Spit and learn: Jewish Genetic Screening Awareness week starts on Monday

The NGO JScreen is dedicated to preventing genetic illnesses. From Monday to Friday, the public is invited to attend free family-oriented webinars devoted to that issue.

Groom Stas Granin kisses his new wife Yulia Tagil at the end of their alternative wedding ceremony in Tel Aviv. The alternative wedding ceremony was intended to demonstrate against the current situation in Israel, where the only way for Jews to get married by law is through the Chief Rabbinate. (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Groom Stas Granin kisses his new wife Yulia Tagil at the end of their alternative wedding ceremony in Tel Aviv. The alternative wedding ceremony was intended to demonstrate against the current situation in Israel, where the only way for Jews to get married by law is through the Chief Rabbinate.
(photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Jewish Screening Awareness Week will kick off on Monday for the second year in a row with a series of webinars devoted to health and family, JScreen reported on Sunday. 
Based in Atlanta, JScreen offers saliva tests people could use in their homes to find out more about the genetic futures of their expected children or about their own unique make up in relation to possible illnesses. 
“This week will showcase valuable resources and virtual events to help raise awareness,” said JScreen Executive Director Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, “and will hopefully lead more people to #getJScreened.”  
On Tuesday, the wedding blog Smashing the Glass and JScreen will hold a live chat with JScreen Director of National Outreach Hillary Kener Regelman who will explain the possible diseases common among large Jewish groups and how to pre-detect them. The screening covers roughly 200 diseases. 
On Wednesday, an online panel at the Jewish Federation of Delaware titled “Your Genes: What you need to know” will be held with Genetic counselor Daniella Kamara, Rabbi Elliot Dorff. who co-edited Jews and Genes, and Regelman. The event will be moderated by Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Journal David Suissa. 
Last year, when JGSAW was first held, the New York Jewish Week reported that while many think it is mostly Ashkenazi Jews who suffer a greater risk of genetic illness, in fact Mizrahi Jews and interfaith couples should get screened as well.