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Raising awareness and motivating activism regarding early breast cancer testing for ultra-Orthodox women. 


Advisor: Liron Elbaz Bloch

Approximately 70% of women who die from breast cancer are Ultra-Orthodox. This statistic reflects the gap between ultra-Orthodox and general society, a gap that requires change. Creating change in a closed society demands a profound change in this community. 

Throughout my project, I studied women of this community, including their daily schedule and the obstacles preventing them from getting tested without going against their needs.

Understanding these obstacles enabled me to plan how to proceed, who to proceed with, and in what manner.

During the project, I identified the meeting places that routinely bring women together during their lives: the mikve (ritual bath), wig shops, and underwear stores. 

These are the places in which I chose to enlist women, places where I could provide information about the disease and testing options in a way that is adapted to community needs (both in the language and graphics).

My project entails incorporating direct language and the internal discourse common among the ultra-Orthodox community. I believe that real change in closed communities requires this balance between the two attitudes and finding a way to communicate that is considerate and approachable, without taking a harsh stance.


Breast cancer is an unspoken disease among the ultra-Orthodox sector. At best, it is termed the "woman's disease" and often it is left completely unmentioned. This has profound social and life-threatening implications on women's health in the community

Gilia, One of Nine Organization

I did something very important. Women in our community are now talking about it, and even if one woman here talks about it it's like a thousand women in your society. You have succeeded in making people discuss it

Ayala, aged 65, underwear store employee

Just so you know, the first time I saw it here I didn’t know what it was about and I didn’t dare ask. I later approached Esther Balui (a wig specialist) and saw the poster there as well! I felt it was God's guidance and decided to get tested

Ruti, aged 40, store customer

Look, I didn’t remove the posters you put up two months ago because every woman that walked in would stop and read it. They keep asking me about it, and thanks to you I knew where to refer them

Chedvi, wig specialist
Pliah Mandell

About me

Pliah Mandell

I am motivated by the encounter between design, people, and experiences. Colors, textures, and combination, either in 2-D or 3-D, are my passion.

I believe that design has the power to impact the spirit, the body, and our environment.

Are you also interested in industrial design?

Come study in Hadassah!

A fast-paced world poses challenges and offers many fascinating opportunities for people, society, and animals. Empathy, sensitivity, attentiveness to others, and a desire to explore, understand, and implement are the focus of our department. We employ a range of skills to encourage and lead to change. Come study with us.