Answer your DNA questions at IAJGS 2017 Orlando! #dna

Adam Brown

Don't miss out on a golden opportunity to make sense of your DNA
results at IAJGS 2017 Orlando with over two dozen lectures, workshops
and mentoring sessions on all aspects of DNA research!

Experienced practitioners of autosomal DNA analysis such as Israel
Pickholz, Lara Diamond, and Schelly Dardashti will discuss the
particular challenges of endogamy faced by Jewish genealogists.

Representatives of DNA test providers such as FamilyTreeDNA,
MyHeritage, and Ancestry will describe how to understand their
results in our Sunday EXPO! and again throughout the week at their
booths in the conference Exhibit Hall.

In addition, seasoned DNA project managers will lead participants
in a four-part series that lasts all week. In DNA 101: Solving
Research Problems with DNA Testing, Rachel Unkefer will discuss why
genealogists are disappointed in the outcome when they begin testing
without a concrete goal in mind. She will describe how successful
testing begins with posing questions, and then selecting the correct
DNA tests and family members to answer those questions. Attendees
will learn how to set testing goals and how to navigate the testing
and analysis processes.

In the next session in the sequence, DNA 201: The Next Steps, Family
Tree DNA project managers Rachel Unkefer, Janet Akaha, Gil Bardige,
Adam Brown, Itzhak Epstein, Zach Gordon, Michael Waas, Sidney Sachs,
Max Heffler, and others will work collaboratively with participants
to assess the current status of their own research and discuss
strategies for moving forward. This session will be followed all week
long with group and one-on-one mentoring sessions to help attendees
make the best use of their autosomal, Y-DNA and mitochondrial results.

On the Y chromosome front, DNA 301: What Y-DNA Lineages Can Tell Us
About Jewish History and Migration will focus on "Next Generation
Sequencing" (NGS) products like FTDNA's Big Y and others. The panel of
"citizen scientists" will describe how they have begun mapping out
genetic trees that are far more accurate than ever before possible.

Lastly, DNA 401: The Key to Successful DNA Projects will feature a
panel of DNA project administrators who will describe how to organize
geographic, surname, and haplogroup subclade projects; whether to
include Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA and/or autosomal DNA testing in
proposed projects; techniques for keeping participants engaged; and
best practices.

Computer workshops will focus on tools such as GEDMatch, Lazarus, and
McKee that are used by genealogists to parse autosomal and Y
chromosome results. Family genealogists such as Mark Strauss (both
Ashkenazi and Sephardi) who have undertaken DNA projects to complete
their family trees will also describe their strategies and successes.
Jeff Paull and his team will describe their rabbinic DNA research, in
particular their current work on the well-known Twersky dynasty.

On Monday evening of the conference, Jewish DNA pioneer Dr. Harry
Ostrer and linguist Alexandre Beider will deliver a lecture entitled
"Setting the Record Straight: DNA and Yiddish as Evidence for the
Origins of Ashkenazi Jews", and at Thursday evening's banquet, Harvard
Professor Henry Louis Gates, host of PBS's "Finding Your Roots" will
speak on "Genetics and Genealogy in America".

On Thursday afternoon, Karen Grinzaid >from Emory University will address
Jewish genetic diseases and options for affordable and accessible genetic
screening for Jewish families.

Adam Brown, co-chair of this year's IAJGS conference is also the Managing
Editor of and the Administrator of the 5,000
participant AvotaynuDNA Project. Adam will provide an update on the
Project's Sephardi DNA initiative that is entering its second year of
testing Sephardi men all over the world in collaboration with genetic
genealogy pioneer Dr. Karl Skorecki of the Technion.

So if making use of your DNA results to illuminate your family history is
on your agenda, or you simply want to make sense of the DNA test results
you have already obtained, then Orlando 2017 is the place to be!
Register today at while there are still hotel rooms

Adam Brown

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