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Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Their Origins May Surprise …

Ashkenazi Jews are a Jewish ethnic group who have their earliest ancestors from the indigenous tribes of Israelat least on one side of the family tree. A study published in 2013 in Nature Communications has shown their maternal lineage comes from a different, and possibly unexpected, source.

The research shows the origins of the matrilineal line for the Ashkenazi Jews comes from Europe. This goes against the common belief that Jewish people first arrived in central Europe after the ByzantineSasanian War of 602628 and only began settling in Germany in the Medieval period.

Ashkenazi Jews is the term used today to describe these Jewish people individuals who built religiously-based communities centuries later in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the things they are recognized for is the use of Yiddish a High German language written in the Hebrew alphabet and influenced by classical Hebrew and Aramaic.

The Yiddish calligraphic segment in the Worms Mahzor. ( Public Domain )

The 2013 study co-author Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Huddersfield in England, said that while Ashkenazi Jews have lived in Europe for many centuries, the results of the study using DNA samples show that most European Jews descend from local people who converted to Judaism, not individuals who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago.

Ashkenazi Jews were declared a clear, homogeneous genetic subgroup following a 2006 study. Ashkenazi Jews come from the same genetic group, no matter if their ancestors were from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, or another place with a large historical Jewish population. They are all in the same ethnic group.

How could it be that Ashkenazi Jews are just one genetic group? The answer is a relatively simple one: they didnt reproduce at a noticeable level with others outside their group (not even with other Jewish people). Researchers have shown Ashkenazi Jews were a reproductively isolated population in Europe for about 1000 years.

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi (1714). ( Public Domain )

Previous studies have found that 50-80% of the Ashkenazim DNA from the paternal lineage originated in the Near East. It is not surprising that there was a common belief that Israel and the Near East was their ancient homeland.

But the 2013 study showed 80% of Ashkenazi Jews maternal line comes from Europe – only a few people had genes originating in the Near East. As Professor Richards said at the time, This suggests that, even though Jewish men may indeed have migrated into Europe from Palestine around 2000 years ago, they seem to have married European women.

A Jewish couple from Worms, Germany, with the obligatory yellow badge on their clothes. The man holds a moneybag and bulbs of garlic, both often used in the portrayal of Jews. 16th century. ( Public Domain )

It appears that the majority of the European converts to Judaism during the early years of the Diaspora were women. That helps explain why the Ashkenazim can trace their female lineage to southern and western Europe.

In conclusion, Richards said , The origins of the Ashkenazim is one of the big questions that people have pursued again and again and never really come to a conclusive view.

Top Image: Detail of Ashkenazi Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb) Source: Public Domain

By April Holloway

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Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Their Origins May Surprise …

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BFOR

Women and men with a BRCA gene mutation have a greater risk of developing several types of cancer. Most of those at risk do not know that they carry a BRCA mutation.

The BFOR study provides genetic testing for common BRCA mutations for women and men of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry, age 25 or older, in four U.S. metropolitan areas. 95% of American Jews are Ashkenazi.

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Ashkenazi Jews are not inbred – Gene Expression

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Lior Ashkenazi – IMDb

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards Known For

(2011)

(2013)

(2001)

(2004)

Alternate Names: Lior Ashkenasi | Lior Louie Ashkenazi

Trivia:Despite his surname, his parents are Sephardi Jews from Istanbul, Turkey.

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Kat Graham Ethnicity of Celebs | What Nationality …

Birth Name: Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham

Place of Birth: Geneva, Switzerland

Date of Birth: September 5, 1989

Ethnicity:*Americo-Liberian (father)*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Kat Graham, also credited as Katerina Graham, is an American actress, singer, model, and dancer. She is famous for appearing on will.i.ams track I Got It From My Mama. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and grew in California, U.S. She is able to speak four languages.

Kats s father, Joseph Hartford Graham, is Americo-Liberian. Her mother, Natasha, is Jewish (from a family that emigrated from Poland and Russia). Kat was raised in her mothers faith, and attended Hebrew School.

Americo-Liberians have Liberian ethnicity and African-American ancestry. Americo-Liberians trace their ancestry to free-born and formerly enslaved African-Americans (who called themselves Americo-Liberians) who immigrated in the 1800s to become the founders of Liberia.

Kats paternal grandfather was Joseph Graham, a U.N. Ambassador, serving for 40 years in the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, and Kenya.

Source: http://clutchmagonline.com

profile by mzpreciousz

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Tagged as:African, African American, Americo-Liberian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Jewish, Liberian, Polish Jewish, Russian Jewish

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Ashkenazi Jewish Panel – Quest Diagnostics

The Ashkenazi Jewish panels detect mutations associated with disorders that commonly occur in Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European Jewish) individuals (see below). Two panels are offered: 1) a 4-test panel, which includes the genetic tests recommended by ACOG and ACMG (for Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, and Tay-Sachs); and 2) an 11-test panel, which also includes tests for 7 other diseases common among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals. The panels simplify test ordering for Ashkenazi Jewish individuals who wish to know their carrier status and/or their risk of having a child with any of these disorders. It is most frequently used for Ashkenazi Jews and their partners who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. Since all of these disorders are autosomal recessive, both parents must be carriers for the couple to have an affected child. If one partner is Ashkenazi Jewish and the other is not, sequential screening, beginning with the Ashkenazi Jewish individual, is recommended.

A brief description of each disorder follows.

Bloom Syndrome

Children with Bloom syndrome are affected with growth retardation, abnormalities in skin pigmentation, immunodeficiency, a predisposition to cancer, and chromosomal instability. Death usually results from cancer at a mean age of 27.

Canavan Disease

Canavan disease (aspartoacylase deficiency) is a progressive neurologic disease characterized by increased head circumference, decreasing muscle tone and motor activity, progressive loss of visual responsiveness, and mental retardation. Death usually occurs in the first few years of life, although some individuals survive into their teens.

Cystic Fibrosis

Characteristic manifestations include recurrent lung infections, malabsorption, malnutrition, and infertility (especially in males). Median survival is approximately 37 years.

Familial Dysautonomia

Familial dysautonomia is characterized by abnormal functioning of the sensory and autonomic nervous systems. This causes decreased sensitivity to pain, abnormal regulation of body temperature, paroxysmal hypertension, and gastrointestinal abnormalities.

Fanconi Anemia Group C

Fanconi anemia is characterized by deficient bone development and bone marrow function. This can lead to pancytopenia, anemia, leukemia, and malformations of the limbs, kidneys, and heart. The disorder may be mild or severe.

Gaucher Disease

Gaucher disease is a lysosomal glycolipid storage disorder caused by an enzymatic deficiency (acid beta- galactosidase deficiency). Individuals may have an enlarged liver and spleen, thrombocytopenia, anemia, bone pain, bone lesions, and fractures. Life expectancy depends on severity of the symptoms.

Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1a

This disorder is caused by a toxic buildup of glycogen and fat in the liver, kidneys, and small intestines. Affected children tend to have short stature, thin arms and legs, and enlarged liver and kidneys. Adults may have osteoporosis, gout, kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, and polycystic ovary disease.

Maple Syrup Urine Disease

This disease is caused by buildup of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Affected infants show poor feeding, vomiting, lethargy, delayed development, and sweet-smelling urine. Untreated disease can lead to seizures, coma, and death within the first few months after birth.

Mucolipidosis IV

This neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder is characterized by growth and psychomotor retardation, progressive retinal degeneration, clouding of the cornea, and crossed eyes. The majority of infants with the disorder fail to develop past the level of a 1- to 2-year-old and never speak or walk. They may have a normal life expectancy.

