Jnetics is dedicated to improving the understanding, diagnosis and management of Jewish genetic disorders (JGD’s). These are genetic conditions that have a higher prevalence among people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry compared to the general population. Jnetics focuses on 3 key areas – raising awareness/education, providing information and carrier screening.
BDB has contributed funding towards the Jnetics Genius project to enable them to:
- Provide education to Year 12 students at Jewish secondary schools, to Jewish university students and to engaged couples by working with various synagogue movements so that JGD information is provided as part of the pre-marriage process
- Deliver a PR campaign in the Jewish press and via social media channels, presentations and group discussions at synagogues and schools, targeted events with Rabbis, community leaders and medical professionals to broaden community understanding and management of JGD’s
- Provide information via their website and resources and signpost to genetics specialists
- Work in conjunction with the NHS to provide the UK Jewish community with accessible, responsible and affordable carrier screening
- Provide support from a Genetic Counsellor
In October 2021, Jenetics extended their screening panel from 9 to 47 JGD’s to include further conditions that are more prevalent in the Ashkanazi community and now also includes conditions that are prevalent in the Sephardi and Mizrahi communities.
During the 2021 university screening week, 225 students across the whole of the UK signed up to be screened for 47 JGD’s and students received education about JGD’s and the importance of carrier screening and prevention (4.). They also recruited over 25 campus representatives to promote the event and encourage others to sign up. The event was supported by the Union of Jewish Students and the University Jewish Chaplaincy.
‘During this granting period, we have been able to reach a significant number of Jewish adults (1000+ annually) educating them about managing the risk of passing on a JGD to future generations and providing access to carrier screening.
The GENEius programme has played a huge role in shifting the mindset within the Jewish community, regarding Jewish genetic disorders and ensuring that screening for genetic disorders before a young couple embark on parenthood becomes the norm as it is in Israel, the US and Australia’ Jnetics
You can find out more about Jnetics via their website: