Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jews in the News: All of us

According to this article,

DNA shows that today's Jews from the largest group, the eight million Ashkenazim – most of whom once found their home in central and eastern Europe, and who now represent the majority of American Jews – have few grandmothers. Around half descend from just four women who bear mitochondrial types found almost exclusively in that population. Two million trace their descent from just one of those ancient predecessors.

So, basically, if you meet four Jews, odds are you're CLOSELY related to one of them. Terrific?


  1. No surprise there. We know we all descent from Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel. I guess science has now proven that piece of knowledge.

  2. What the article doesn't tell you that you can find elsewhere is that the mitochondrial DNA of the other half of the population is quite diverse, much more so than what the "Y chromosome" studies on the male line found.

    Some think this "other half of the mtDNA" (which is mostly European and not Middle Eastern) explain why Ashkenazim physically look more like Europeans than Arabs (since the Y-chromosome "male line" DNA studies show the male line, while nowhere near as "tight" as the "4 grandmothers", shows a mostly Middle Eastern lineage).