The Jew(ish) T-Shirt: For People Like Me, Who Are Only Partially Jewish

How Jewish do you need to be in order to still be considered Jewish? Or maybe more importantly, how Jewish do you need to be in order to wear the new t-shirt I finally bought for myself:

Jew(ish).

It is a complex and complicated topic. After all, you can have 100% Jewish heritage going all the way back to Israel, yet not actually be a practicing Jew- observing the culture and faith.

On the flip side, you can be like Connie Chung, a Chinese-American, who adopted an identity of Judaism when she married her husband Maury Povich. She is kosher and attends synagogue.

And then there are plenty people in-between, like me.

My mother and I had always specifically felt connected to Jewish people. As a kid, I assumed we were in deed Jewish. I didn’t question it.

Then, a few years ago, my mother’s DNA test confirmed what most self-identifying Jewish people are telling me: Because my mother’s test shows she is 15.2% Sephardic Jewish (via Italy), that means that I am, as well.

Coincidentally (?), I have faithfully remained kosher for over 11 years now; well before DNA tests were easily accessible.

Therefore, I feel confident in qualifying to be worth of the Jew(ish) t-shirt.

If you feel that you qualify, as well, just click this link to find the best deal on Amazon, like I did.

Shalom… I guess.

 

Dear Holly: A Summer of Sunscreen (and Sunburn)

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Thanks to multiple family members taking DNA tests, it is officially undeniable that you have a decent amount of DNA that is Italian, Mexican (Native American/Spanish), Sephardic Jewish, and West Asian (from Iran, Iran, Lebanon). But I don’t think most people would think that if they saw you, thanks to your blonde hair and blue eyes.

Your physical traits are more representative of the Norwegian and British DNA you also have.

While your brother was also born with blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, his hair and skin have turned much darker over the years.

I am beginning to have serious doubts that your skin will get much darker because by the time your brother was your age now, he wasn’t still getting sunburned as quickly and easily as you do.

This has been a summer of sunblock and sunburn for you.

You are the white sheep of the family.

Love,

Daddy

The Best DNA Tests to Know Your Ancestors 

Do you want to give something original? Do you need to surprise some one and you do not know how? We want to help you by giving you an idea that you might not have thought about: giving a DNA test.

That said, it may not seem interesting, but the truth is that one of the tests below will allow you to know the person to whom you give it – or yourself – a lot of information about your family that you may not have known such as DNA testing for ethnicity.

Indeed, these DNA tests determine your ethnic origins, so you can know where your ancestors come from. There are other tests that, on the other hand, offer genetic information about health, while others are focused on the study of nutrigenetics, your sports ability or your skin.

There are, therefore, many reasons why a DNA test can be a brilliant idea, either to do it yourself or give it to a friend.

Before deciding which one to bet on, take a look at the informative sections that we include to discover what a test of this type consists of and what methodologies are used.

DNA test and how does it work?

Currently, there are only about twenty companies around the world that are dedicated to tracing your DNA to discover the origin of your ancestors, although we may not see much more in the future due to the growing popularity of this business.

A DNA test will allow you to discover the origin of your ancestors and your kinship with other users who have also decided to perform the same DNA test. In fact, the more people who have made the test, the more accurate the results will be.

Now, if you are wondering how you can get a DNA test to know your origins, the answer is very simple: once you choose the company with which you want to carry out the process, you will only have to request the delivery of the DNA extraction kit to the address of your choice.

Normally DNA kits come with one or several tubes that you will have to either fill with saliva, spit after spit, or pass a cotton ball through your mouth to impregnate it with saliva and then insert it into the tube.

The following will be sent by mail to the address indicated. You should know that some companies do not include shipping costs in their purchase price, so you will have to take this detail into account if your priority at the time of choosing is the price of the service.

The process usually takes weeks or even months in some cases, so be patient and do not expect to receive your results too soon. The results are always received by email.

Types of DNA testing methodology

When we did the different DNA tests and had the results on our hands we were quite surprised because, although some companies did offer similar results (which are not identical), others gave us quite different results.

Each DNA company uses its own methods. These methods vary based on three main points: the geographical regions, the way to identify the variation and the size of the database available to the company.

The researcher says that the differences in these three key points can lead to very different results in DNA tests.

Another aspect to be taken into account is the fact that some companies use country names in the results they give to the client to illustrate the different origins of the DNA test.

However, it must be understood that these country names should be understood as regions of origin and not as the country itself.

In the case of DNA tests that also report on possible diseases and health conditions, it should be known that these tests are also affected by the different identification methods used by each company. That is, they could also reflect different results depending on the three key points we mentioned earlier.

MyHeritage DNA Test: Comparing My Mom’s Results to Mine- We’re More Jewish and Middle Eastern than Italian?!

