumor, but 90 percent survive when diagnosed early through mammograms.
The event was sponsored by the Israel Cancer Association (ICA), which on Monday held its annual Knock on the Door fund-raising campaign, and by the Israeli branch of the Estee Lauder cosmetics company. Evelyn Lauder, the daughter-in-law of the founder of the company, is an active force behind the fight against cancer and initiated the pink ribbon symbol, which has been distributed in 50 million copies around the world.
She and her foundation for breast cancer research, which has donated millions of dollars for the cause, believe that within 15 years there will be ways to cure all victims and even to prevent the disease.
Katsav, who wore the pink ribbon on her pink jacket, urged all women to go for a mammogram. "Pink is the color of optimism," she said. ICA director-general Miri Ziv said her organization puts much stress on breast cancer detection and treatment, and noted that only recently it held an event for young women who contracted the disease.
She noted that, in other countries, the same landmark is lit up in pink each year, but in Israel a different one is chosen each time.
Tami Rimon, a young singer who was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago and has recovered, sang Hebrew songs as guests of museum director James Snyder sat overlooking the pink Shrine of the Book. Dozens of helium-filled pink balloons were set free at the end of the ceremony.