Genetics


Two Grieving Mothers, One Friendship

By Gabrielle Birkner

Becky Benson and Emily Rapp both lost a child to Tay Sachs disease. Other than that, they had little in common – until they became each other’s ‘grief mentor.’Read More


Searching for My Birth Mother's Jewish Heritage

By Albert Stern

Albert Stern was adopted into an Orthodox Jewish family. When he underwent DNA testing, what he found out about his birth mother wasn’t what he expected.Read More


FMF Patients Battle for Awareness and Affordable Drugs

By Gabe Friedman

There is no cure for Familial Mediterranean Fever, which strikes 1 in 200 Sephardic Jews. A drug called colchicine manages the symptoms — but rising costs makes it tricky to obtain.Read More


A Network for Courageous Parents Offers New Views, Advice on Grief

By Gabrielle Birkner

Grieving parents find support and a way to cope with their child’s fatal diagnosis in the Network For Courageous Parents, a new videocentric online resource.Read More


The Genes That Affect Indian-Jewish Vision

By Nathan Jeffay

A mysterious genetic mutation causes sight problems that affect 1 in 10 Indian Jews in Israel. Geneticist Ohad Birk, who discovered the mutation, now wants to understand what it does.Read More


When Men Get Breast Cancer

By Anne Cohen

Many people don’t realize that Jewish men have the same chance as women of inheriting the BRCA gene mutation — or that male breast cancer poses a real threat.Read More


Genetics Lab Refuses To Share Data That Could Save Lives

By Karen Iris Tucker

Since the Supreme Court ruling one year ago, Myriad Genetics is no longer the only lab in the United States conducting BRCA testing. But it refuses to share lifesaving data it has collected.Read More


Genetic Nerve Disease Puts Photographer on Other Side of the Lens

By Yardain Amron

Chances are, you probably haven’t heard of adult polyglucosan body disease. But a small study suggests that about one in 35 Ashkenazi Jews carry the mutation linked to it.Read More


From Seder to Yoga, a Jewish Approach to Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

By Kenny Suleimanagich

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Because there is no cure, Jewish patients often get alternative care, like special Seders and yoga.Read More


My 'Birthright' Trip to China

By Rachel X. Landes

Rachel Landes was adopted into a Brooklyn half-Jewish family. For a long time, she ignored her Chinese heritage — until her sister convinced her to go on a trip to China.Read More





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  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
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  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
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