CJG Blog

Center for Jewish Genetics blog

Community Needs Assessment

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The Sarnoff Center is starting a year-long Community Needs Assessment to learn how Jewish and interfaith families in Illinois engage with genetic health topics. By speaking with community members and community leaders, we hope to learn about community strengths, identify gaps, and assess opportunities. We will use this information to develop ongoing programming and educational opportunities to increase knowledge of Jewish genetic disorders, including recessive conditions and hereditary cancers.  

Interested in getting involved? We are looking for both community members and community leaders to lend their voices to this process. Community members including families, young adults, and individuals in mid-life can tell us what they do and don’t understand about Jewish genetic health topics. Community leaders can share information about their organizations and ideas for future health-related programming.

Interfaith couples and individuals with any Jewish ancestry are encouraged to participate. Having just one Jewish great-grandparent puts a family at increased risk for Jewish genetic disorders.

Participants will complete a short survey and choose to have a one-on-one interview with our community health educator or be part of a focus group. Interviews take 30-45 minutes and focus groups can last from 60-90 minutes.  All participants will receive refreshments or a $5 Starbucks gift card as a thank you for their contributions.

By sharing your experiences and encouraging your friends and family to do so as well, you will contribute to the health of our community. We will be seeking new participants through spring 2018.

Throughout the year, we will be providing updates on the findings of the Community Needs Assessment. We look forward to learning from you! 

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/cjg-community or contact our community health educator, Becca Bakal, at rebeccabakal@juf.org or (312) 357-4717.



Affordable, Accessible Genetic Screening in Illinois

Our affordable, accessible carrier screening program uses advanced technology to provide comprehensive screening for Jewish and interfaith couples. Visit our Get Screened page to learn more and register.


Do You Know What's In Your Genes?

What is the most valuable gift you can give to your family? The gift of good health! There are many health conditions that run in families. Knowing your family health history can alert you to the potential risk for a variety of genetic disorders . Be sure to check with your relatives for warning signs and assess your risk for hereditary cancers!

Did you know: Ashkenazi Jews are 10 TIMES more likely to have BRCA mutations, which significantly increases lifetime risks for hereditary cancers, so what does this heightened risk mean for you? Click here to learn more !