Our Way Hosts Forest Hills Shabbaton for Deaf, 2/24-25
Our Way, the Orthodox Union’s program for the deaf and hard of hearing, will hold a Shabbaton in Forest Hills the weekend of February 24-25 at Congregation Machane Chodosh, 67-29 108th Street. The program will represent a return trip to the synagogue, which hosted Our Way in November, 2010.
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.
The Shabbaton will feature Deaf Torah Scholar-in-Residence Dov Ber Smith; Deaf Advisor Yehoshua Soudakoff, and Deaf Host Vladislav (Darby) Yusupov.
It will also feature a special showing of Banai, the story of Liran Banai, a hearing son of deaf parents who was ambushed and critically injured during the Gaza War. The DVD will be shown in voice, Hebrew sign language, and English caption. Shabbaton topics will include “How to Pray: What to Say”; “Celebrating Purim”; an interpreted Torah reading; inspiring stories, and much more.
Scholar-in-Residence Dov Ber Smith is himself hard of hearing and is a student at the Rabbinical Seminary of America. He and his wife Chaya Gitty and their son Chaim live in Kew Gardens Hills, not far from Machane Chodosh. He looks forward to teaching Torah to the Jewish deaf who attend the Shabbaton.
Yehoshua Sudakoff, the Deaf Advisor, originally from Los Angeles, is currently a rabbinical student in Brooklyn. 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 excited to see and meet all those attending the Shabbaton.
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 Eliezer Lederfeind, Director of Our Way, 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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