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Sunday, March 18 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
23 and Us: Jews, Genes, and Identity

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DNA and ancestry testing now allows us to learn more about Jewish migration, how we are (or are not related), and perhaps can help us expand the definition of  “who is a Jew.” But how does this new knowledge affect our understanding of Jewish identity? Are we defined by our shared DNA?  Are Jews a race?  Are we a religion? Or are we a “people”?   This session will start with a short explanation of how ancestry testing works and what it has taught us so far about Jewish genetic identity.  We will then discuss contemporary issues raised by genetic testing. Should genetic testing be used in Israel to prove Jewish status? Could DNA be used in place of, or in addition to, the halachic matrilineal definition of who is a Jew? Does genetic knowledge broaden or narrow our definition of “who is a Jew”?

avatar for Karen Weissbecker Remer

Karen Weissbecker Remer

Karen Weissbecker Remer is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Hayward Genetics Center at Tulane University School of Medicine.  She is also Director of Student Support and Wellness.  She received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia and her Masters of... Read More →

Sunday March 18, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm CDT
Room 208, JCC