Home Events + NewsEvents Film Honoring Hoboken Resident Shirael Pollack’s Life Now Available for Streaming

Film Honoring Hoboken Resident Shirael Pollack’s Life Now Available for Streaming

by Hoboken Girl Team
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It’s never easy when someone who has been a pillar in the community passes away. Shirael Pollack was that member of the Hoboken community. This local Hoboken resident tragically passed away on September 20th, 2019 from stomach cancer. She served as an inspiration to many through her founding + work on the Hoboken Public Education Fund and as an advocate for cancer research. In October 2019, she was honored with a special teaser screening of a film called WOMAN, which chronicles her life and legacy. Now called A Certain Woman, the documentary is available to watch on multiple streaming platforms including Apple TV, Amazon, and YouTube.

a certain woman movei shirael pollack

Photo Credit: Timothy James Kay

About Shirael

On September 20th, 2019, Hoboken resident Shirael Pollack sadly passed away after a two-year battle with stomach cancer. During her life, Shirael was an inspiration to many people through her tenacious spirit and dedication to giving back to her community. A Hoboken resident since 2007, Shirael co-founded the Hoboken Public Education Foundation, a non-profit organization benefiting Hoboken public schools. Pollack was a tireless advocate for the non-profit’s mission of elevating and enhancing public education through private funding and led the HPEF’s fundraising efforts. At the 2019 HPEF Gala, Shirael and her team raised over $250,000 for the public schools.

shirael pollack tribute

Shirael was also a pediatric therapist, and served on the board of the National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter, helping children with physical and developmental challenges. Even in her battle with stomach cancer, Shirael became an advocate and raised funds for gastric cancer research. Shirael’s memory will continue to live on in her husband, Dylan, her two daughters, and all of her friends and family.

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The Screening

On October 17th, 2019, a teaser of WOMAN was played at 1001 Bloomfield Street. The film was made in 2018 and “chronicles Shirael Pollack, the local entrepreneur, who drove a movement to improve and empower the Hoboken school district, influence politics and raise millions for charity and HobokenPEF before succumbing to her own personal fight with cancer,” producer Rebecca Baker said.

As a documentary, WOMAN tells Pollack’s story of being a first-generation Jewish-American and her “ongoing resilience despite all odds,” according to a press release about the film. The goal of the film is to create continued support for Pollack’s charity and the Hoboken Community, Baker said.

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Some five years later, the film is now complete under a new title: A Certain Woman. The film follows Shriael “just three days ahead of the annual gala in aid of Hoboken Public Education Foundation, of which Shriael is a founding member.” The story is one of resilience and determination. “Despite having been given only months to live, Shirael has continued her work with Hoboken Public Education Foundation with unabated energy and passion.”



A Certain Woman is available on popular streaming services like AppleTV, Amazon, and YouTube. You can watch the trailer here.

Tributes to Shirael

shirael pollack tribute

After her passing, many of Pollack’s friends shared kind words about her and the work that she did. This is what they had to say about her + her work:

Jackie Dowd Prince

“Shirael never shied away from asking those with the means to step up and support the cause. ‘No’ was not an acceptable answer.

Even in sickness Shirael never stopped working to change the world. She returned from chemo visits charged up about her discussions with doctors and the impact of public schools on their profession. She connected friends who needed help in a particular area with those who could provide it. She spent hours upon hours helping her doctor raise money for stomach cancer research. And she helped us raise the most money ever for the Hoboken Public Schools.

This was who Shirael was. In the time I knew her, there was nothing she set her mind to do that she couldn’t accomplish.”

Hannah Sterns Gordon

“Shirael, it goes beyond missing you as a friend and a leader and a mom and a member of our beloved Hoboken community. You are a force. You are a driver. You get it done. Over and over again. You attract. You magnify. You magnetize. You drive. You exceed. You bring in. You commit. You believe. You stand. You deliver. You rock. And you roll. You fight and you care. You soar and you shine. To say you leave a hole is so true. But you also leave a legacy and a platform unlike any other. You leave us a mission, a cause, and a drive to implement and to succeed.”

Erica Gavin

“Shirael Pollack…we will remember you…always. Your tenacity, passion, and spirit will be held closely and carried on by all those who love you.”

Adam Baumwoll

“You were/are an inspiration, an amazing friend, mom, wife, daughter, sister…you fought for causes, battled like hell for two years, and left your mark on this world and all of us. We love you Shirael.”

shirael tribute

Lesley Weiner Neadel

“Shirael — your legacy lives on in your beautiful girls and family, in those who were lucky to know you personally and through the company you built, in the thousands upon thousands of children in Hoboken who will benefit from standing on the strong foundation you built, and those whose lives are affected by this tragic illness due to the immense fundraising and awareness-building you did during your own battle. I will remember you and all you stood for always…”

Meredith Goldberg

“Shirael made this world a better place and was one of the strongest, wittiest, most beautiful people there could ever be…inside and out. She was a pillar of strength, a force in her community, amazing mom, wife, sister, and friend…and overall badass woman…accomplishing more than most of us could ever dream to. Shirael, I will miss you so much, and my heart breaks for Dylan, the girls, and your family. I promise the impact you have made on all of us will last forever. You inspire us every day to be better and do better.”

Chetali Khanna

“Shirael was one of the most amazing passionate genuine people I have ever met. She was our rock and leader for our district and she was always there for me and others. I am truly grateful for having her in my life. We will miss her so much.”

Victoria Rose Whipple

“Shirael, you were one of the strongest and bravest people I knew and such an inspiration to me and to everyone that met you. Although we will miss you every day and the world is a darker place in your absence, the impact that you have had will be forever carried on in those that you touched.

It isn’t fair that you lost your battle to cancer, because, based on Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism, your life would have been worth so much more because the positive contributions you made towards maximizing the greater good were so infinite.”

Ravi Bhalla

“While I had a wonderful friendship with Shirael, in hindsight I never really knew her until after she was diagnosed with stomach cancer about two years ago. I learned about this tragic circumstance from a beautifully written post by Shirael, letting her friends know about her dire health condition.

It is only then, when you bear witness to someone confronted with their own mortality, that you truly get to know the inner core of a human being, who somebody really is. I don’t remember the exact words of Shirael’s first post and the many after, but I do know this: Shirael, when in the face of darkness, in the face of literally the fight for her own life, did not respond with fear, anger or bitterness. Instead, she rose to the challenge, committed to taking on this battle, and she beat it back with courage, grace, and optimism.”

Michael Vaknin

“You were my warrior. Now you are my angel. I will miss you until I’m gone. I will love you beyond that. You did it Shish. You conquered it all. You can rest now, and I will continue this fight for you. I love you.”

Cherie Hankin Calingasan

“No words to describe my emotions. Shirael you will forever live in my heart and soul. Your life was cut far too short, but yet you accomplished so much. You are ingrained in our Hoboken village and we cherish what you have done for our community.

I’m so grateful for our friendship and our family bond. We had the best times whether dancing on tables, cuddling in bed, family vacations, wine nights, or just chilling. I admire your strength and bravery throughout this fight, and so thankful for our time together. My heart breaks and I miss you already.”

Hoboken Public Education Foundation

“Her impact on us, our community, and our schools will be everlasting. As Shirael would want, we will continue HPEF’s charge to enhance and elevate our public schools and to carry on the mission in which she so deeply believed. She will always be an inspiration. We have learned so much from her and we are beyond grateful that we were able to share in the magic she created around her.”

Sending our love to Shirael’s family and friends — may Shirael rest in peace.

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