OU’s Our Way Announces Signs of Bar Mitzvah, a Handbook for Jewish Deaf and Hard of Hearing
To support Jewish deaf teens and their families when they celebrate a Bar Mitzvah, the Orthodox Union's Our Way/National Jewish Council for Disabilities, a program that facilitates inclusion of the deaf and hard of hearing in a full spectrum of Jewish life, announced today the publication of Signs of Bar Mitzvah, a handbook for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, celebrating Bar Mitzvah orally and in sign language.
The publication was dedicated by Annette and Leo Brown of Boca Raton, FL in memory of Bina and Louis Brown, a"h, Leo's parents who were deaf.
The handbook offers the congregation, the Bar Mitzvah and his family a step-by-step illustrated guide to signing the blessings before and after the Torah reading, and the blessings made by the father of the Bar Mitzvah. The blessings are in Hebrew and in English and are also transliterated. This publication is being sent by Our Way to synagogues across North America. (The booklet can also be used for any deaf person called for an aliyah.)
"Many parents with a deaf child are overwhelmed with their child's deafness. They tend to focus on the child's physical needs and often unwittingly overlook the child's spiritual needs. Through the generosity of Annette and Leo Brown this Bar Mitzvah handbook for deaf children who use Sign has been created," declared Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, Director of Our Way.
"It is our sincerest hope that many more deaf reaching adulthood will use this guide for a joyous and spiritual Bar Mitzvah celebration," he said.
Signs of Bar Mitzvah was created under the direction of T'chia Kastor, a deaf artist, with the assistance of the Our Way Sign Language Committee. Mrs. Kastor, originally from Israel, is currently residing in Baltimore, MD with her husband Rabbi David Kastor. T'chia and Rabbi Kastor are both very active in Our Way outreach program for Jewish deaf.
It is available through a contribution to Our Way/NJCD for a suggested donation of $18. With each contribution, Our Way will make available other publications and information about Our Way. Also, if you know Jewish deaf and hard of hearing who might benefit from receiving Our Way materials and getting on our mailing list, have them contact Our Way as indicated below.
To order send your contributions to Our Way/NJCD, 11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 212-613-8234.