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These Services Ensure You and Your Partner Don't Share Genes for Ashkenazi Diseases. And They'll Tell You Before the First Date.

An office sits on a humble corner on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, a Brooklyn stronghold for hipsters and Hasidim alike. Above a locked and graffitied metal security gate is a weathered sign, its gold letters scratched and peeling. "Dor Yeshorim: Committee for Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases," it reads. It's unclear if anyone works there and whether or not the office is now just an idle space below closed-curtained apartment windows. The organization operates quietly, some would even say secretively: Phone numbers linked to Dor Yeshorim are automated, its website outdated and often unclickable, and its services little-known to those outside the Orthodox world.

The Brooklyn-based organization, which now offers Jewish genetic testing across the United States, Canada, Israel, and Europe, works to eliminate any chance that two carriers of the same genetic disease will even date, avoiding the heartache of having to abandon a progressing relationship, or worse, having a child with a fatal or debilitating genetic disorder. After conducting genetic screening, Dor Yeshorim assigns identification numbers that correspond to its clients' genetic data. Before or soon after meeting, potential partners exchange ID numbers and dial an automated hotline to check genetic compatibilitya phone call that almost always determines if a relationship will move forward or end.

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Author:Stiles, Kara
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Dec 29, 2014
Words:232
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