Despite growing up “half Italian, half Mexican”, my mom learned about a month ago after I took a DNA test through MyHeritage that the Italian side… well, wasn’t so Italian after all.

I showed up as 0% Italian, despite my great-grandfather immigrating to America from Italy over a hundred years ago; having an Italian first and last name, as well as speaking only Italian. Turns out, like America is now, Italy served as a melting pot; as did Spain. So while my Italian great-parents were from Italy and were culturally Italian, they weren’t necessarily Italian by ethnicity.

To make things more complex, these DNA tests don’t measure the exact percentage of your actual ethnicity, but instead, they reveal the more dominant genes that you adopt from both your parents. Therefore, for example; siblings can take a test and one can show 12% Irish but the other doesn’t show any Irish.

After finding out I showed up as 0% Italian, my mom got too curious and decided to take a MyHeritage test as well. Unsurprisingly, knowing what I know now, my mom’s test shows some decent percentages that didn’t show up at all on my test. I’ll place in bold font the ones that largely matched mine:

32.9% Central American (Mayan/Aztec)

22% Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese)

15.2% Sephardic Jewish (via Spain)

14% Middle Eastern/West Asian (Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Palestine and Georgia)

7.8% Greek

4.5% Italian

2.6% Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)

2.0% West African (Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo)

Thanks to my mom’s test results, I learned, in theory, I am about 7.6% Jewish, 7% Middle Eastern, 3.9% Greek, 2.25% Italian and 1% African.

Those particular ethnic traits didn’t show up at all on my DNA test; other than mine showing up 0.8% Middle Eastern. But clearly, my Middle Eastern DNA is very weak, whereas my mom’s is very strong.

So as for my mom, my sister, and me, we are definitely part Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek, and even African.

If it weren’t for my mom’s MyHeritage DNA test, we would not know this.

Of course, that’s in addition to knowing we’re more Mayan/Aztec and Spanish/Portuguese more than anything on my mom’s side.

But the story doesn’t end here, because now, my sister has ordered a DNA test. In a another month or so, we’ll learn if there are other parts of our DNA hiding in there somewhere.

And if you interested in taking a DNA test like my mom and I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.

5 Reasons It Took Me 7 Years to Finally Decide to Take a DNA Test (through MyHeritage)

Back in 2010 when the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” premiered, I learned how it had become possible to take a simple DNA test and find out my ethnicity. What took me so long, though? If finding out my own ethnicity has always been important to me, why I wasn’t I one of the first people in line to take a DNA test.

These were the 5 obstacles I had to overcome, to get me to the point where I finally purchased my DNA test through MyHeritage.

1- The Perception of Difficult Access– Until I started seeing commercials for these tests a couple of years ago, I always assumed I had to drive hours to certain cities where these tests were conducted and pay at least $1,000. So I didn’t bother looking into it. Finally, a few years ago, I starting seeing commercials on YouTube, making me aware how I could just buy one off the Internet for $100; but I still didn’t immediately react.

2- Having to Wait for Results– Perhaps the main reason is that in an age of instant gratification, I didn’t want to have to go through the process: Go to the website, pull out my wallet and type in my credit card info, wait a week for them to mail me the test, take the test, mail the test back, then wait a month for them to mail back the results.

3- Paying the Money for It– I didn’t want to have to part with 100 bucks of my own “blow money”. (This is a Dave Ramsey term, which means that my wife and I have a limited set amount of money we can spend on ourselves for things other than paying the bills.) It’s not that $100 was too high of a price point, but it’s just there were other things I wanted more. Somehow at age 36, I have apparently acquired all the toys I have always wanted. Or more importantly, MyHeritage was having a sale.

4- Needing Assurance of Specific Results– It was my assumption that if I bought my test from the “wrong company”, it wouldn’t be specific enough. But then I watched a commercial for MyHeritage in which an African-American took the test and learned he is 3% Finnish. After hearing MyHeritage’s test was that specific, not just simply telling him he was 3% Scandinavian or Northern European, I realized this test was legit.

5- Wanting Confirmation from an Actual User– My final step in choosing MyHeritage was when I sent a message to them on Twitter, asking them if the test could discover Jewish DNA. Not only was MyHeritage quick to respond from their Twitter account, but so was an apparently unaffiliated girl from Tel Aviv, Israel with the handle, @shaindlinger. She testified to me that the test confirmed she is Jewish; which therefore answered my question. So she was the final element in my decision to choose MyHeritage for my DNA test.

It took overcoming all this to get where I am today. And now, we shall all wait until September 2nd at the latest, for me to reveal the results. Stay tuned…

And if you’re interested in taking a DNA test like I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.