Shalom Life | August 22, 2014

According to Medical Geneticist, Jews are an Actual Race

Book sheds light on just who is a Jew

By: David Shear

Published: May 7th, 2012 in News » World

According to Medical Geneticist, Jews are an Actual Race
While many Jews continue to surmise, pontificate and argue just “who is a Jew,” it seems that a new book may finally be shedding some light on this age-old issue.

Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, argues that Jews are different – as we’ve always known – but, in a deeper, more profound way with a distinctive genetic code unique to them.

In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Oster has weaved a new thread into the rich tapestry that is Judaism, all thanks to a factor that never lies, Deoxyribonucleic acid, more commonly known as DNA.

And, while we’ve all known that various illnesses and diseases, most notably, Tay-Sachs, affects Jews more than any other race, Ostrer, also the director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, says that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the necessary factors needed to constitute an actual “race.”

Ironically, many sociologists, a number of whom are Jewish, do not accept the word “race,” claiming, instead that Judaism has slowly changed into a religion from a tribal cult. One reason why the word “race” still carries a negative perception with many Jews is due to its association with Nazism.

Call it what you will, but to break down such a complex subject as much as possible, Ostrer divides his book into six chapters, each one representing a different aspect of Jewishness: Looking Jewish, Founders, Genealogies, Tribes, Traits and Identity. Each chapter features a prominent scientist or historical figure that dramatically advanced our understanding of Jewishness.

The ancestry of 80 percent of Jewish males and half of Jewish females trace their ancestry back to the Middle East, with the others becoming Jewish through intermarriage or conversion.

Meanwhile, on the “Proud to be Jewish list,” Ostrer notes that despite the fact that Members of the Tribe comprise less than 3% of the population, they have won more than 25% of the Nobel Prizes awarded to American scientists since 1950. Jews also account for 20% of America’s chief executives and make up 22% of Ivy League students. Psychologists and educational researchers have pegged their average IQ at 107.5 to 115, with their verbal IQ at more than 120, a stunning standard deviation above the average of 100 found in those of European ancestry.

So, why do so many Jews become successful lawyers, doctors and, yes, geneticists? Is it because of the homes we are brought up in? Is it because mom and dad pressured us to “do something” with our lives? Or, is it because of our DNA and we were destined for greatness regardless of how much we did – or didn’t study.

The answer, my friends, is in our genetic code, a code which, like it or not, says we are all cut from the same cloth.
In Toronto, Thousands Arrive to Rally Against anti-Semitism In Toronto, Thousands Arrive to Rally Against anti-Semitism TrendingJewish Student Physically and Verbally Assaulted by Palestinian Students Jewish Student Physically and Verbally Assaulted by Palestinian Students TrendingA Lost Tribe of Israel Makes Aliyah [VIDEO] A Lost Tribe of Israel Makes Aliyah [VIDEO] Trending
 

The Ten Best Jewish Ice Bucket Challenges

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
The Ten Best Jewish Ice Bucket Challenges

From Drake to Adam Sandler, here are some of the best challenges we've seen that benefit the ALS Foundation

Read More

REVIEW: The LOT’s ‘Little Mermaid Jr’ Is Colourful, Catchy and Captivating

August 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
REVIEW: The LOT’s ‘Little Mermaid Jr’ Is Colourful, Catchy and Captivating

The Lower Ossington Theatre's adaptation of Disney's popular 1989 film is a must-see family adventure.

Read More

7,000-Year-Old Metal Object Discovered in Israel

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
7,000-Year-Old Metal Object Discovered in Israel

The copper owl buried with a woman is the oldest piece of copper ever discovered in the Middle East

Read More

Ontario Students Pass BDS Resolultion

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Ontario Students Pass BDS Resolultion

The Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students unanimously voted to boycott Israel

Read More

Israelis Turn Bomb Shelter Into Underground Casino

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israelis Turn Bomb Shelter Into Underground Casino

Police find casino intact with cannabis plantation and tons of alcohol in Kiryat Gat bomb shelter

Read More

4-Year-Old Israeli Boy Dies in Mortar Attack from Gaza

August 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
4-Year-Old Israeli Boy Dies in Mortar Attack from Gaza

First Israeli child fatality brings death toll to 68, the first since Hamas violated ceasefire on Tuesday

Read More

Op-Ed: Losing Patience with Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitism

August 22, 2014 | By Elliot Hamilton
Op-Ed: Losing Patience with Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitism

SJP is far from the "social justice" movement it claims to be, as it partakes in some of the worst instances of anti-Semitism on college campuses

Read More

Ashdod Synagogue Hit By Rocket Fire

August 22, 2014 | By Ilanan Curiel
Ashdod Synagogue Hit By Rocket Fire

At least 50 rockets, mortars fired on southern Israel, with one landing near preschool and another striking an Ashdod synagogue, following violent day which saw over 100 rockets launched; IDF hit over 30 Gaza targets in response, two killed

Read More

More Headlines