07 Jul 2013

JGD UK At Hadley Wood Jewish Community

On the 4th July, Jnetics held a well-attended event at the Hadley Wood Jewish Community (HWJC) entitled ‘Jewish Genetic Disorders: Empowering our community’.

The session began with Katrina Sarig, executive director of Jnetics, presenting an introduction to Jewish genetic disorders, how they are inherited and their prevalence in the Jewish community. She then highlighted many of the moral and ethical implications that arise from genetic testing.

Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, Rabbi at HWJC, then explained the Jewish perspective, as seen by the major Halachic authorities historically and in the modern era. He explained what halachic questions may arise through genetic testing, and how these questions are addressed in Jewish law. This generated an animated, captivating discussion with many interesting questions and comments from the audience.

After a short tea break, Katrina continued by providing an overview of the work we do as a charity, emphasising our outreach education work, our information and signposting activities including the ‘Got a question?’ referral service, and introducing our on-going activities to establish community testing for the most severe disorders.  The audience response was really positive with some individuals offering to get involved with our Jnetics projects.

The evening ended with a video clip titled Jane’s Story, a powerful and extremely moving interview with Jane Pearl about living with a child affected by familial dysautonomia.

Overall the event was a great success and we are very grateful to Rabbi Yoni for his valuable contribution, and to the Hadley wood community for their warm welcome and their interest.

If you would like to learn more about Jnetics’s services or are interested in being involved in our awareness-raising or other activities, please contact us at: info@jnetics.org