Our Way to Host Forest Hills Shabbaton for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 3/1-2
Our Way, the Orthodox Union’s program for the deaf and hard of hearing, will once again hold a Shabbaton in Forest Hills the weekend of March 1-2 at Congregation Machane Chodosh, 67-29 108th Street due to the success of last February’s Shabbaton.
Our Way is dedicated to providing resources, services, and social programming for the Jewish deaf and hard of hearing. It is a division of the OU’s National Jewish Council for Disabilities.
Our Way has brought its joyous Shabbaton programs to communities all over North America, open to members of the Jewish community from all backgrounds. Materials and prayer services will be provided in American Sign Language and deaf advisors will assist to create a meaningful, traditional Shabbat experience.
The Forest Hills Shabbaton will feature Torah Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi David Kastor; Deaf Advisor Yehoshua Soudakoff, and Deaf Host Vladislav (Darby) Yusupov.
The Shabbaton will include workshops such as “How to Pray: What to Say,” led by Our Way Director Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind; “Special Staff,” led by Rabbi Kastor; “Do it Right Pesach Night,” led by Rabbi Soudakoff; and “My Trip to Israel,” led by Vlad Yusupov.
Rabbi Kastor graduated from Gallaudet University for the Deaf with a B.A. in Computer Science and is married to an Israeli deaf woman, Tchia. He received his semicha (rabbinical ordination) from Ner Israel in Baltimore. He started the Ahavas Israel School for the Deaf in Frederick, MD and taught there for two years. Rabbi Kastor has worked for the OU as a Regional Representative in Maryland more than 25 years.
Yehoshua Sudakoff, the Deaf Advisor, originally from Los Angeles, currently resides in Crown Heights. He comes from a second generation deaf family, and he grew up with years of experience of involvement in the Jewish deaf community. He is also the director of Jewish Deaf Multimedia (www.jewishdeafmm.org), a website geared towards providing educational videos for deaf Jews. He is looking forward to a great and inspiring Shabbaton in Queens.
Vladislav (Darby) Yusupov has lived in nearby Rego Park for 21 years. In 2008 he graduated from Gallaudet University with a degree in accounting. Prior to that, he graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in business administration. He is now working on a graduate degree in business and is applying to yeshiva for next year. He is thrilled to be the guest host.
Rabbi Lederfeind, declared, “After a great success last time at Machane Chodosh, with are returning and expect a large and enthusiastic audience from Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens Hills, Kew Gardens, Briarwood and other communities. The upcoming Our Way Shabbaton will provide an invaluable and memorable Jewish experience for all who attend.”
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