For the past thirty two years, Dor Yeshorim has been the leading organization spearheading countless initiatives to safeguard the health of future generations. Specializing in genetic research, prevention and testing for the Ashkenazic community, Dor Yeshorim has saved countless precious lives and prevented untold suffering and anguish for so many of our brothers and sisters.
Since Tay Sachs (the original genetic mutation that Dor Yeshorim tested for) was most prevalent among the Ashkenazic community, many people began to have the misconception that genetic diseases were not common among the Sephardim. Yet as more Sephardic children were born with genetic diseases, the need to conduct genetic screenings before engagement became more urgent.
After being approached by many Sephardic families, and realizing how widespread the need for Sephardi genetic assistance was, Dor Yeshorim began to further expand its reach. It began conducting genetic research and preliminary screenings in the hopes of eliminating the recurrence of genetic disease from the Sephardic community, as well.
Dr. Ohad Birk, the head of the Genetics Institute at Soroka Medical Center located in Be’er Sheva explained how the dearth of research done around Sephardic genetic diseases is partially due to the fact that the genetics of the Sephardic community are more complex than that of the Ashkenazic community.
While Ashkenazim hail from various countries, they are all susceptible to the same genetic diseases. Whereas Sephardim, depending on their country of origin have different genetic mutations, which adds a layer of complexity in setting up a testing panel for them.
In its mission to eradicate genetic disease entirely from all of our brothers and sisters, Dor Yeshorim painstakingly invested much resources, time and energy to conduct groundbreaking ongoing research and develop reliable testing methods to successfully cover the scope of the entire Sephardic community.
Last year, in May 2015, Hagaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef shlita, the Rishon L’Tzion of Eretz Yisroel and Av Beis Din of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Supreme Beis Din, called upon all Sephardim to be tested for genetic inconsistencies before making a vort.
He relayed how Dor Yeshorim’s work in testing our children before they make the decision to get married will help avoid so many problems that can potentially arise. Upon his announcement, thousands of Sephardim in Eretz Yisroel signed up to be screened by Dor Yeshorim’s Israeli division.
And recently, in December 2015, the Gedolei HaDor and Roshei Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel released a Kol Koreh in which they announced that, before getting engaged, every single Jew should get tested by Dor Yeshorim, whether they are of Ashkenazic or Sephardic descent.
Signed by forty five leaders, including Rav Shimon Badani, Rav Yehuda Adas and Rav Moshe Tzadkah, the leader read, “We beg you to strengthen the hands of those that are fulfilling this holy work to save thousands of Yiddishe lives from terrible diseases and heartbreaking suffering…We are coming now to call upon everyone from Klal Yisroel, from every kehilla. Each and every individual, whether you’re of Ashkenazic or Sephardic blood, should be screened by Dor Yeshorim.”
As the ambassador for the health of our future generations Dor Yeshorim remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure that no Jewish family goes through the heart wrenching pain of giving birth to a child affected by genetic disease.
Throughout it all, Dor Yeshorim has its eye on the future, constantly striving to save more precious Jewish lives and bring peace of mind to all of Klal Yisroel’s families.
Dor Yeshorim is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of Jewish genetic diseases, assisting families affected with rare genetic diseases, and conducting screenings at locations in eleven countries worldwide. For more information about Dor Yeshorim’s programs, please contact them at: (718) 384-6060, email email@example.com or visit their website at doryeshorim.org.