I am very pleased, excited, and humbled to share what has now been in the works for several months. You may recall that my collegue, Jennifer Mendelsohn, and I were featured in a Times of Israel article after we identified the biological father of Jackie Young, a Holocaust survivor, who spent his earliest years in the Terezin (Theresienstadt). Jennifer and I have worked collaboratively for a few years now, since she invited me to join her as admin for the Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research group on Facebook. Almost a year ago, I reached out to Jennifer about an idea to get commercial DNA kits into the hands of Holocaust survivors and their children. To my delight, Jennifer also had the same vision. What better way to use our unique skillset in Ashkenazi Jewish genetic genealogy than to reunite families separated by the Holocaust?
After months of planning, we are pleased to announce the DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish History. "The DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish History will make commercial DNA kits available free of charge to Holocaust survivors or their children...The Project will also serve as a central genealogical resource where Holocaust survivors with complex case histories can avail themselves of expert genetic genealogical consultation at no cost to them. These might include hidden children, unknown parent cases, or stories of non-Jews first learning of hidden Jewish history from DNA testing."
Please join us for our kick-off event on Giving Tuesday, November 29th, at 12:30pm ET. Tickets are pay what you wish: https://programs.cjh.org/tickets/dna-reunion-project-2022-11-29
You can also make a donation to the DNA Reunion Project here: https://www.cjh.org/donate/donate-now-dna. Donations will help us purchase commercial DNA kits, provide consultations, and reunite families.
Please feel free to share with everyone you know! We will not be distributing kits until after the launch event, so please wait until after the event to apply for a DNA kit.
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