Our Way, the Orthodox Union’s division for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, will visit Brooklyn for a one-of-a kind Shabbat experience for the hearing-impaired and members of their families at all age levels. The program will take place at Kingsway Jewish Center, 2810 Nostrand Avenue at Kings Highway from Friday, May 3-Saturday night, May 4 (Shabbat Behar-Bechukotai). Registration is mandatory and sleeping arrangements are available upon registration.
Rabbi Eliezer Leferfeind is Director of Our Way.
Under the coordination of Rabbi Lederfeind, 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.
There will be a special theme for the Shabbaton, “The Way it Was,” in which adult children of deaf parents will have the opportunity to speak about how they were raised by their parents; how their parents faced the challenges of communication, socialization and getting jobs without ttys, video phones, captions, interpreters and other modern aids; and how despite their limited access to Jewish learning they were able to transmit Jewish tradition to their family.
The Shabbaton will include three delicious meals and snacks; interpreted services in the synagogue; a beginner’s minyan; child care; program sessions; and an opportunity to join together with others to live and learn about Judaism.
Saturday night culminates with a family gym program at Kingsway Jewish Center.
Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff will serve as Deaf Torah Scholar and will speak on “What Happened at Sinai.” Originally from Los Angeles, Rabbi Soudakoff now lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He is a graduate of the Rabbinical Seminary Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch – Chovovei Torah. He comes from a second generation deaf family and 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.”
The Deaf Advisor will be Avraam Rubinov, who will speak on “The Ten Commandments.” Born in Bukharia in the Former Soviet Union, he came to America in 1995. He attended Yeshiva Ohr Eliezer in Brooklyn, then Yeshivas Nefesh Dovid, the international yeshiva for young men with hearing loss in Toronto. He continued his studies at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore and has since returned to Toronto, where he currently runs his own private business as a graphic designer.
Avrummy and Rochi Globman are deaf hosts. They have been married for three years and have three children. Avrummy works for a large camera store and is called on to interpret for customers who are hard of hearing. Rochi works in computer graphics and has been learning how to sign.
Tzila Seewald-Russell will be Deaf Coordinator. She wears bi-cochlear implants, while her husband, Tzvi Russell, is hearing. She received a Master of Social Work from Hunter College of Social Work and is working as a crisis counselor in Project Hope at Ohel.
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