Niemann-Pick Disease Types A and B

This lysosomal storage disorder is characterized by diminished acid sphingomyelinase activity. Type A is usually fatal within 3 to 5 years. These children fail to thrive, have an enlarged liver and spleen, and exhibit progressive mental and physical degeneration. Individuals with type B also have hepatosplenomegaly (along with cirrhosis, portal hypertension, ascites, and pancytopenia), but little to no neurologic involvement. They often survive into adolescence and adulthood.

Tay-Sachs Disease

Tay-Sachs disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder caused by an enzymatic deficiency (hexosaminidase A). The classic infantile form is characterized by developmental retardation followed by paralysis, dementia, seizures, and blindness. Death usually occurs by age 4.

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Medical genetics of Jews – Wikipedia

The medical genetics of Jews is the study, screening, and treatment of genetic disorders more common in particular Jewish populations than in the population as a whole.[1] The genetics of Ashkenazi Jews have been particularly well-studied, resulting in the discovery of many genetic disorders associated with this ethnic group.

In contrast, the medical genetics of Sephardic Jews and Mizrahi Jews are more complicated, since they are more genetically diverse and consequently no genetic disorders are more common in these groups as a whole; instead, they tend to have the genetic diseases common in their various countries of origin.[1][2]

Several organizations, such as Dor Yeshorim,[3] offer screening for Ashkenazi genetic diseases, and these screening programs have had a significant impact, in particular by reducing the number of cases of TaySachs disease.[4]

Different ethnic groups tend to suffer from different rates of hereditary diseases, with some being more common, and some less common. Hereditary diseases, particularly hemophilia, were recognized early in Jewish history, even being described in the Talmud.[5] However, the scientific study of hereditary disease in Jewish populations was initially hindered by scientific racism, which is based on racial supremacism.[6][7]

However, modern studies on the genetics of particular ethnic groups have the tightly defined purpose of avoiding the birth of children with genetic diseases, or identifying people at particular risk of developing a disease in the future.[6] Consequently, the Jewish community has been very supportive of modern genetic testing programs, although this unusually high degree of cooperation has raised concerns that it might lead to the false perception that Jews are more susceptible to genetic diseases than other groups of people.[5]

However, most populations contain hundreds of alleles that could potentially cause disease and most people are heterozygotes for one or two recessive alleles that would be lethal in a homozygote.[8] Although the overall frequency of disease-causing alleles does not vary much between populations, the practice of consanguineous marriage (marriage between second cousins or closer relatives) is common in some Jewish communities, which produces a small increase in the number of children with congenital defects.[9]

According to Daphna Birenbaum Carmeli at the University of Haifa, Jewish populations have been studied thoroughly because:[10]

The result is a form of ascertainment bias. This has sometimes created an impression that Jews are more susceptible to genetic disease than other populations. Carmeli writes, “Jews are over-represented in human genetic literature, particularly in mutation-related contexts.”[10]

This set of advantages have led to Ashkenazi Jews in particular being used in many genetic studies, not just in the study of genetic diseases. For example, a series of publications on Ashkenazi centenarians established their longevity was strongly inherited and associated with lower rates of age-related diseases.[11] This “healthy aging” phenotype may be due to higher levels of telomerase in these individuals.[12]

The most detailed genetic analysis study of Ashkenazi was published in September 2014 by Shai Carmi and his team at Columbia University.[13] The results of the detailed study show that today’s 10 million Ashkenazi Jews descend from a population of only 350 individuals who lived about 600800 years ago. That population derived from both Europe and the Middle East.[14] There is evidence that the population bottleneck may have allowed deleterious alleles to become more prevalent in the population due to genetic drift.[15] As a result, this group has been particularly intensively studied, so many mutations have been identified as common in Ashkenazis.[16] Of these diseases, many also occur in other Jewish groups and in non-Jewish populations, although the specific mutation which causes the disease may vary between populations. For example, two different mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene causes Gaucher’s disease in Ashkenazis, which is their most common genetic disease, but only one of these mutations is found in non-Jewish groups.[4] A few diseases are unique to this group; for example, familial dysautonomia is almost unknown in other populations.[4]

TaySachs disease, which can present as a fatal illness of children that causes mental deterioration prior to death, was historically extremely common among Ashkenazi Jews,[18] with lower levels of the disease in some Pennsylvania Dutch, southern Louisiana Cajun, and eastern Quebec French Canadian populations.[19] Since the 1970s, however, proactive genetic testing has been quite effective in eliminating TaySachs from the Ashkenazi Jewish population.[20]

Gaucher’s disease, in which lipids accumulate in inappropriate locations, occurs most frequently among Ashkenazi Jews;[21] the mutation is carried by roughly one in every 15 Ashkenazi Jews, compared to one in 100 of the general American population.[22] Gaucher’s disease can cause brain damage and seizures, but these effects are not usually present in the form manifested among Ashkenazi Jews; while sufferers still bruise easily, and it can still potentially rupture the spleen, it generally has only a minor impact on life expectancy.

Ashkenazi Jews are also highly affected by other lysosomal storage diseases, particularly in the form of lipid storage disorders. Compared to other ethnic groups, they more frequently act as carriers of mucolipidosis[23] and NiemannPick disease,[24] the latter of which can prove fatal.

The occurrence of several lysosomal storage disorders in the same population suggests the alleles responsible might have conferred some selective advantage in the past.[25] This would be similar to the hemoglobin allele which is responsible for sickle-cell disease, but solely in people with two copies; those with just one copy of the allele have a sickle cell trait and gain partial immunity to malaria as a result. This effect is called heterozygote advantage.[26]

Familial dysautonomia (RileyDay syndrome), which causes vomiting, speech problems, an inability to cry, and false sensory perception, is almost exclusive to Ashkenazi Jews;[27] Ashkenazi Jews are almost 100 times more likely to carry the disease than anyone else.[28]

Diseases inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern often occur in endogamous populations. Among Ashkenazi Jews, a higher incidence of specific genetic disorders and hereditary diseases have been verified, including:

In contrast to the Ashkenazi population, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews are much more divergent groups, with ancestors from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Italy, Libya, the Balkans, Iran, Iraq, India, and Yemen, with specific genetic disorders found in each regional group, or even in specific subpopulations in these regions.[1]

One of the first genetic testing programs to identify heterozygote carriers of a genetic disorder was a program aimed at eliminating TaySachs disease. This program began in 1970, and over one million people have now been screened for the mutation.[47] Identifying carriers and counseling couples on reproductive options have had a large impact on the incidence of the disease, with a decrease from 4050 per year worldwide to only four or five per year.[4] Screening programs now test for several genetic disorders in Jews, although these focus on the Ashkenazi Jews, since other Jewish groups cannot be given a single set of tests for a common set of disorders.[2] In the USA, these screening programs have been widely accepted by the Ashkenazi community, and have greatly reduced the frequency of the disorders.[48]

Prenatal testing for several genetic diseases is offered as commercial panels for Ashkenazi couples by both CIGNA and Quest Diagnostics. The CIGNA panel is available for testing for parental/preconception screening or following chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis and tests for Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, Fanconi anemia, Gaucher disease, mucolipidosis IV, Neimann-Pick disease type A, Tay-Sachs disease, and torsion dystonia. The Quest panel is for parental/preconception testing and tests for Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, Fanconi anemia group C, Gaucher disease, Neimann-Pick disease types A and B and Tay-Sachs disease.

The official recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is that Ashkenazi individuals be offered screening for Tay Sachs, Canavan, cystic fibrosis, and familial dysautonomia as part of routine obstetrical care.[49]

In the orthodox community, an organization called Dor Yeshorim carries out anonymous genetic screening of couples before marriage to reduce the risk of children with genetic diseases being born.[50] The program educates young people on medical genetics and screens school-aged children for any disease genes. These results are then entered into an anonymous database, identified only by a unique ID number given to the person who was tested. If two people are considering getting married, they call the organization and tell them their ID numbers. The organization then tells them if they are genetically compatible. It is not divulged if one member is a carrier, so as to protect the carrier and his or her family from stigmatization.[50] However, this program has been criticized for exerting social pressure on people to be tested, and for screening for a broad range of recessive genes, including disorders such as Gaucher’s disease.[3]

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Cholent – Wikipedia

Cholent (Yiddish: , translit.tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: ) is a traditional Jewish stew. It is usually simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a slow oven or electric slow cooker, until the following day.

