DNA Testing

Some people have asked if they can take a DNA test to determine if they are Jewish. There is no test that says one person is Jewish and another is not. There are tests that check for certain markers that point to possible links to Judaism. The most common test is to see if a male carries the marker carried by a large amount of Kohanim (priests, also written as Cohanim). This test checks the Y chromosomes which are passed from father to son and can point to the possibility that a male ancestor was descended from Aaron, the first High Priest and brother of Moses. This test does not determine religion because religion is passed from mother to child, not from father to child. But, if the mother is Jewish and you carry the marker then it points to the fact that you are likely a Kohen (priest) although somewhere along the way the transmission may have been interrupted despite that one carries the marker.
DNA testing of all kinds can be done by a few companies. Many people use Family Tree DNA. I had my DNA checked and have since been in touch with relatives that I did not know. about. Together we have been exploring our family roots.

They also do Native American Genetic Testing at the same lab. The tests are very simple, a swaba kit is sent by mail and the user swabs the inside of their mouth with what looks like a large cotton swabs and returns the kit in an envelope. The test takes just a few minutes and the doors it opens are amazing. You can actually learn about your family ancestry through your DNA. The results are sent in about 3-4 weeks.
If you If you are researching your family in the UK, boasts the largest collection of UK family history records online.


DNATestReview is a leading source of information on DNA tests

Kulanu – All of Us is an organization that deals with lost tribes

Bnei Menashe is a website on the Bnei Menashe tribe from India

Authentic Techelet is a website on the search for authentic techelet / tekhelet and the sea creature (chilazon) from which it comes


Letter from Rabbi Aaron Soloveitchik

Your Ancestors may have been Jewish if they are from…

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