OU’s Our Way Presents ‘Israel Is Not For Sale’ Shabbaton for the Deaf, November 6-7 in Baltimore

28 Oct 2015

Our Way, the Orthodox Union  program for the deaf and hard of hearing, will present a Shabbaton in Baltimore the weekend of Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah at Suburban Orthodox Congregation, 7504 Seven Mile Lane.

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 and co-coordinators Rabbi David and Tchia Kastor; co-coordinator Toby Lederfeind; guest speaker Elinor Goldberg ; and hosts Louis and Leah Caplan.

“At an Our Way Shabbaton the deaf learn about Judaism and the hearing learn about deafness. Everybody is a winner,” said Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, National Director of Our Way.

Cost of the Shabbaton meals for adult participants is $26 for one meal and $45 for three meals. Discounts for families and scholarships are available. For children it is $12 for one meal and $24 for three meals. Admission is free for children under five years. Discounts and scholarships are available.

Workshop topics include “Jewish Deaf Experience in Israel” by Elinor Goldberg, who will also be giving a presentation on Israeli Sign Language; a panel with  Rabbi David Kastor on “Israel Is Not For Sale;” and a trivia challenge game to be led by Toby Lederfeind.

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 14 years ago.  He started the Ahavas Israel School for the Deaf in Frederick and taught there for two years. Rabbi Kastor has worked for the OU as a Regional Representative in Maryland more than 28 years. Tchia Kastor was born in Israel and moved to America in 1993 and has lived in Baltimore since then and coordinates Our Way activities.

Toby Lederfeind was born in New York and has been residing in Baltimore since 2012. “I love it here,” says Toby. “I can’t wait to meet you all and spend a wonderful Shabbat with you all!”

Leah Caplan grew up in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, NY. Louis Caplan grew up near New Haven, CT. After he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Mr. Caplan accepted a job with the U.S. government, and moved to Virginia. The two met at the 1996 Jewish Deaf Conference in Chicago. They married and lived in Fairfax, VA for nine years. Louis and Leah hosted two Our Way Shabbatonim in Fairfax. They now reside with their children in Baltimore.

Elinor Goldberg was born in Haifa, Israel. She volunteered for the Israeli army as a teacher in special education. After the army Elinor studied graphic design and communications and earned a B.A. in graphic design. She moved to the U.S. in 2006 after marrying Todd Goldberg. The Goldbergs currently reside in New Jersey with their three daughters.

For more information about the Shabbaton and Our Way programming contact Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind at 212-613-8234 or email ourway@ou.org.