DNA Test Required of Russian Teen to Participate in Birthgright Program

According to The Times of Israel, “A professor from St. Petersburg, Russia, is claiming that in an act of “blatant racism,” his daughter was made to undergo a DNA test in order to prove that she’s Jewish – and eligible for a Birthright trip to Israel.

“The father, Dr. Shimon Yakerson, told the Hebrew daily Maariv that a Birthright administrator informed Masha, his daughter, that she’d have to take the test because her birth had only been registered when she was three years old, and that there were therefore doubts as to whether she was really his daughter.”

Following up with Taglit’s international office in Jerusalem, eJP was told: “The process of approving eligibility for Taglit-Birthright Israel applicants in FSU is not a prerogative of Taglit-Birthright Israel but rather [Israeli] government officials.” However, according to the article above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has “denied that its consulates had the authority to make such a demand.”