There are many variations of the dish, which is standard in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens.[1] The basic ingredients of cholent are meat, potatoes, beans and barley. Sephardi-style hamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, and chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell (huevos haminados), which turn brown overnight. Ashkenazi cholent often contains kishke (a sausage casing) or helzel (a chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture). Slow overnight cooking allows the flavors of the various ingredients to permeate and produces the characteristic taste of cholent.

Max Weinreich traces the etymology of cholent to the Latin present participle calentem, meaning “that which is hot” (as in calorie), via Old French chalant (present participle of chalt, from the verb chaloir, “to warm”).[2][3] One widely quoted folk etymology, relying on the French pronunciation of cholent or the Central and Western European variants shalent or shalet, derives the word from French chaud (“hot”) and lent (“slow”). Another folk etymology derives cholent (or sholen) from the Hebrew shelan, which means “that rested [overnight]”. This refers to the old-time cooking tradition of Jewish families placing their individual pots of cholent into the town baker’s ovens that always stayed hot and slow-cooked the food overnight. Yet another etymology is Old French chaudes lentes, “hot lentils”.

Hamin (, pronounced amin), the Sephardi version of cholent popular also in Israel, derives from the Hebrew word (‘hot’), as it is always served fresh off the stove, oven, or slow cooker. The origin of this name is the Mishnaic phrase tomnim et hachamim (Hebrew for “wrap the hot things”),[4] which essentially provides the Rabbinical prescription for keeping food hot for the Sabbath without lighting a fire.[5][6]

In traditional Jewish families, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi, cholent or hamin is the hot main course of the midday Shabbat meal served on Saturdays after the morning synagogue services. Secular Jewish families in Israel also serve cholent. The dish is more popular in the winter. Cholent may be served on Shabbat in synagogues at a kiddush celebration after the conclusion of the Shabbat services, at the celebratory reception following an aufruf (when an Ashkenazi Jewish groom is called up to the Torah reading on the Shabbat prior to the wedding) or at bar and bat mitzvah receptions held on Shabbat morning.

Lighting a fire and cooking food are among the activities prohibited on Shabbat by the written Torah. Therefore, cooked Shabbat food, such as cholent or hamin, must be prepared before the onset of the Jewish Shabbat by some as early as Thursdays and certainly not later than Friday afternoon. The pre-cooked food may then be kept hot for the Shabbat meal by the provision in the Rabbinical oral law, which explains that one may use a fire that was lit before Shabbat to keep warm food that was already cooked before Shabbat.[5][6]

It is interesting to note that Rabbi Zerachiah ben Isaac Ha-Levi Gerondi (Hebrew: ), the Baal Ha-Maor (author of the book Ha-Maor), went as far as to write that “he who does not eat warm food (on Shabbos) should be checked out to see if he is not a Min (a heretic)”.[7] The reasoning beyond such austerity is that the Karaites interpreted the Torah verse, “You shall not [burn] (Heb: bier the piel form of baar) a fire in any of your dwellings on the day of Shabbat” to indicate that fire should not be left burning in a Jewish home on Shabbat, regardless of whether it was lit prior to, or during the Sabbath. In Rabbinic Judaism however, the qal verb form baar is understood to mean “burn”, whereas the pi`el form (present here) is understood to be not intensive as usual but causative. (The rule being that the pi’el of a stative verb will be causative, instead of the usual hif’il.) Hence bi`er means “kindle”, which is why Rabbinic Judaism prohibits only starting a fire on Shabbat.

Ashkenazi-style cholent was first mentioned in 1180, in the writings of Rabbi Yitzhak of Vienna.[8] In the shtetls of Europe, religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel before the advent of electricity and cooking gas, a pot with the assembled but uncooked ingredients was brought to the local baker before sunset on Fridays. The baker would put the pot with the cholent mixture in his oven, which was always kept fired, and families would come by to pick up their cooked cholent on Saturday mornings. The same practice was observed in Morocco, where black pots of shina (see Variations below) placed overnight in bakers ovens and then delivered by bakers assistants to households on Shabbat morning.[9] The unique cooking requirements of cholent were the inspiration for the invention of the slow cooker.[10][11]

In Germany, the Netherlands, and European countries the special hot dish for the Sabbath lunch is known as schalet, shalent, or shalet.[9] These western Yiddish words are straight synonyms of the eastern Yiddish cholent.[12]

The Jewish people of Hungary adapted the Hungarian dish slet to serve the same purpose as cholent. Because of the similarity in function and name, slet is commonly confused with cholent or assumed to be the same dish. This, however, is not the case.

The key ingredients in slet are:

Slet is probably the older of the two. It was likely modified by the Jewish people living in Pannonia when the Magyars arrived[13] and introduced it to them.

In Morocco, the hot dish eaten by Jews on the Sabbath is traditionally called shina or skhina (Arabic for “the warm dish”;[14] Hebrew spelling[15] ). S’hina is made with chickpeas, rice or hulled wheat, potatoes, meat, and whole eggs simmering in the pot.[9]

In Spain and the Maghreb a similar dish is called adafina or dafina, from the Arabic d’fina or tfina for “buried” (which echoes the Mishnaic phrase “bury the hot food”).[14] Adafina was popular in Medieval Judeo-Iberian cuisine, but today it is mainly found as dafina in Jewish communities in North Africa.

The Sephardic Jews of the Old City of Jerusalem used to eat a traditional meal called Macaroni Hamin that consists of macaroni, chicken and potatoes. It was traditionally flipped upside down when served just like Maqluba.

In Bukharan Jewish cuisine, a hot Shabbat dish with meat, rice, and fruit added for a unique sweet and sour taste is called oshi sabo (or osh savo).[16] The name of the dish in Persian or Bukharian Jewish dialect means “hot food [oshi or osh] for Shabbat [sabo or savo]”, reminiscent of both hamin and s’hina.

Among Iraqi Jews, the hot Shabbat meal is called t’bit and it consists of whole chicken skin filled with a mixture of rice, chopped chicken meats, and herbs.[9] The stuffed chicken skin in tebit recalls to mind the Ashkenazi helzel, chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour and onion mixture that often replaces (or supplements) the kishke in European cholent recipes.

There are many recipes for cholent. Ingredients vary according to the geographic areas of Europe where the Jews lived and especially the personal preferences of the cook. The core ingredient of a traditional cholent is beef, usually shoulder, brisket, flanken, or any other cut that becomes tender and flavorful in long slow cooking. The meat is placed in a pot with peeled potatoes, any type or size of beans, and grains (barley, hulled wheat, rice). The mixture is lightly seasoned, mainly salt and pepper, and water is added to the pot to create a stew-like consistency during slow cooking.

While beef is the traditional meat ingredient, alternative meats may include chicken, turkey, veal, frankfurters, or even goose (echoing the French cassoulet). Other vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes, and zucchini may be added. Spicing may be enhanced to include paprika, peppercorns, and even tomato sauce. For additional flavor and browning, some cooks add unpeeled onions or a small amount of sugar caramelized in oil. Some are known to add also beer or whiskey for extra flavor.

A common addition to cholent is kishke or helzel. Kishke is a type of kosher sausage stuffed with a flour mixture, chicken or goose fat, fried onions and spices. Traditionally, kishke was made with intestinal lining from a cow. Today, the casing is often an edible synthetic casing such as that used for salami or hot dogs. Helzel is chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture similar to kishke and sewed with a thread and needle to ensure that it remains intact in long cooking.

