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1. Population Genetics of European Jews
3. What’s special about Jewish genetics? Jewish history consists of both dispersion and ingathering.
An early history of the Jewish people is found in the Bible, but accuracy of biblical sources is questionable.
Since 70 AD, there were many Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean, Babylonia, Asia Minor, the Balkans, Arabia, North Africa and Europe.
These communities were relatively isolated from neighboring communities.
5. The Hashmonaim forced conversions on the Idumeans (2nd century CE)
The ruling house of Himyar, along with all the Himyarites, converted to Judaism (4th century AD)
Other places that inhabited large fractions of converts: Syria, Asia minor, the East Mediterranean islands, the Balkans, Italy, Carthage and Armenia.
Admixture and conversions
7. Research questions What was the source of the different Jewish communities?
What is the level of admixture these communities have gone through?
Can we use genetics to explore parts of the Jewish history that are obscure?
Can we see the traces of major environmental factors such as geographic barriers and plagues in the genetic make up of these communities?
Focusing on the East European Jewish Ashkenazi communities:
What are the sources of these Eastern communities?
How did these communities reach vast numbers between the 16th and the 18th centuries?
14. Conclusions and discussion Jewish populations show a high level of similarity to each other
Jewish populations are intermediate between the Mediterranean and European populations
Jewish populations largely share a common Mediterranean ancestry and that over their history have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish European populations
Tunisian Jews are the most distant from all the other Jewish populations, probably due to a founder effect. However, all four Jewish populations can be distinguished.
15. Future plans Extend this analysis to 25 Jewish populations and at least 13 non-Jewish populations
Higher resolution of populations and genetic markers will enable a more precise examination of specific migration routes and historical scenarios
Higher resolution data will also enable yielding insights as to environmental factors and influences, especially diseases and plagues
Working on a more theoretical question regarding neighbor joining population trees in the case of admixture
16. The End
17. Relatives Analysis