CJG Blog

Center for Jewish Genetics blog

The 2019 URJ Biennial in Numbers:

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By Carol Guzman

This December, the Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics had the opportunity to share our mission and work at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial conference. More than 5,000 clergy members, leaders, and exhibitors from across the country came together to learn, network, worship and make decisions about the policies of the Reform movement. The URJ Biennial took place in Chicago and the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago served as a Gold Sponsor for this year’s conference.

The Sarnoff Center exhibited at the Kikar area right outside of the exhibition hall with 150 other organizations. Sarnoff Center staff switched shifts throughout the conference, connecting with many attendees from all around the world.  By the end of the weekend 26 organizations in 14 different states requested additional Sarnoff Center educational materials that they plan to share with their respective communities.

Educating the Jewish community about Jewish genetic health is our main mission, so we couldn’t help but bring along some of our print materials and awesome swag. Throughout the conference we distributed:

  • 193 lunch bags
  • 50 water bottles
  • 150 Hereditary Cancer Brochures
  • 125 Interfaith Brochures
  • 127 Jewish Genetic Disorder Brochures
  • 196 lip balms
  • 67 fun sized chocolate bars

Our staff connected with various organizations that seek to provide services to the people in the Jewish community and we had the pleasure of reconnecting with partner organizations who also focus on genetic health, such as the Victor Center. We are excited to see what our new connections from the URJ will bring as we continue to strive to advocate for genetic health in the Jewish community!


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.


Planning for a Family?

1 in 4 Jews carries a potentially devastating genetic disorder that could pass down to a child. Make carrier screening part of your family planning process. 


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 . Talk to 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 .