Sephardi-style hamin calls for whole, stuffed vegetables in addition to meat or chicken. Whole vegetables such as tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant halves and zucchini are stuffed with a mixture of beef and rice, and are then placed into the pot with meat or chicken and chickpeas. Sephardim also add spices such as cumin and hot peppers.

The ingredients and spiciness of hamin varies from area to area. Iraqi Jews prepare their version of cholent, known as tebit, with a whole chicken stuffed with rice. Jews from Morocco or Iberia make a version called adafina or dafina, which calls for spices like garlic, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and pepper, as well as whole eggs that turn brown and creamy during the long cooking process. The Spanish cocido (‘stew’) containing chicken and chickpeas is a likely offshoot of the traditional hamin of the Spanish Jews. Yemenite Jews have developed various kinds of puff pastry cooked for ten hours, including jahnoun and kuban (eaten in the morning of the Sabbath rather than at mid-day, with dairy meals).

Sephardi-style hamin typically includes whole eggs in the shell, which are placed on top of the mixture in the stewing pot and turn brown in the course of all-night cooking. The brown eggs, called haminados (gevos haminadavos in Ladino, huevos haminados in Spanish), are shelled before serving and placed on top of the other cooked ingredients. In a Tunisian version, the brown eggs are cooked separately in a metal pot on the all-night stove with water and tea leaves (similar to tea eggs). Haminados can be cooked in this way even if no hamin is prepared. The addition of tea leaves, coffee grinds, or onion skins to the water dyes the shell purple and the white a light brown, giving the egg a smooth creamy texture. In Israel, brown eggs are a popular accompaniment to ful medames (a dish of mashed broad beans) and they may also be served with hummus (a dip of mashed chickpeas mixed with tahini) and in a Sabich sandwich.

Cholent is the subject of poem by Heinrich Heine. He writes (using the German word schalet for cholent), “Schalet, ray of light immortal! / Schalet, daughter of Elysium!” / So had Schiller’s song resounded, / Had he ever tasted schalet. / For this schalet is the very- / Food of heaven, which, on Sinai, / God Himself instructed Moses in the secret of preparing… (trans. Leland).[17]

In the play “La Gran Sultana”, first act (Jornada Primera), Miguel de Cervantes mentions the North-African Hamin, which he calls “borona”, in the voice of anti-semitic character Madrigal, who had surreptitiously inserted ham into a Jew’s Cholent: “y en una gran cazuela que tenan de un guisado que llaman borona, les ech de tocino un gran pedazo” (“and in a great pot they had of a stew they call borona (a vegetable stew), I threw in a large piece of pork fat”). It’s been said that Cervantes was a man of many cultures, but this and other details about the customs around Hamin in that same play, imply the author had great familiarity with North-African Jewish culinary customs.

In Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman, a novel about preservation of the memory of a Polish town before the Holocaust, Minka Pradelski describes how the various cholents of the town of Bedzin were brought to the town baker on Friday afternoon to be placed in the large oven of the bakery so that they would cook and remain hot until ready to be eaten the next day for the Sabbath meal.[18]

In the episode entitled “Boxed In” on the television show NCIS, Ziva David prepares cholent for Gibbs, McGee and Abby.[19]

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Mapping the DNA sequence of Ashkenazi Jews – Jpost.com

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are taught in school.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Genomic research of Ashkenazi Jews will soon become more effective and personalized, thanks to the creation of a data resource at Columbia University in Manhattan. The team, which includes experts from 11 labs in Israel and New York City, focused on Ashkenazim because of their demographic history of genetic isolation and the resulting abundance of population-specific mutations and high prevalence of rare genetic disorders.

The study, headed by Columbia computer science professor Itsik Peer, was published recently in the journal Nature Communications.

Ashkenazi Jews have played an important role in the study of human genetics, with notable successes in gene mapping as well as prenatal and cancer screening.

Our study is the first full DNA sequence dataset available for Ashkenazi genomes, said Peer. With this comprehensive catalog of mutations present in the Ashkenazi population, we will be able to more effectively map disease genes onto the genome and thus gain a better understanding of common disorders. We see this study serving as a vehicle for personalized medicine and a model for researchers working with other populations.

To help in his hunt for disease genes, Peer founded the Ashkenazi Genome Consortium (TAGC) three years ago.

One of the board members is Prof. Ariel Darvasi, vice-dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who has spent many years studying Jewish genes for chronic diseases. The TAGC researchers performed highdepth sequencing of 128 complete genomes of healthy Jews of Ashkenazi origin. They compared their data to European samples and found that Ashkenazi genomes had significantly more mutations that had not yet been mapped.

Peer and his team analyzed the raw data and created a comprehensive catalog of mutations present in the Ashkenazi population.

The TAGC database is already proving useful for clinical genomics, identifying specific new mutations for carrier screening, as it informs the physician whether a mutation in a patients genome is shared by healthy individuals and can alleviate concerns that it is causing disease. The study will also make it easier to discover disease-causing mutations, since some genetic factors are observable in Ashkenazim but essentially absent elsewhere. Moreover, the demography of the Ashkenazi population the largest isolated population in the US enables large-scale recruitment of study patients and hence more genetic discoveries than in other wellknown isolated populations like the Amish and Hutterites locally or the Icelanders overseas. The researchers expect that medical insights from studies of specific populations will also be relevant to general populations as well.

The Columbia team said they also shed light on the long-debated origin of Ashkenazim and Europeans. The genetic data indicates that the Ashkenazi population was founded in the late medieval period by only a few hundred individuals, whose descendants spread out geographically quite rapidly while remaining mostly isolated genetically.

Our analysis shows that Ashkenazi Jewish medieval founders were ethnically admixed, with origins in Europe and in the Middle East, roughly in equal parts, says Dr.

Shai Carmi, a post-doctoral scientist who works with Peer and who conducted the analysis. TAGC data are more comprehensive than what was previously available, and we believe the data settle the dispute regarding European and Middle Eastern ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews. Our data provide evidence for todays European population being genetically descended primarily from late Middle Eastern migrations that took place after the last Ice Age, rather than from the first humans to arrive to the continent, more than 40,000 years ago.

Peer said the data is being made available to the entire research community.

Weve released it to public-access databases and fully expect the creativity of the scientific world to come up with additional uses for the data. Whats especially gratifying is the idea that our work will pave the way for personalized genomics in other populations as well.

They will next study specific diseases in the Ashkenazi population such as schizophrenia, Parkinsons, Crohns, diabetes and cancer, as well as other inherited traits such as longevity.

ASTRONOMERS MAP OUR SPACE NEIGHBORHOOD

A Hebrew University researcher is part of an international team of astronomers that used new measuring techniques to describe our galaxys place in the universe. The researchers, including Prof. Yehuda Hoffman from the universitys Racah Institute of Physics, mapped our local supercluster of galaxies in new research that appeared on the cover of Nature.

Superclusters among the largest structures in the known universe are comprised of galaxy groups containing dozens of galaxies and galaxy clusters containing hundreds of galaxies. These groups and clusters intersect, creating superclusters with poorly defined boundaries. A galaxy between two such structures will be caught in a gravitational tug-ofwar, with the balance of the gravitational forces determining the galaxys motion.

By mapping the velocities of galaxies throughout our local universe, the researchers found that the galactic supercluster containing the Milky Way galaxy is 500 million light-years in diameter.

They also found that it contains the mass of a hundred quadrillion suns in 100,000 galaxies. This is the first time the supercluster has been carefully mapped using these new techniques.

Led by University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, the team named the supercluster Laniakea, which means immense heaven in Hawaiian. The name honors Polynesian navigators who used knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the immensity of the Pacific Ocean.

