Aggregated News

Young immigrants from Russia at the Putin Bar in Jerusalem on November 18, 2008. (photo credit: Anna Kaplan/ Flash90)

A number of people from the former Soviet Union wishing to immigrate to Israel could be subjected to DNA testing to prove their Jewishness, the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday.

The policy was reported in Maariv on Monday, one day after the Israeli paper revealed that a 19-year-old woman from the former Soviet Union was required to take the test to qualify for a Birthright Israel trip.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that many Jews from the FSU who were born out-of-wedlock can be required to bring DNA confirmation of Jewish heritage in order to be allowed to immigrate as a Jew.

A source in the PMO told Maariv that the consul’s procedure, approved by the legal department of the Interior Ministry, states that a Russian-speaking child born out-of-wedlock is eligible to receive an Israeli immigration visa if the birth was registered before the child turned 3. Otherwise a DNA test to prove Jewish parentage is necessary.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the decision to require DNA testing for Russian Jews is based on the recommendations of Nativ... see more