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Topless in the Temple

Topless in the Temple

On Sunday, July 21, women of all shapes and sizes, ranging in age from 21 to 86, gathered at Temple Bnai Israel in Florida, and took off their shirts.

Organized by the Florida Central Region to raise awareness for breast cancer the women got together to have their "ta-tas" painted to be photographed and modeled, to be sold as works of art at their upcoming gala.

Local artists painted the models with the picture of their choice, ranging from Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Keith Haring to Rosie the Riveter and college mascots.

"Many of the participants are not Jewish and have never before heard of Hadassah," wrote Renee Fromkin, co-chair of the Celebrate the Ta-Tas Paint Day.

"But they've all been touched by breast cancer."

Four of the models were cancer survivors: two women had double mastectomies and two women had single mastectomies. One of the models, a 50-year-old woman, had the site of her lumpectomy scar painted similar to Frankenstein's scars and next to the words "Shit Happens;" her breasts painted as angel and devil opposites. She shared the news that she was having a preemptive hysterectomy to remove her ovaries on the following day.

One woman, "probably a great-grandmother," according to Fromkin, set the tone for the presentation of canvases: "At around 9:00 in the morning she was happily and proudly showing us her 'girls'...she was a role model for all of us in showing us not to take ourselves too seriously."

"Our models were fat, skinny, toned and flabby - you name it - small breasted, breasts sagging to their knees, some women with implants," Fromkin wrote.

After hours of painting and photographing- with a break for treats and facials for the models- the day ended with a show of the canvasses.

"It was definitely the place to be in Pinellas County that day," wrote Fromkin.

The region, which got the idea from the Charlotte, NC Chapter, plans on writing a "how to" manual so other chapters can duplicate the event.

Contact Terri Tankel, Region President at ttankel@hadassah.org for more information.

See the final images here>>

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Each month we will bring you news of the events and programs of the local chapters and groups throughout the country. Share your success stories and facts in the areas of fundraising, education, membership and advocacy and help spark new ideas for others. Be sure to identify participants when you send photos. For more information contact Bobbi Kraft bkraft@hadassah.org.

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