I’ve been meaning to have my DNA tested in hope of locating
the genetic mutation that impairs my vision. The mutation makes me legally blind, leaving me unable to drive and using one
of those white canes in crowds and at night.
It had big-money marketing written all over it. Every detail in the Soho gallery space was futuristically sleek and designed to impress the New Yorkers who, the company hoped, would be sold on shelling out $2,499 to get their DNA tested for 18 disease predispositions — but only after they enjoyed fresh pomegranate juice or a “Navitini,” a cocktail created for the occasion.
Munching on healthy hors d’hoevres, several dozen people milled among the computer monitors showing Navigenics videos of happy customers.
A recent Facebook message from a total stranger, one of dozens and dozens Jessica Queller has received since she went public this year with an agonizingly personal medical decision, shared a familiar story.
The stranger, a woman in her mid-30s, was a cancer survivor, unmarried, with no immediate matrimonial prospects. She wanted to have children.
Walking into the high-ceilinged space overlooking Ground Zero, you’re not sure if you’ve entered an apartment or an art gallery. Every surface gleams white; the furniture is black, white and ultra-modern; original contemporary art is on the walls and the lighting fixtures could double as sculpture.
For a long time, Danielle Durchslag had absolutely no interest in anything Jewish. The 25-year-old Soho resident hated Hebrew school, despised the Jewish overnight camps she was sent to and describes the trip she took to Israel when she was a teenager as “an utter disaster.”
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, author and director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s Hiddur: The Center for Aging and Judaism, has served as a pioneer in the Jewish community’s work with the elderly. She was founding
director of chaplaincy services at the Philadelphia Geriatric
Center, and a founding member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and the Forum on Aging, Religion and Spirituality.
Near the end of the 2007-08 academic year, some unusual news about one class at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan came home to Miriam Akabas and her daughter Ariel and other families of then-fifth-grade students: there would be no boys in the school’s sixth-grade class the following year.
For various unconnected reasons, several families of end-of-year fifth-graders were moving from New York City; seven of the departing students were boys, all the males in the class.
On a business visit to Houston three years ago, Israeli real estate agent-turned-educator Eran Dubovi accepted a suggestion from Lee Wunsch, executive director of the city’s Jewish federation. Go see a certain public school in southwest Houston, Wunsch said.
Tamara Slobodskaya, a new resident of Canarsie, by way of Latvia, had a short walk to her first Passover seder. The holiday meal, a communal event sponsored by the Jewish Community Council of Canarsie, took place in the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty’s Council Towers, a subsidized apartment building where she and her husband Boris moved a decade ago.