By: David Schmidt | News  | 

JScreen Administers Subsidized Genetic Testing on Beren, Wilf Campus to Follow

Three hundred YU students participated in heavily subsidized genetic testing administered by JScreen, an organization that tests for genetic diseases in the Jewish community, on the Beren Campus on Feb. 28. Two hundred fifty additional tests will be available for students on the Wilf Campus on April 8.

The screenings were organized by the Genetics Club and the Medical Ethics Society and marks the first time since Spring 2016 that Jscreen has tested at YU.

According to their website, the Emory University based “JScreen” tests for over 220 genetic diseases found in Jewish genes. Their genetic screening includes a follow-up consultation that explains the results of the screening to each participant. This will allow an individual to prevent genetic diseases that affect significant parts of the Jewish community deep inside their DNA. 43 percent of Ashkenazi Jews are carriers for some genetic disease, and 80 percent of babies with genetic diseases are born to parents with no known family history of that disease. These genetic diseases now foreseeable and preventable with tests that JScreen, and others, provide.

The testing on Beren Campus originally had a limit of 250 tests, but JScreen generously added 50 more tests after a flood of interest. The screening cost $36, discounted from the normal website price of $149, which is already lowered by donors from an original $999.

“No one, man or woman, should feel that they can’t come to this screening event due to the possibility of being judged or stigmatized. By getting screened, you are being an advocate for your own health and for your future family’s health, and those are acts of someone commendable,” wrote Talia Kupferman (SCW ‘20), one of the organizers of the event, when asked about concerns of stigma surrounding being screened.

“My high school offered genetic testing but I did not participate simply because of the high price. By subsidizing the cost, the Genetics Club made it financially possible for this test to happen for me,” said Sarah Schatz (SCW ’21) regarding her participation in the event.

David Kirsch (YC ’21), who is planning on attending the Wilf event, said, “I think it is important for anyone who one day hopes to start a family to ensure that it’s a healthy one, and this is one of the first steps to accomplish that goal.”

To register for the event, go to and select “YU/Stern” as the reason you heard about JScreen. The event code to submit is “WILF19.” The kits will be available for pickup at the event location.

Photo Caption: JScreen Logo
Photo Credit: JScreen