• January 30, 2023
  • 8 5783, Shevat
  • פרשת בא

DNA & Genealogy

DNA & Genealogy

Modern science has provided incredible tools such as DNA testing for understanding where people came from and how they are connected. Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores the halachic discusion regarding DNA testing and its use in the study of geneaology.

November 17, 2021 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
DNA & Genealogy: DNA & Genealogy
Class description

For the past few years there has been an increased interest in the subject of “Jewish Genealogy.” This interest is shown both  by individuals and entire communities who are seeking to prove their status as Jews according to the Halacha.

Jewish “status” is passed by matrilineal descent.  For centuries persons estranged from organized Jewish communal life would seek to establish their Jewish status by providing documentary evidence of their unbroken descent from a female Jewish ancestor.  Recently a new tool has been suggested for establishing descent from a Jewish mother. This tool is mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is genetic material found in very cell. Unlike the genetic material found in the nucleus of the cell which is inherited from both parents, the genetic material found in the mitochondria is almost always inherited only from the mother.

It follows (at least in theory) that if someone has the identical mitochondrial DNA  as  a known Jew ( however that would be established) then this person could be accepted a s Jew.

In these two sessions we will discuss how the Halacha relates to and assesses developments in the sciences and their applicability to Halacha.



November 24, 2021 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
DNA & Genealogy: DNA & Genealogy

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.