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Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Their Origins May Surprise …

Ashkenazi Jews are a Jewish ethnic group who have their earliest ancestors from the indigenous tribes of Israelat least on one side of the family tree. A study published in 2013 in Nature Communications has shown their maternal lineage comes from a different, and possibly unexpected, source. The research shows the origins of the matrilineal line for the Ashkenazi Jews comes from Europe. This goes against the common belief that Jewish people first arrived in central Europe after the ByzantineSasanian War of 602628 and only began settling in Germany in the Medieval period. Ashkenazi Jews is the term used today to describe these Jewish people individuals who built religiously-based communities centuries later in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the things they are recognized for is the use of Yiddish a High German language written in the Hebrew alphabet and influenced by classical Hebrew and Aramaic. The Yiddish calligraphic segment in the Worms Mahzor. ( Public Domain ) The 2013 study co-author Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Huddersfield in England, said that while Ashkenazi Jews have lived in Europe for many centuries, the results of the study using DNA samples show that most European Jews descend from local people who converted to Judaism, not individuals who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago. Ashkenazi Jews were declared a clear, homogeneous genetic subgroup following a 2006 study. Ashkenazi Jews come from the same genetic group, no matter if their ancestors were from Poland, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania, or another place with a large historical Jewish population. They are all in the same ethnic group. How could it be that Ashkenazi Jews are just one genetic group? The answer is a relatively simple one: they didnt reproduce at a noticeable level with others outside their group (not even with other Jewish people). Researchers have shown Ashkenazi Jews were a reproductively isolated population in Europe for about 1000 years. Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi (1714). ( Public Domain ) Previous studies have found that 50-80% of the Ashkenazim DNA from the paternal lineage originated in the Near East. It is not surprising that there was a common belief that Israel and the Near East was their ancient homeland. But the 2013 study showed 80% of Ashkenazi Jews maternal line comes from Europe – only a few people had genes originating in the Near East. As Professor Richards said at the time, This suggests that, even though Jewish men may indeed have migrated into Europe from Palestine around 2000 years ago, they seem to have married European women. A Jewish couple from Worms, Germany, with the obligatory yellow badge on their clothes. The man holds a moneybag and bulbs of garlic, both often used in the portrayal of Jews. 16th century. ( Public Domain ) It appears that the majority of the European converts to Judaism during the early years of the Diaspora were women. That helps explain why the Ashkenazim can trace their female lineage to southern and western Europe. In conclusion, Richards said , The origins of the Ashkenazim is one of the big questions that people have pursued again and again and never really come to a conclusive view. Top Image: Detail of Ashkenazi Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb) Source: Public Domain By April Holloway

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BFOR

Women and men with a BRCA gene mutation have a greater risk of developing several types of cancer. Most of those at risk do not know that they carry a BRCA mutation. The BFOR study provides genetic testing for common BRCA mutations for women and men of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry, age 25 or older, in four U.S. metropolitan areas. 95% of American Jews are Ashkenazi.

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Ashkenazi Jews are not inbred – Gene Expression

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May 1, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ashkenazi  Comments Closed

Lior Ashkenazi – IMDb

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards Known For (2011) (2013) (2001) (2004) Alternate Names: Lior Ashkenasi | Lior Louie Ashkenazi Trivia:Despite his surname, his parents are Sephardi Jews from Istanbul, Turkey.

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April 19, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ashkenazi  Comments Closed

Kat Graham Ethnicity of Celebs | What Nationality …

Birth Name: Katerina Alexandre Hartford Graham Place of Birth: Geneva, Switzerland Date of Birth: September 5, 1989 Ethnicity:*Americo-Liberian (father)*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother) Kat Graham, also credited as Katerina Graham, is an American actress, singer, model, and dancer. She is famous for appearing on will.i.ams track I Got It From My Mama. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and grew in California, U.S. She is able to speak four languages. Kats s father, Joseph Hartford Graham, is Americo-Liberian. Her mother, Natasha, is Jewish (from a family that emigrated from Poland and Russia). Kat was raised in her mothers faith, and attended Hebrew School. Americo-Liberians have Liberian ethnicity and African-American ancestry. Americo-Liberians trace their ancestry to free-born and formerly enslaved African-Americans (who called themselves Americo-Liberians) who immigrated in the 1800s to become the founders of Liberia. Kats paternal grandfather was Joseph Graham, a U.N. Ambassador, serving for 40 years in the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, and Kenya. Source: http://clutchmagonline.com profile by mzpreciousz Featureflash / Shutterstock.com Tagged as:African, African American, Americo-Liberian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Jewish, Liberian, Polish Jewish, Russian Jewish

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Ashkenazi Jewish Panel – Quest Diagnostics

The Ashkenazi Jewish panels detect mutations associated with disorders that commonly occur in Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European Jewish) individuals (see below). Two panels are offered: 1) a 4-test panel, which includes the genetic tests recommended by ACOG and ACMG (for Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, and Tay-Sachs); and 2) an 11-test panel, which also includes tests for 7 other diseases common among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals. The panels simplify test ordering for Ashkenazi Jewish individuals who wish to know their carrier status and/or their risk of having a child with any of these disorders. It is most frequently used for Ashkenazi Jews and their partners who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. Since all of these disorders are autosomal recessive, both parents must be carriers for the couple to have an affected child. If one partner is Ashkenazi Jewish and the other is not, sequential screening, beginning with the Ashkenazi Jewish individual, is recommended. A brief description of each disorder follows. Bloom Syndrome Children with Bloom syndrome are affected with growth retardation, abnormalities in skin pigmentation, immunodeficiency, a predisposition to cancer, and chromosomal instability. Death usually results from cancer at a mean age of 27. Canavan Disease Canavan disease (aspartoacylase deficiency) is a progressive neurologic disease characterized by increased head circumference, decreasing muscle tone and motor activity, progressive loss of visual responsiveness, and mental retardation. Death usually occurs in the first few years of life, although some individuals survive into their teens. Cystic Fibrosis Characteristic manifestations include recurrent lung infections, malabsorption, malnutrition, and infertility (especially in males). Median survival is approximately 37 years. Familial Dysautonomia Familial dysautonomia is characterized by abnormal functioning of the sensory and autonomic nervous systems. This causes decreased sensitivity to pain, abnormal regulation of body temperature, paroxysmal hypertension, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Fanconi Anemia Group C Fanconi anemia is characterized by deficient bone development and bone marrow function. This can lead to pancytopenia, anemia, leukemia, and malformations of the limbs, kidneys, and heart. The disorder may be mild or severe. Gaucher Disease Gaucher disease is a lysosomal glycolipid storage disorder caused by an enzymatic deficiency (acid beta- galactosidase deficiency). Individuals may have an enlarged liver and spleen, thrombocytopenia, anemia, bone pain, bone lesions, and fractures. Life expectancy depends on severity of the symptoms. Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1a This disorder is caused by a toxic buildup of glycogen and fat in the liver, kidneys, and small intestines. Affected children tend to have short stature, thin arms and legs, and enlarged liver and kidneys. Adults may have osteoporosis, gout, kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, and polycystic ovary disease. Maple Syrup Urine Disease This disease is caused by buildup of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Affected infants show poor feeding, vomiting, lethargy, delayed development, and sweet-smelling urine. Untreated disease can lead to seizures, coma, and death within the first few months after birth. Mucolipidosis IV This neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder is characterized by growth and psychomotor retardation, progressive retinal degeneration, clouding of the cornea, and crossed eyes. The majority of infants with the disorder fail to develop past the level of a 1- to 2-year-old and never speak or walk. They may have a normal life expectancy. Niemann-Pick Disease Types A and B This lysosomal storage disorder is characterized by diminished acid sphingomyelinase activity. Type A is usually fatal within 3 to 5 years. These children fail to thrive, have an enlarged liver and spleen, and exhibit progressive mental and physical degeneration. Individuals with type B also have hepatosplenomegaly (along with cirrhosis, portal hypertension, ascites, and pancytopenia), but little to no neurologic involvement. They often survive into adolescence and adulthood. Tay-Sachs Disease Tay-Sachs disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder caused by an enzymatic deficiency (hexosaminidase A). The classic infantile form is characterized by developmental retardation followed by paralysis, dementia, seizures, and blindness. Death usually occurs by age 4.

