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YINR’s Women’s Initiative to Host Dr. Miryam Wahrman

Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies (WIJS) at Young Israel of New Rochelle (YINR) will present Dr. Miryam Z. Wahrman on Tuesday, June 8, at 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. Wahrman will be the eighth speaker in the monthly scholarly programming offered by WIJS at YINR.

Dr. Wahrman will speak on the subject of “Jewish Genes and Genealogy: Implications of Genetic Testing.” It is natural for Jews to connect with past generations and with genetic roots. With the availability of DNA/genetic testing and screening through clinical labs and genetic testing companies, we can learn about our genetic health and where our ancestors came from. We can discover the presence of genes that increase our risk for deadly diseases, and screen our future offspring for these diseases.

Why are the “chosen people” saddled with so much genetic baggage? What are the risks and benefits of this newfound knowledge? Some people who pursue this knowledge peel back the layers to find surprise revelations, roots they never imagined. Some of these discoveries are life changing. Some are burdensome. Some reveal family secrets. Is there such a thing as too much knowledge about one’s genes, Jewish or otherwise?

Miryam Z. Wahrman, Ph.D. is a professor of biology at William Paterson University. An expert in bioethics, Dr. Wahrman is a pioneer in biotechnology education and has developed and teaches graduate courses in bioethics and research methods. As an award-winning science journalist, she has been interviewed worldwide and has published extensively on science and health and on the interface among technology, genetics and medical ethics. She was also a member of the in-vitro fertilization team that produced the first test-tube baby in New York State.

Dr. Wahrman is the author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” and “Brave New Judaism: When Science and Scripture Collide.” She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University, where she also completed post-doctoral research.

All WIJS programming is open to women and men. Please visit www.yinr.org/wijs  to view the complete WIJS 2020-21 schedule. For more information, to be added to the WIJS email list, or for Zoom information, please call 914-636-2215 or email [email protected].

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