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Author:  Informed
E-mail:  not available
Date:  9/7/2004 10:28:00 AM
Subject:  Dor Yeshorim
Message:  For those who don't know about Dor Yeshorim, here is some information.

Here is information pasted from www.shidduchim.info/medical.html#DorYeshorim:

Jewish Genetic Resources
Dor Yeshorim: The Committee for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases
Dor Yeshorim is an organization founded to prevent recessive gentic diseases. It is based out of New York and was founded by in the early 1980's by Rabbi Josef Ekstein, who had four of his own children die of Tay-Sachs disease. It is endorsed by many physicians and several major Torah authorities, and is the most commonly used genetic screening program for Jewish diseases in the yeshivish world. (Indeed, it is not uncommon for Orthodox Jewish day schools to sponsor screenings for all their high school students). As of February 1996, over 120 incompatible matches had been prevented.

The Dor Yeshorim screening program is most effective with those of entirely Ashkenazic descent. Anyone with even a small heritage other than Ashkenanic descent (even one grandparent), may experience reduced reliability. (This may be of special concern to those with Sephardim or Geirim (Converts) in their background). This general background information is noted at the time of testing, to assist interpreting the results.

The program itself is designed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, and and avoid the risk of stigmatizing a young single or their family members.

Here's how it works, in a nutshell:

Singles have blood taken and their samples labelled with an anonymous identification number, and a control number. These are sent to special labs in New York where they are tested and catalogued. In addition, a contact telephone number is sent along with the sample, and results will only be given via return call to the phone number submitted with the samples, at the time of testing. The singles are normally given a booklet when they are tested, with their identification and control number stickers affixed, as well as, other information about Dor Yeshorim included. The booklet also contains a place to record information, in case the booklet is lost. All results are identified anonymously by number, not by name. The results are kept confidential and will not be released to any individual, not even to the persons themselves. The only information released is the response regarding a particular shidduch's genetic compatibility: compatible or incompatible.

If an individual has a family history of a genetic disease, even a "non-Jewish" one, Dor Yeshorim recommends that they be informed of this, as well (for example, they might run additional tests, if aware of this risk). They can provide confidential counseling, referral, and support services to families afflicted with genetic disease.

Before a shidduch begins (or as early as possible), one or the other parties in the shidduch contacts Dor Yeshorim, and using both parties anonymous identification number and the birthdate of each person, to check if the individuals together are genetically compatible (as noted above). No other information is revealed, not even why they are incompatible or for what diseases or reasons.

There are several rules specific to to Dor Yeshorim:

Individuals who are engaged, married, already tested, or otherwise aware of their carrier status are not eligible to participate in this program.
Results will only be left with the phone number registered at the time of testing. If your phone number changes, Dor Yeshorim needs to be notified as soon as possible.
If you lose your identification number, you will need be re-tested all over again. Since it is entirely anonymous, Dor Yeshorim cannot connect you with your test results, if you lose your identification number.
Currently, the Dor Yeshorim program generally tests for:

Tay-Sachs Disease
Cystic Fibrosis
Canavan Disease (patent-pending)
Fanconia Anemia
Familial Dysautonomia (Riley-Day Syndrome)
Glycogen Storage (Type 1a) / Von Gierke Disease
Bloom's Syndrome
Gaucher Disease (on demand only)
In addition, Dor Yeshorim may also test for other genetic diseases and mutations of existing diseases in a research capacity, unofficially, and proports to be the most thorough program of testing with regards to Jewish genetic diseases.

Those who have already been tested through another screening program, or who are already married or engaged are not eligible for Dor Yeshorim's screening program.

The costs and processing times vary by screening venue.

For those tested at mass screenings (e.g. Jewish high school-hosted screenings), the cost per person is typically $150 per person, and results may take 3-4 months to process.

For those tested individually, the cost is $200, and results may take 2-3 weeks, from the time the sample is received in New York (so, realistically expect 4-6 weeks, if tested in the Mid-Atlantic area).

If tested in New York, should it be absolutely necessary, there is an emergency, expedited processing available.

The following can provide Dor Yeshorim testing services in the Baltimore area:

Dr. Menachem Cooper 410-522-8783
Dr. Aaron Goldberg 410-358-4234
Dr. Yoel Jakobovits 410-580-0900
Quest Diagnostics, Inc. 410-247-9100

For further information, in Baltimore, please call:

Drs. Menachem and Moshay Cooper 410-486-2036
Dr. Michael Ring 410-358-8213

The New York phone number for Dor Yeshorim is: 718-384-6060.

Reply:  Thank you very much

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