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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Genetic Jew and the Barely Asians

Today's New York Times offers some less-than-noble reasons for having your DNA tested. A growing number of people are checking their genetic ancestry to see if they qualify for special privileges like Indian casino cash and college scholarships. Even more are "spinning" their test results to gain an advantage.

Ashley Klett's younger sister marked the "Asian" box on her college applications this year, after the elder Ms. Klett, 20, took a DNA test that said she was 2 percent East Asian and 98 percent European.

Whether it mattered they do not know, but she did get into the college of her choice.

"And they gave her a scholarship," Ashley said.
John Haedrich—a nursing home director from Glendale, California, who was brought up a Christian—discovered through genetic testing that he "bears a genetic signature commonly found among Jews." So, he's hired a lawyer and is suing for the right to become a citizen of Israel without converting to Judaism. Israeli authorities scoff at his claim, as do authorities in Los Angeles—home of Hollywood, which the Internet tells me is also run by Jews.
"DNA, schmeeNA," Mr. Haedrich, 44, said the rabbi at a local synagogue in Los Angeles told him when he called to discuss it. [Link]

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