Jewish identity is complicated. Is it a matter of choice, but is it also a matter of inheritance? Or could it be both? We will explore the range of answers to those questions and consider in particular the differences between Jewish identity and Jewish ancestry, which some have come to think of as a predestined matter of what is in our DNA. Professor Pollack, a biologist who has worked on DNA matters for more than half a century and is a member of West End Synagogue, will discuss them.
This project is part of a national program entitled “Scientists in Synagogues,” a grass-roots initiative run by Sinai and Synapses in consultation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, along with other individual donors.