Genetic markers can determine Jewish descent or can they?

The proliferation of DNA testing coupled with genealogical research is increasing daily. While most people are convinced about the benefits of DNA testing in relating Jewish ancestry, I was recently asked about the case of someone who is Jewish but does not exhibit the “standard” haplogroups that are increasingly identified with Sephardic ancestry.

This brought about a discussion about Iberian Jewish identity and an openness to converts at least in late antiquity. The following article provides an interesting counter approach to those who argue Jewish DNA as a or even the key arbiter of Jewish identity. I am not endorsing this article but trying to ensure people understand the complexity of the argument. The article is titled, Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish Descent by Raphael Falk.

Posted by Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education. For a more complete review of Iberian Jewish history and the Crypto- Jewish Experience see Conversos and the Sabbatean Movement, and The Rise of the Inquisition.

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