Hannah's "Tear" Mitzvah Project
Awareness and testing for FD and other Jewish genetic diseases
A Girl with a Mission
Hannah Bress is a 12 year-old girl with a
mission: she wants everyone to know about, and protect
themselves from, Jewish genetic diseases.
Hannah organized an educational presentation and a genetic
screening event in her community on March 14th, 2010 at Harford
Jewish Center in Havre de Grace, MD. The event was
a huge success, drawing nearly one hundred attendees and providing
screening for 60 people.
Hannah Explains Her Project
For my Bat Mitzvah project, I chose to raise awareness for
familial dysautonomia (FD) and 10 other devastating Jewish genetic
diseases (JGDs) that appear at birth. In memory of my sister, Jamie, I
wanted to make a difference by helping families prevent suffering similar
to what Jamie and my parents experienced. One symptom of FD is the
absence of tears, so I named my Mitzvah project “TEAR” for Testing,
Education & Awareness of Recessive Jewish genetic diseases.
Pictured at right are
my mom and my sister, Jamie Bress, who died in 1996 at 5 years of age
from FD complications.
Hannah receiving award from Dysautonomia Foundation
The attendees listen to a presentation on FD and Jewish genetic Diseases
We are grateful to everyone who attended the
event. If you or someone you know wants to organize a similar mitzvah
project or community awareness event, please contact the Dysautonomia
Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone can help raise awareness by telling friends and family about testing for FD and other Jewish
genetic diseases, and by sending them a link to our video on FD genetic screening.
The Dysautonomia Foundation is a
registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Dysautonomia Foundation, Inc.
315 West 39th Street, Suite
New York, NY 10018