Our Way Publishes Shabbat Manual in Sign for Jewish Deaf and Hard of Hearing

07 Jan 2009

As part of its series of publications for the Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, Our Way presents its newest release, “Shabbat Manual In Sign,” celebrating the Shabbat in sign language. The booklet is dedicated in the memory of Simeon H.F. Goldstein, founder and long-time executive director of the Harry and Jane Fischel Foundation.

The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), is an agency of the Orthodox Union that provides educational and social inclusion programs through its two major components, Yachad, for children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities, and Our Way for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, National Director of Our Way, declared, “With this new and deaf-friendly publication, we are now making Shabbat more user-friendly to the Jewish deaf, whether it be at a Shabbaton or in their own homes.”

In a letter to recipients, Rabbi Lederfeind wrote, “This Shabbat Manual in Sign is the product of an effort by a team of deaf and hearing individuals. The booklet is intended for use at home or at Shabbatonim. The team volunteered a tremendous amount of time and effort toward correctly conveying each word, each sign, and editing the booklet to make sure it is deaf friendly. This effort was accomplished under the direction of T’chia Kastor.”

The manual includes the signs for Hadlakat Neirot (blessing for candle lighting); Shalom Alaychem (traditional song before Friday night kiddush); Netilat Yadayim (blessing for hand washing); and Bircat Hamotzi (blessing before eating bread). There is also a great deal of explanatory material for the observance of Shabbat, and Shabbat prayers and blessings from the Artscroll/Mesorah Seif Edition transliterated siddur.

To receive your booklet, send a suggested donation of $18 to Our Way/NJCD, 11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Those who purchase the

Shabbat Manual in Sign will also receive other publications from Our Way.

For more information about Our Way, contact Rabbi Lederfeind at 212-613-8234 or ourway@ou.org.