Our Way Welcomes Jewish Deaf to Potomac For OU Shabbaton, January 26-27

10 Jan 2007


For the Jewish deaf and their families, Orthodox Union’s Our Way, a program for the deaf and hearing impaired, presents a one-of-a-kind Sabbath experience, January 26-27, in Potomac, Maryland. It will be held at Beth Shalom Congregation and Talmud Torah, 11825 Seven Locks Rd.

Highlights of the weekend include the presence of Deaf Scholars-in-Residence Rabbi David Kastor and Rabbi Fred Friedman. Rabbi Kastor has worked for Our Way as a regional representative for Maryland for almost 18 years. He is deaf and married to a deaf Israeli woman, Tchia. Rabbi Kastor graduated with a BA in Computer Science from Gallaudet University, and received his semicha (Rabbinical Ordination) from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore three years ago. He started the Ahavas Israel School of the Deaf in Fredrick, MA, and taught there for two years.

Rabbi Friedman has worked for Our Way for 24 years and received his semicha 23 years ago from Ner Israel. Each year he commutes to Brooklyn, NY to lead Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services for the Brooklyn Hebrew Society of the Deaf. He and his wife, Connie, look forward to being together with the Jewish Deaf from Maryland.

The Deaf Resident Couple, who will be welcoming guests, are Dr. Steven and Tracey Rattner. Dr. Rattner is a general dentist with offices in College Park and Gaithersburg, Maryland. Mrs. Rattner is the office manager and serves her community by volunteering in her synagogue, as a Kiddush Preparation Coordinator. The couple will join the Shabbaton with their two daughters, Michelle and Jaclyn.

Along with special programming, the Shabbaton will provide three delicious meals and snacks; an interpreted synagogue service; a beginner’s prayer service; child care; and an opportunity to join together with others from the deaf community to live and learn about Judaism.

To attend, send an application and check for $30 by January 18 to Our Way Shabbaton, c/o Dr. Steve and Tracey Rattner, 9416 Crimson Leaf Terrace, Potomac, MD 20854.

For more information contact the Rattners at 301-365-9550, tabrattner@aol.com.

For information on Our Way national programs, contact Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, Director of Our Way, at 212-613-8234 or email ourway@ou.org.