What’s hidden in your Jewish genes? JPPS-Bialik presents a panel on genetic health Nov. 18

Moderator Julie Kristof, Chair, Montreal Jewish Genetic Disorder Fund (right), with her daughter Miriam, who at 18-months was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Familial Dysautonomia.

Are you aware of your genetic health? If you are Jewish, find out how your genes are unique and how they can impact future generations. On Monday, Nov. 18 (7 p.m.) at JPPS-Bialik (6500 Ch. Kildare in Côte Saint-Luc), a panel of experts will address a range of questions about Jewish genetic health — medical, Jewish law (hallacha), privacy and the impact on the lives of those affected.

The panelists are Dr. David Rosenblatt: Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University; Rabbi Avi Finegold: Founder, Jewish Learning Lab Eta Yudin, Vice-President, Quebec, CIJA; and Joanne Miller-Eisman, Founder, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation. It will be moderated by Julie Kristof, Chair, Montreal Jewish Genetic Disorder Fund. Suppliers of services related to genetic testing or fertility will also be present to provide information.

Kristof’s life changed drastically when in 2008 her 18-month old daughter Miriam was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Familial Dysautonomia. She quickly learned that this condition occurs only among the Jewish population who descend from Eastern or Central Europe. Both she and her husband are carriers of this genetic mutation and with each pregnancy there was a one-in-four chance that the baby would be affected. The sad part is that Julie and her husband could have been tested but were never told to do so. And, Julie was tested for Tay Sachs in high school so thought she was “safe”.

RSVP on the event Facebook page (“Why roll the dice? What’s hidden in your Jewish genes”) or at communications@jppsbialik.ca n



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