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Medical genetics of Jews – Wikipedia

The medical genetics of Jews is the study, screening, and treatment of genetic disorders more common in particular Jewish populations than in the population as a whole.[1] The genetics of Ashkenazi Jews have been particularly well-studied, resulting in the discovery of many genetic disorders associated with this ethnic group. In contrast, the medical genetics of Sephardic Jews and Mizrahi Jews are more complicated, since they are more genetically diverse and consequently no genetic disorders are more common in these groups as a whole; instead, they tend to have the genetic diseases common in their various countries of origin.[1][2] Several organizations, such as Dor Yeshorim,[3] offer screening for Ashkenazi genetic diseases, and these screening programs have had a significant impact, in particular by reducing the number of cases of TaySachs disease.[4] Different ethnic groups tend to suffer from different rates of hereditary diseases, with some being more common, and some less common. Hereditary diseases, particularly hemophilia, were recognized early in Jewish history, even being described in the Talmud.[5] However, the scientific study of hereditary disease in Jewish populations was initially hindered by scientific racism, which is based on racial supremacism.[6][7] However, modern studies on the genetics of particular ethnic groups have the tightly defined purpose of avoiding the birth of children with genetic diseases, or identifying people at particular risk of developing a disease in the future.[6] Consequently, the Jewish community has been very supportive of modern genetic testing programs, although this unusually high degree of cooperation has raised concerns that it might lead to the false perception that Jews are more susceptible to genetic diseases than other groups of people.[5] However, most populations contain hundreds of alleles that could potentially cause disease and most people are heterozygotes for one or two recessive alleles that would be lethal in a homozygote.[8] Although the overall frequency of disease-causing alleles does not vary much between populations, the practice of consanguineous marriage (marriage between second cousins or closer relatives) is common in some Jewish communities, which produces a small increase in the number of children with congenital defects.[9] According to Daphna Birenbaum Carmeli at the University of Haifa, Jewish populations have been studied thoroughly because:[10] The result is a form of ascertainment bias. This has sometimes created an impression that Jews are more susceptible to genetic disease than other populations. Carmeli writes, “Jews are over-represented in human genetic literature, particularly in mutation-related contexts.”[10] This set of advantages have led to Ashkenazi Jews in particular being used in many genetic studies, not just in the study of genetic diseases. For example, a series of publications on Ashkenazi centenarians established their longevity was strongly inherited and associated with lower rates of age-related diseases.[11] This “healthy aging” phenotype may be due to higher levels of telomerase in these individuals.[12] The most detailed genetic analysis study of Ashkenazi was published in September 2014 by Shai Carmi and his team at Columbia University.[13] The results of the detailed study show that today’s 10 million Ashkenazi Jews descend from a population of only 350 individuals who lived about 600800 years ago. That population derived from both Europe and the Middle East.[14] There is evidence that the population bottleneck may have allowed deleterious alleles to become more prevalent in the population due to genetic drift.[15] As a result, this group has been particularly intensively studied, so many mutations have been identified as common in Ashkenazis.[16] Of these diseases, many also occur in other Jewish groups and in non-Jewish populations, although the specific mutation which causes the disease may vary between populations. For example, two different mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene causes Gaucher’s disease in Ashkenazis, which is their most common genetic disease, but only one of these mutations is found in non-Jewish groups.[4] A few diseases are unique to this group; for example, familial dysautonomia is almost unknown in other populations.[4] TaySachs disease, which can present as a fatal illness of children that causes mental deterioration prior to death, was historically extremely common among Ashkenazi Jews,[18] with lower levels of the disease in some Pennsylvania Dutch, southern Louisiana Cajun, and eastern Quebec French Canadian populations.[19] Since the 1970s, however, proactive genetic testing has been quite effective in eliminating TaySachs from the Ashkenazi Jewish population.[20] Gaucher’s disease, in which lipids accumulate in inappropriate locations, occurs most frequently among Ashkenazi Jews;[21] the mutation is carried by roughly one in every 15 Ashkenazi Jews, compared to one in 100 of the general American population.[22] Gaucher’s disease can cause brain damage and seizures, but these effects are not usually present in the form manifested among Ashkenazi Jews; while sufferers still bruise easily, and it can still potentially rupture the spleen, it generally has only a minor impact on life expectancy. Ashkenazi Jews are also highly affected by other lysosomal storage diseases, particularly in the form of lipid storage disorders. Compared to other ethnic groups, they more frequently act as carriers of mucolipidosis[23] and NiemannPick disease,[24] the latter of which can prove fatal. The occurrence of several lysosomal storage disorders in the same population suggests the alleles responsible might have conferred some selective advantage in the past.[25] This would be similar to the hemoglobin allele which is responsible for sickle-cell disease, but solely in people with two copies; those with just one copy of the allele have a sickle cell trait and gain partial immunity to malaria as a result. This effect is called heterozygote advantage.[26] Familial dysautonomia (RileyDay syndrome), which causes vomiting, speech problems, an inability to cry, and false sensory perception, is almost exclusive to Ashkenazi Jews;[27] Ashkenazi Jews are almost 100 times more likely to carry the disease than anyone else.[28] Diseases inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern often occur in endogamous populations. Among Ashkenazi Jews, a higher incidence of specific genetic disorders and hereditary diseases have been verified, including: In contrast to the Ashkenazi population, Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews are much more divergent groups, with ancestors from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Italy, Libya, the Balkans, Iran, Iraq, India, and Yemen, with specific genetic disorders found in each regional group, or even in specific subpopulations in these regions.[1] One of the first genetic testing programs to identify heterozygote carriers of a genetic disorder was a program aimed at eliminating TaySachs disease. This program began in 1970, and over one million people have now been screened for the mutation.[47] Identifying carriers and counseling couples on reproductive options have had a large impact on the incidence of the disease, with a decrease from 4050 per year worldwide to only four or five per year.[4] Screening programs now test for several genetic disorders in Jews, although these focus on the Ashkenazi Jews, since other Jewish groups cannot be given a single set of tests for a common set of disorders.[2] In the USA, these screening programs have been widely accepted by the Ashkenazi community, and have greatly reduced the frequency of the disorders.[48] Prenatal testing for several genetic diseases is offered as commercial panels for Ashkenazi couples by both CIGNA and Quest Diagnostics. The CIGNA panel is available for testing for parental/preconception screening or following chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis and tests for Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, Fanconi anemia, Gaucher disease, mucolipidosis IV, Neimann-Pick disease type A, Tay-Sachs disease, and torsion dystonia. The Quest panel is for parental/preconception testing and tests for Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, Fanconi anemia group C, Gaucher disease, Neimann-Pick disease types A and B and Tay-Sachs disease. The official recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is that Ashkenazi individuals be offered screening for Tay Sachs, Canavan, cystic fibrosis, and familial dysautonomia as part of routine obstetrical care.[49] In the orthodox community, an organization called Dor Yeshorim carries out anonymous genetic screening of couples before marriage to reduce the risk of children with genetic diseases being born.[50] The program educates young people on medical genetics and screens school-aged children for any disease genes. These results are then entered into an anonymous database, identified only by a unique ID number given to the person who was tested. If two people are considering getting married, they call the organization and tell them their ID numbers. The organization then tells them if they are genetically compatible. It is not divulged if one member is a carrier, so as to protect the carrier and his or her family from stigmatization.[50] However, this program has been criticized for exerting social pressure on people to be tested, and for screening for a broad range of recessive genes, including disorders such as Gaucher’s disease.[3]

