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Voyage to Poland Trip

For the first time, deaf Israeli High School students will participate in the "Voyage to Poland" in the Spring of 2006.

Yael Czapski is currently a teacher of deaf Israeli students at the Yahud Comprehensive High School located in a suburb near Tel Aviv. She completed her Masters Degree in Special Education at Tel Aviv University; while she was already teaching at the Yahud Comprehensive High School.

For the first time this upcoming spring, Yael will lead a group of about 20 of her senior students on an 8-day visit to Poland. This pilgrimage to Poland has become an important part of the curriculum and a very meaningful tradition in Israeli High Schools - called the "Masa l'Polin" or "The Voyage to Poland". The itinerary includes Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Treblinka, extermination camps where millions of Jews were murdered as part of Hitler's final solution during World War II. The students will also visit Warsaw and Lodz, towns where Jewish life thrived in pre-war Europe only to become ghettos during the Nazi Regime. Gur and Lizansk, famous for its Chassidic rebbes, are also on the route. Like their hearing counterparts, the youth will experience and learn about the core reasons for Israel's existence. Yael's students will be marching with blue and white Israeli flags and signing HaTikva.

Yael is seeking help in supporting four of her students who cannot afford the cost of participating in the "Voyage to Poland". The cost of the trip to Poland for each student is $1000.

Donations should be made out to Tifereth Israel and sent to Tifereth Israel Congregation, 7701 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20012. Make sure to write on the check memo "Voyage to Poland". This donation is tax-deductible.

Deaf History International Conference

The 6th Deaf History International Conference will be in Berlin, Germany from July 31 through August 4, 2006. It is intended to be dedicated to emphasize legal, political and sociological oppressions & forms of discriminations towards the Deaf Community in the history in order to reflect on the past, to overcome the shady history and to imagine better future. The slogan is to overcome the past and its consequences to present solution for the present.

The Deaf History International Conference will focus on several subjects of Deaf History such as Deaf Women History; Deaf Art/Theater/Movie History; Future and Goal of Deaf History; Deaf History and the sign linguistics; Discrimination a.) of Deaf in School and Education and b.) of Deaf minorities; the status and role and contribution of Deaf History studies and also the role of Deaf History for the Deaf community and Deaf studies/Research fields and other topics. There will be a special topic about the Deaf Community Life in the period from 1933 to 1945 relating to subjects of Deaf Holocaust, Forced Sterilization, Deaf Nazi, Deaf Refugees etc.

For more information, contact Coordinator: Mark Zaurov This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their website for more details at http://www.igjad.de/dhi2006/en/

Behavioral Health Full-Service Program

Salisbury Behavioral Health, Inc. (SBH) is a behavioral health company with offices throughout Pennsylvania that specializes in serving people with the most serious and complicated behavioral health problems. One of the complex populations served by SBH includes people with mental illness or mild mental retardation and behavior problems who are also users of American Sign Language.

SBH offers residential supports, outpatient therapy, partial hospitalization, intensive case management, and vocational rehabilitation to this population. SBH is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and is fully licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

A shomer shabbos young man who has behavioral health problems and who is deaf recently was referred to SBH for full services including residential services. Because our current residential environment is not set up to meet the unique religious and social needs of this individual, we are planning to develop a new residential program within walking distance of an Orthodox synagogue. We need two or more additional referrals to make this program financially viable.

Qualifications for entry into the proposed program include:
  1. Shomer shabbos or willingness to live within a shomer shabbos environment.

  2. Serious mental illness or mild mental retardation with behavior problems.

  3. Use of American Sign Language as a primary communication modality.

  4. Need for a therapeutic residential environment.

  5. 18 to 65 years of age.

  6. Both genders are eligible and will live in separate apartments.

  7. Appropriate funding for the services needed.

Paul Volosov, PHD is the CEO of SBH. He is shomer shabbos and will take personal responsibility to ensure conformity to halachic requirements within the proposed program.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Volosov, PHD, CEO
Salisbury Behavioral Health, Inc.
410-653-0944 extension 201
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jewish Deaf Congress's New Officers

President - Marla Berkowitz
Secretary - Curtis Robbins
Treasurer - Allon Yom Tov
Member at large - Deborah (Copeland) Mayer Paula Tucker

For the first time ever since National Congress of Jewish Deaf/Jewish Deaf Congress was founded in 1956, they have a hearing person on the board. JDC still does not have a website so hope to see this happen soon despite several passed motions in the past. The next biennial conference location and dates have not been announced yet.

Jewish Deaf Congress Hall of Fame inducted the following people during their biennial conference in Florida - July 2005:

Religious category: David Balacaier and Ben Finkin
Sports category: Albert Berke
Professional category: Morton Feldman

For more information on JDC, contact Marla Berkowitz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.