Our Way, the Orthodox Union’s division for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, will visit Long Island for a one-of-a kind Shabbat experience for the hearing-impaired and members of their families. The program will take place at the Young Israel of Plainview from Friday, January 25-Saturday night, January 26 (Shabbat Parshat Beshalach). The synagogue is located at 132 Southern Parkway. Registration is mandatory, and sleeping arrangements are available upon registration.
Saturday, January 26 is Tu B’Shevat, the day on the Jewish calendar celebrating the New Year for trees.
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 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 bowling social event at AMF Bowling, 500 Old Bethpage Road in Plainview.
Rabbi David Kastor will serve as the Deaf Scholar-in-Residence. Friday night, he will present a session (verbal and in ASL) entitled, “Green Thumb.” On Shabbat afternoon, Deaf Advisor Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff, will lead a “Thanks to Hashem and Brochos Bee” and Rabbi Kastor will lead the family-fun game of “Jewpardy” (the Jewish parody of Jeopardy).
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.
Deb and Barry Spindel are the Deaf Hosts of the Shabbaton, who live in Long Island with their sons Michael and Jonathan. They first met at the Bi-Annual Conference of the Jewish Deaf Congress, held in New Jersey.
Shoshanah and Joe Suissa will serve as the Deaf Coordinators.
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