Simanim was established to assist people in their search to determine their maternal origin through genetic testing. Research published over the last few years has found that within certain populations, and particularly among Jewish communities, there are typical genetic markers in the DNA of the mitochondria that is transferred by inheritance from a mother to child. Therefore, by comparing a subject’s genetic profile to genetic databases, it is possible to determine the affiliation of their maternal lineage to a particular population.
Simanim’s innovative approach utilizes a practical, scientific tool to determine the genetic affiliation of a subject to the Jewish community. Our data can be used to assist them in determining their Judaism in a Rabbinical court. Halachically, these methods and results are recognized among many dayanim (religious Judges) as described extensively in the recently published book Determining Jewishness in Light of Genetic Research.
It has been found, that among Jews of Ashkenazi descent, mitochondrial genetic testing can prove the maternal origin more than 50% of the time and among Caucasus and Georgian Jews at an even higher rate. The test is not applicable to determining descent and identity for other communities. See here to learn more about the genetic basis of the test.