...and my family name sounds German (although my father's family came from what is now Poland in 1856)...of course my name was "americanized" from the original Behar. I have been unsuccessful in finding european relatives from the little town of Pryzborow, Poland. That area was wiped out before and during WWII.
I am a polyglot...a son of Polish-German immigrants and my mother's side of Scots-Irish...both sides...one in Milwaukee, and the other in North Carolina, seeking a better life.
Since you mentioned genetics...
"Genetic studies on Jews are part of the population genetics discipline and are used to better understand the chronology of migration provided by research in other fields, such as history, archaeology, linguistics, and paleontology. These studies investigate the origins of various Jewish populations today. In particular, they investigate whether there is a common genetic heritage among various Jewish populations. Studies of autosomal DNA, which look at the entire DNA mixture, show that Jewish populations have tended to form relatively closely related groups in independent communities, with most in a community sharing significant ancestry and up to 75% Levantine genes.
Recent studies have been conducted on a large number of genes homologous chromosomes or autosomes (all chromosomes except chromosomes X and Y). A 2009 study was able to genetically identify individuals with full or partial Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. In August 2012, Dr. Harry Ostrer in his book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, summarized his and other work in genetics of the last 20 years, and concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin. Ostrer also claimed to have refuted the Khazar theory of Ashkenazi ancestry. Citing autosomal DNA studies, Nicholas Wade estimates that "Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews have roughly 30 percent European ancestry, with most of the rest from the Middle East." He further noticed that "The two communities seem very similar to each other genetically, which is unexpected because they have been separated for so long." Concerning this relationship he points to Atzmon's conclusions that "the shared genetic elements suggest that members of any Jewish community are related to one another as closely as are fourth or fifth cousins in a large population, which is about 10 times higher than the relationship between two people chosen at random off the streets of New York City" Concerning North African Jews, autosomal genetic analysis in 2012 revealed that North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. This finding "shows that North African Jews date to biblical-era Israel, and are not largely the descendants of natives who converted to Judaism," Y DNA studies examine various paternal lineages of modern Jewish populations. Such studies tend to imply a small number of founders in an old population whose members parted and followed different migration paths. In most Jewish populations, these male line ancestors appear to have been mainly Middle Eastern. For example, Ashkenazi Jews share more common paternal lineages with other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than with non-Jewish populations in areas where Jews lived in Eastern Europe, Germany and the French Rhine Valley. This is consistent with Jewish traditions in placing most Jewish paternal origins in the region of the Middle East.
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