Our Way Shabbaton for the Hearing Impaired in Columbus, 2/27-28

12 Feb 2009

The Orthodox Union’s Our Way program for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing, which has brought its joyous Shabbaton programs to communities all over North America, will visit Columbus, February 27-28 to provide the hearing-impaired with a one-of a kind Shabbat experience.

The program will be held at Beth Jacob Congregation, 1223 College Avenue.

The Friday-Saturday event will include three delicious meals and snacks, interpreted services in the synagogue, a beginners minyan, child care, program sessions, and an opportunity to join together with others to live and learn about Judaism.

A key session on Israel will be led after the Friday night Shabbat dinner by Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, Director of Our Way.

As the case in many of the Our Way Shabbatons, Rabbi David Kastor will be the Deaf Scholar-in-Residence. Rabbi Kastor graduated from Gallaudet University with a B.A. in Computer Science and married an Israeli deaf woman, Tchia. He received his semicha (rabbinical ordination) from Ner Israel in Baltimore three years ago. He started the Ahavas Israel School for the Deaf in Frederick, MD and taught there for two years. Rabbi Kastor has worked for OU as a Regional Representative in Maryland for almost 18 years.

Marlene Tewner will be Shabbaton Coordinator. She has been coordinating sign language interpreting for the Columbus deaf community at Jewish educational programs and religious services since 1999 and secured funding for many valuable programs. With a grant from the Columbus Jewish Foundation, she was instrumental in creating a 10-week program to familiarize interpreters with Judaic signs and rituals. Ms. Tewner hosted a regional Our Way Shabbaton in Columbus several years ago and assisted with one in Cincinnati as well.

To participate, please send a check for $35 payable to Our Way Shabbaton to Marlene Tewner, 24 N. Merkle Road, Columbus, OH 43209. She can be reached at tewner@aol.com or voice/relay phone at 614-237-0807.

Rabbi Lederfeind can be reached at 212-613-8234, or ourway@ou.org.