In response to the growing occurrences of genetic diseases within the Sephardic community and the subsequent requests for assistance, Dor Yeshorim recently unveiled a new testing panel that screens for sixteen additional genetic diseases prevalent in Sephardic / non-Ashkenazic communities. This panel represents many years of painstaking research and development, necessary to establish reliable testing that meets Dor Yeshorim rigorous standards.
In May of 2015, HaChacham Yitzhak Yosef, shlita, the Rishon LeZion of Eretz Yisroel and Av Bet Din of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Supreme Bet Din, called upon all Sephardim to be tested for genetic diseases. Following Dor Yeshorim’s groundbreaking addition of the Sephardic testing panel, Gedolei HaDor and Roshei Yeshiva from the Sephardic communities in Israel released a Kol Koreh. This announcement stated that, before getting engaged, every single Jew, regardless of whether they are of Ashkenazic or Sephardic descent, should undergo Dor Yeshorim testing.
Those who joined the Dor Yeshorim program after January of 2016 and indicated on the enrolments form that they are of Sephardic descent were automatically screened for both Ashkenazic and Sephardic panels. Those who were tested by Dor Yeshorim before this time period should call the Dor Yeshorim office to update their information. In most cases, an additional blood specimen is not needed
Dor Yeshorim continues to work tirelessly with Rabbanim and community leaders abroad to help firmly establish the Sephardic testing panel and continue protecting the futures of all Jewish communities.
Be Aware: Sephardim can also be carriers for diseases found on the Ashkenazi panel, such as Tay Sachs and Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, a Sephardi with Ashkenazic ancestry, even from a few generations back, can also be a carrier for any Ashkenazic genetic disease. It is therefore imperative that all Sephardim be screened for genetic diseases whether they will marry another Sephardi or an Ashkenazi.
For additional information see:
Genetic Home Reference
Ataxia Telangiectasia is found with an increased frequency among Jews from Morocco and Tunisia. Its estimated incidence is to be 1:26500, with a carrier frequency of 1/80.
The disease has been reported in Jewish families from Morocco and from Iraq.