Center for Jewish History Partners with Ancestry® in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

New York, NY (January 27, 2023)

The Center for Jewish History (CJH), home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive archive of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel, announced today it has partnered with Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, to receive 2,500 AncestryDNA®kits in order to further the “DNA Reunion Project.” 

An Ancestry DNA kit retails for $99, making the Ancestry donation valued at nearly $250,000.

“This incredibly generous donation will give hundreds of families – long ago separated by the horrors of the Holocaust – the opportunity to make crucial connections with relatives and reclaim their family story before it’s too late,” said Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld, President of the Center for Jewish History. “We are so grateful to our friends at Ancestry for making the DNA Reunion Project a priority on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the whole world remembers the six million Jewish men, women, and children murdered by a totalitarian regime less than a century ago. With the number of survivors dwindling as the years go by, this genealogical effort is a priceless gift that can bring enormous closure and healing to families.”  

The DNA Reunion Project, launched just weeks ago by CJH, provides commercial DNA kits free of charge to Holocaust survivors and their children. The project also serves as a central genealogical resource where Holocaust survivors with complex family histories can access a genetic genealogical consultation at no cost. These difficult cases might include hidden children, unknown parent cases, or non-Jews first learning of hidden Jewish history from DNA testing.

Working in conjunction with librarians at CJH’s Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute on program operations are project co-founders Jennifer Mendelsohn and Dr. Adina Newman, Ashkenazi Jewish genetic genealogy specialists with proven track records of solving complex cases. 

“We have seen time and time again how powerful DNA testing can be. Our project seeks to raise awareness of that power and leverage it to the benefit of the Holocaust survivor community. We’re thrilled that Ancestry is helping us reach that goal with this invaluable donation,” said Newman.

“This donation really has the potential to change lives,” added Mendelsohn.

“Ancestry is proud to partner with the Center for Jewish History to empower Holocaust survivors and their families to find new connections and explore their shared histories,” said Ancestry Chief Commercial Officer Brian Donnelly. “This partnership is a meaningful continuation of Ancestry’s ongoing commitment to preserving the memories and facts of the Holocaust.”

Holocaust survivors or their children interested in free DNA testing should apply at Recipients of the donated kits will be able to access them through Ancestry.

For more information, please contact:
Ross M. Wallenstein
Wall to Wall Communications, LLC.
Cell: (917) 602-2433