Our Way, the Orthodox Union program for deaf and hearing impaired, together with Beth El Synagogue/Orthodox Kehilla of Durham, NC invite the Jewish deaf and their families to a Shabbaton (Shabbat Experience) on Friday and Saturday September 16-17, Parshat Ki Teitzei. They synagogue is located at 1004 Watts Street, near the campus of Duke University.
Our Way is dedicated to providing resources, services and social programming for Jewish deaf and hard of hearing. It is a division of the OU’s agency National Jewish Council for Disabilities. The event is coordinated by Rabbi Eliezer Lederfeind, Director of Our Way. Interpreting services will be provided by Nancy Topolosky.
The Shabbaton will feature a Deaf Torah Scholar-in-Residence, Rabbi David Kastor. Rabbi Kastor graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA in Computer Science. He married an Israeli deaf woman, Tchia. He received his semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Ner Israel in Baltimore several years ago. He started the Ahavas Israel School of the Deaf in Fredrick, Maryland and taught there for two years. He has worked for Our Way as Regional Representative of Maryland for over 28 years. Rabbi Kastor will speak on Rosh Hashanah, and lead a panel discussion on “Israel is not for Sale.”
There will also be an interpreted lecture on “Anti-Semitism in France and Europe” by Kehilla board member Philippe Chemla. Joyce Dworsky-Srour will be speaking on “Growing up in Durham.”
The Deaf Shabbaton hosts, who will provide a welcome to Durham, are Mitch, David and Gwen Collman. They wrote, “We are excited to spend Shabbos with you. We have lived in Chapel Hill and have been members of Judea Reform Congregation for over 30 years. David, age 23, is deaf and communicates by signing. He also uses a speech generating device. We attended the Shabbaton in Norfolk, VA. We look forward in getting to know all of you in September.”
A special session, “Spirit, Wisdom, Intuition: Journey into Your Soul,” a Soul Collage Workshop conducted by Tovah Wax and Doreen Clark, will conclude the Shabbaton on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Ms. Clark is a member of the Yavneh Jewish Renewal Community of Raleigh. Through the art of collage, she will lead participants in a process “designed to help them discover their inner strengths, wisdom and intuition.”.
Along with special programming, the Shabbaton will provide three meals and snacks; an interpreted synagogue service; a beginners’ service; child care; and an opportunity to join together with others from the deaf community to learn about Judaism.
To register, send your application (available at firstname.lastname@example.org) with a check for $50 per person payable to Our Way Shabbaton to Our Way-NJCD, 11 Broadway, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10004. For more information about the Shabbaton contact The Collmans at email@example.com; voice/relay 919-619-0900. There are discounts for families and scholarships are available.
For more information about Our Way programming, contact Rabbi Lederfeind at firstname.lastname@example.org or voice/relay 212-613-8234.