ORLANDO, Fla.—An ancestry service based in Israel aims to connect people across the globe, helping them explore their family trees and see whether they have any relatives living in the Holy Land today.
“People believe that they have a connection to the Holy Land, and I think one of the things we have now through DNA, and through family trees, is a way to perhaps see whether there’s more to that connection than just a feeling,” Aaron Godfrey, vice president of marketing at MyHeritage, told “The Daily Signal Podcast” in a recent interview.
“Perhaps there’s a genetic link, perhaps within you, there is some Jewish DNA,” Godfrey said. “We have five different strands of Jewish DNA that we’re looking at. Perhaps there’s relatives that you’ll find in your family tree who have moved to Israel. Perhaps there’s some record of the family visiting Israel that you never perhaps knew about. And all of this is just a way, simply from your own home, [of] finding out whether this connection that you feel in your heart is something more, is something perhaps that actually took place in your story.”
Godfrey sat down with The Daily Signal at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando, Florida, last month. Many Israelis spoke at the convention, which prominently featured organizations connecting American evangelicals with Jews in the Holy Land.
“I think it’s easier than ever, and really anyone listening to this is just a few weeks away if they do the DNA or even a few days away, if they just go to MyHeritage.com, from perhaps making these kinds of discoveries,” he said.
Godfrey said an Israeli genealogist with “a passion for family history” founded MyHeritage after he became “unsatisfied with the tools that were available on the market.” He emphasized that MyHeritage is “an international global platform” helping users “find family from different countries who have been spread across the borders.”
MyHeritage has two components: a tool for building family trees, using records from across the world, and a DNA test, which gives users information based on a “simple at-home cheek swab.” MyHeritage’s lab in Houston “gives you a breakdown of your ethnic origins from around 2,100 different genetic groups,” along with “a list of people with whom you share DNA, your DNA-matches relatives.”
Listen to the interview below or check out MyHeritage.com.
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