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March 16, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ashkenazi  Comments Closed

Cholent – Wikipedia

Cholent (Yiddish: , translit.tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: ) is a traditional Jewish stew. It is usually simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a slow oven or electric slow cooker, until the following day. There are many variations of the dish, which is standard in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens.[1] The basic ingredients of cholent are meat, potatoes, beans and barley. Sephardi-style hamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, and chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell (huevos haminados), which turn brown overnight. Ashkenazi cholent often contains kishke (a sausage casing) or helzel (a chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture). Slow overnight cooking allows the flavors of the various ingredients to permeate and produces the characteristic taste of cholent. Max Weinreich traces the etymology of cholent to the Latin present participle calentem, meaning “that which is hot” (as in calorie), via Old French chalant (present participle of chalt, from the verb chaloir, “to warm”).[2][3] One widely quoted folk etymology, relying on the French pronunciation of cholent or the Central and Western European variants shalent or shalet, derives the word from French chaud (“hot”) and lent (“slow”). Another folk etymology derives cholent (or sholen) from the Hebrew shelan, which means “that rested [overnight]”. This refers to the old-time cooking tradition of Jewish families placing their individual pots of cholent into the town baker’s ovens that always stayed hot and slow-cooked the food overnight. Yet another etymology is Old French chaudes lentes, “hot lentils”. Hamin (, pronounced amin), the Sephardi version of cholent popular also in Israel, derives from the Hebrew word (‘hot’), as it is always served fresh off the stove, oven, or slow cooker. The origin of this name is the Mishnaic phrase tomnim et hachamim (Hebrew for “wrap the hot things”),[4] which essentially provides the Rabbinical prescription for keeping food hot for the Sabbath without lighting a fire.[5][6] In traditional Jewish families, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi, cholent or hamin is the hot main course of the midday Shabbat meal served on Saturdays after the morning synagogue services. Secular Jewish families in Israel also serve cholent. The dish is more popular in the winter. Cholent may be served on Shabbat in synagogues at a kiddush celebration after the conclusion of the Shabbat services, at the celebratory reception following an aufruf (when an Ashkenazi Jewish groom is called up to the Torah reading on the Shabbat prior to the wedding) or at bar and bat mitzvah receptions held on Shabbat morning. Lighting a fire and cooking food are among the activities prohibited on Shabbat by the written Torah. Therefore, cooked Shabbat food, such as cholent or hamin, must be prepared before the onset of the Jewish Shabbat by some as early as Thursdays and certainly not later than Friday afternoon. The pre-cooked food may then be kept hot for the Shabbat meal by the provision in the Rabbinical oral law, which explains that one may use a fire that was lit before Shabbat to keep warm food that was already cooked before Shabbat.[5][6] It is interesting to note that Rabbi Zerachiah ben Isaac Ha-Levi Gerondi (Hebrew: ), the Baal Ha-Maor (author of the book Ha-Maor), went as far as to write that “he who does not eat warm food (on Shabbos) should be checked out to see if he is not a Min (a heretic)”.[7] The reasoning beyond such austerity is that the Karaites interpreted the Torah verse, “You shall not [burn] (Heb: bier the piel form of baar) a fire in any of your dwellings on the day of Shabbat” to indicate that fire should not be left burning in a Jewish home on Shabbat, regardless of whether it was lit prior to, or during the Sabbath. In Rabbinic Judaism however, the qal verb form baar is understood to mean “burn”, whereas the pi`el form (present here) is understood to be not intensive as usual but causative. (The rule being that the pi’el of a stative verb will be causative, instead of the usual hif’il.) Hence bi`er means “kindle”, which is why Rabbinic Judaism prohibits only starting a fire on Shabbat. Ashkenazi-style cholent was first mentioned in 1180, in the writings of Rabbi Yitzhak of Vienna.[8] In the shtetls of Europe, religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel before the advent of electricity and cooking gas, a pot with the assembled but uncooked ingredients was brought to the local baker before sunset on Fridays. The baker would put the pot with the cholent mixture in his oven, which was always kept fired, and families would come by to pick up their cooked cholent on Saturday mornings. The same practice was observed in Morocco, where black pots of shina (see Variations below) placed overnight in bakers ovens and then delivered by bakers assistants to households on Shabbat morning.[9] The unique cooking requirements of cholent were the inspiration for the invention of the slow cooker.[10][11] In Germany, the Netherlands, and European countries the special hot dish for the Sabbath lunch is known as schalet, shalent, or shalet.[9] These western Yiddish words are straight synonyms of the eastern Yiddish cholent.[12] The Jewish people of Hungary adapted the Hungarian dish slet to serve the same purpose as cholent. Because of the similarity in function and name, slet is commonly confused with cholent or assumed to be the same dish. This, however, is not the case. The key ingredients in slet are: Slet is probably the older of the two. It was likely modified by the Jewish people living in Pannonia when the Magyars arrived[13] and introduced it to them. In Morocco, the hot dish eaten by Jews on the Sabbath is traditionally called shina or skhina (Arabic for “the warm dish”;[14] Hebrew spelling[15] ). S’hina is made with chickpeas, rice or hulled wheat, potatoes, meat, and whole eggs simmering in the pot.[9] In Spain and the Maghreb a similar dish is called adafina or dafina, from the Arabic d’fina or tfina for “buried” (which echoes the Mishnaic phrase “bury the hot food”).[14] Adafina was popular in Medieval Judeo-Iberian cuisine, but today it is mainly found as dafina in Jewish communities in North Africa. The Sephardic Jews of the Old City of Jerusalem used to eat a traditional meal called Macaroni Hamin that consists of macaroni, chicken and potatoes. It was traditionally flipped upside down when served just like Maqluba. In Bukharan Jewish cuisine, a hot Shabbat dish with meat, rice, and fruit added for a unique sweet and sour taste is called oshi sabo (or osh savo).[16] The name of the dish in Persian or Bukharian Jewish dialect means “hot food [oshi or osh] for Shabbat [sabo or savo]”, reminiscent of both hamin and s’hina. Among Iraqi Jews, the hot Shabbat meal is called t’bit and it consists of whole chicken skin filled with a mixture of rice, chopped chicken meats, and herbs.[9] The stuffed chicken skin in tebit recalls to mind the Ashkenazi helzel, chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour and onion mixture that often replaces (or supplements) the kishke in European cholent recipes. There are many recipes for cholent. Ingredients vary according to the geographic areas of Europe where the Jews lived and especially the personal preferences of the cook. The core ingredient of a traditional cholent is beef, usually shoulder, brisket, flanken, or any other cut that becomes tender and flavorful in long slow cooking. The meat is placed in a pot with peeled potatoes, any type or size of beans, and grains (barley, hulled wheat, rice). The mixture is lightly seasoned, mainly salt and pepper, and water is added to the pot to create a stew-like consistency during slow cooking. While beef is the traditional meat ingredient, alternative meats may include chicken, turkey, veal, frankfurters, or even goose (echoing the French cassoulet). Other vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes, and zucchini may be added. Spicing may be enhanced to include paprika, peppercorns, and even tomato sauce. For additional flavor and browning, some cooks add unpeeled onions or a small amount of sugar caramelized in oil. Some are known to add also beer or whiskey for extra flavor. A common addition to cholent is kishke or helzel. Kishke is a type of kosher sausage stuffed with a flour mixture, chicken or goose fat, fried onions and spices. Traditionally, kishke was made with intestinal lining from a cow. Today, the casing is often an edible synthetic casing such as that used for salami or hot dogs. Helzel is chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture similar to kishke and sewed with a thread and needle to ensure that it remains intact in long cooking. Sephardi-style hamin calls for whole, stuffed vegetables in addition to meat or chicken. Whole vegetables such as tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant halves and zucchini are stuffed with a mixture of beef and rice, and are then placed into the pot with meat or chicken and chickpeas. Sephardim also add spices such as cumin and hot peppers. The ingredients and spiciness of hamin varies from area to area. Iraqi Jews prepare their version of cholent, known as tebit, with a whole chicken stuffed with rice. Jews from Morocco or Iberia make a version called adafina or dafina, which calls for spices like garlic, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and pepper, as well as whole eggs that turn brown and creamy during the long cooking process. The Spanish cocido (‘stew’) containing chicken and chickpeas is a likely offshoot of the traditional hamin of the Spanish Jews. Yemenite Jews have developed various kinds of puff pastry cooked for ten hours, including jahnoun and kuban (eaten in the morning of the Sabbath rather than at mid-day, with dairy meals). Sephardi-style hamin typically includes whole eggs in the shell, which are placed on top of the mixture in the stewing pot and turn brown in the course of all-night cooking. The brown eggs, called haminados (gevos haminadavos in Ladino, huevos haminados in Spanish), are shelled before serving and placed on top of the other cooked ingredients. In a Tunisian version, the brown eggs are cooked separately in a metal pot on the all-night stove with water and tea leaves (similar to tea eggs). Haminados can be cooked in this way even if no hamin is prepared. The addition of tea leaves, coffee grinds, or onion skins to the water dyes the shell purple and the white a light brown, giving the egg a smooth creamy texture. In Israel, brown eggs are a popular accompaniment to ful medames (a dish of mashed broad beans) and they may also be served with hummus (a dip of mashed chickpeas mixed with tahini) and in a Sabich sandwich. Cholent is the subject of poem by Heinrich Heine. He writes (using the German word schalet for cholent), “Schalet, ray of light immortal! / Schalet, daughter of Elysium!” / So had Schiller’s song resounded, / Had he ever tasted schalet. / For this schalet is the very- / Food of heaven, which, on Sinai, / God Himself instructed Moses in the secret of preparing… (trans. Leland).[17] In the play “La Gran Sultana”, first act (Jornada Primera), Miguel de Cervantes mentions the North-African Hamin, which he calls “borona”, in the voice of anti-semitic character Madrigal, who had surreptitiously inserted ham into a Jew’s Cholent: “y en una gran cazuela que tenan de un guisado que llaman borona, les ech de tocino un gran pedazo” (“and in a great pot they had of a stew they call borona (a vegetable stew), I threw in a large piece of pork fat”). It’s been said that Cervantes was a man of many cultures, but this and other details about the customs around Hamin in that same play, imply the author had great familiarity with North-African Jewish culinary customs. In Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman, a novel about preservation of the memory of a Polish town before the Holocaust, Minka Pradelski describes how the various cholents of the town of Bedzin were brought to the town baker on Friday afternoon to be placed in the large oven of the bakery so that they would cook and remain hot until ready to be eaten the next day for the Sabbath meal.[18] In the episode entitled “Boxed In” on the television show NCIS, Ziva David prepares cholent for Gibbs, McGee and Abby.[19]

