Our Way, the Orthodox Union’s division for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, will visit Austin for a one-of-a kind Shabbat experience for deaf and members of their families. The program will take place at Congregation Tiferet Israel from Friday, October 25-Saturday night, October 26 (Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah). The synagogue is located at 7300 Hart Lane. Registration is mandatory, and sleeping arrangements are available upon registration. Reservations are due by Wednesday, October 16.
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 Shabbaton will include three delicious traditional Shabbat meals; interpreted services in the synagogue; Torah sessions by Deaf leaders; a Beginner’s minyan; program sessions, and an opportunity to join together with others to live and learn about Judaism. Saturday night culminates with a family social event.
Rabbi David Kastor will serve as the Deaf Torah Scholar. Friday night, he will present a session (verbal and in ASL) entitled, “The Most Expensive Cave in Israel.” Shabbat morning, Rabbi Kastor will lead the Interpreted Torah reading. Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, director of Our Way, will speak on Shabbat afternoon, discussing “From Cradle to Grave.”
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.
Rebecca Piasek, mother of a 9-year-old deaf daughter, Anna, will serve as the communal Deaf Host. “We moved to Austin to give my daughter a good education, and in order to complete my own schooling,” she noted. “When I was a young girl, I remember going to a deaf temple with my family; although this is missing in Austin, I am happy to host this Deaf Shabbaton for all Jewish deaf to attend with their families.”
For further information about Our Way programming, contact Rabbi Lederfeind at email@example.com or by voice/relay phone at 212.613.8234.
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