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February 23, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Ashkenazi  Comments Closed

Mapping the DNA sequence of Ashkenazi Jews – Jpost.com

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are taught in school.. (photo credit: REUTERS) Genomic research of Ashkenazi Jews will soon become more effective and personalized, thanks to the creation of a data resource at Columbia University in Manhattan. The team, which includes experts from 11 labs in Israel and New York City, focused on Ashkenazim because of their demographic history of genetic isolation and the resulting abundance of population-specific mutations and high prevalence of rare genetic disorders. The study, headed by Columbia computer science professor Itsik Peer, was published recently in the journal Nature Communications. Ashkenazi Jews have played an important role in the study of human genetics, with notable successes in gene mapping as well as prenatal and cancer screening. Our study is the first full DNA sequence dataset available for Ashkenazi genomes, said Peer. With this comprehensive catalog of mutations present in the Ashkenazi population, we will be able to more effectively map disease genes onto the genome and thus gain a better understanding of common disorders. We see this study serving as a vehicle for personalized medicine and a model for researchers working with other populations. To help in his hunt for disease genes, Peer founded the Ashkenazi Genome Consortium (TAGC) three years ago. One of the board members is Prof. Ariel Darvasi, vice-dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who has spent many years studying Jewish genes for chronic diseases. The TAGC researchers performed highdepth sequencing of 128 complete genomes of healthy Jews of Ashkenazi origin. They compared their data to European samples and found that Ashkenazi genomes had significantly more mutations that had not yet been mapped. Peer and his team analyzed the raw data and created a comprehensive catalog of mutations present in the Ashkenazi population. The TAGC database is already proving useful for clinical genomics, identifying specific new mutations for carrier screening, as it informs the physician whether a mutation in a patients genome is shared by healthy individuals and can alleviate concerns that it is causing disease. The study will also make it easier to discover disease-causing mutations, since some genetic factors are observable in Ashkenazim but essentially absent elsewhere. Moreover, the demography of the Ashkenazi population the largest isolated population in the US enables large-scale recruitment of study patients and hence more genetic discoveries than in other wellknown isolated populations like the Amish and Hutterites locally or the Icelanders overseas. The researchers expect that medical insights from studies of specific populations will also be relevant to general populations as well. The Columbia team said they also shed light on the long-debated origin of Ashkenazim and Europeans. The genetic data indicates that the Ashkenazi population was founded in the late medieval period by only a few hundred individuals, whose descendants spread out geographically quite rapidly while remaining mostly isolated genetically. Our analysis shows that Ashkenazi Jewish medieval founders were ethnically admixed, with origins in Europe and in the Middle East, roughly in equal parts, says Dr. Shai Carmi, a post-doctoral scientist who works with Peer and who conducted the analysis. TAGC data are more comprehensive than what was previously available, and we believe the data settle the dispute regarding European and Middle Eastern ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews. Our data provide evidence for todays European population being genetically descended primarily from late Middle Eastern migrations that took place after the last Ice Age, rather than from the first humans to arrive to the continent, more than 40,000 years ago. Peer said the data is being made available to the entire research community. Weve released it to public-access databases and fully expect the creativity of the scientific world to come up with additional uses for the data. Whats especially gratifying is the idea that our work will pave the way for personalized genomics in other populations as well. They will next study specific diseases in the Ashkenazi population such as schizophrenia, Parkinsons, Crohns, diabetes and cancer, as well as other inherited traits such as longevity. ASTRONOMERS MAP OUR SPACE NEIGHBORHOOD A Hebrew University researcher is part of an international team of astronomers that used new measuring techniques to describe our galaxys place in the universe. The researchers, including Prof. Yehuda Hoffman from the universitys Racah Institute of Physics, mapped our local supercluster of galaxies in new research that appeared on the cover of Nature. Superclusters among the largest structures in the known universe are comprised of galaxy groups containing dozens of galaxies and galaxy clusters containing hundreds of galaxies. These groups and clusters intersect, creating superclusters with poorly defined boundaries. A galaxy between two such structures will be caught in a gravitational tug-ofwar, with the balance of the gravitational forces determining the galaxys motion. By mapping the velocities of galaxies throughout our local universe, the researchers found that the galactic supercluster containing the Milky Way galaxy is 500 million light-years in diameter. They also found that it contains the mass of a hundred quadrillion suns in 100,000 galaxies. This is the first time the supercluster has been carefully mapped using these new techniques. Led by University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, the team named the supercluster Laniakea, which means immense heaven in Hawaiian. The name honors Polynesian navigators who used knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the immensity of the Pacific Ocean. Share on facebook

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December 24, 2017   Posted in: Ashkenazi  Comments Closed


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