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Any Jews for a Taglit/Birthright trip this summer?

Do you identify as Jewish in any way or have a parent or ancestor who does/did or even might have identified with the Jewish faith or people?
Are you fluent in American Sign Language?
Are you Deaf, Hard-of-hearing, CODA, a budding interpreter, or otherwise have a strong involvement in the deaf community?
Are you between the ages of 18 and 26?

If so, don't lose your opportunity receive your free gift from Taglit/Birthright Israel this upcoming Summer season (2009) with Oranim!

If you are unaware, Taglit (or Birthright as it's known in the USA) is an organization that provides free 10 day trips to young Jews to Israel. Its purpose is to restrengthen the Jewish identity throughout the diaspora and to also reconnect young Jews with Israel. It's a gift on behalf of various Jewish philanthropists and organizations and the state of Israel and it's absolutely free with no strings attached. The only hope they have is that you would fall in love with Israel and keep coming back! Go to http://www.birthrightisrael.com to read more about the Birthright organization.

Why Oranim? Well there are many providers of the Taglit gift and each have their different angle. Oranim is ideal for the person who wants to go to Israel but wants a fun experience and what's to see Israel as it exists today. It's completely secular and is welcoming of people with any level of Jewish connection or experience. You do not have to worry about "not feeling Jewish enough" for the Oranim trip. Go to http://www.israelfree.com to learn more about Oranim.

As you can imagine, the Deaf-Jewish-youth population is a small one and finding opportunities to go are difficult for Deaf people. This past winter I served as a signing Madrich (the Hebrew equivalent of staff person) on an Oranim trip that had a handful of deaf people including 2 Deaf Israeli soldiers! This was the first time that Oranim organized such a group and one of the few instances that Deaf soldiers joined a Birthright group. I am trying to organize an even bigger group to go this summer and I would like to see as many Deaf people go as possible!

However, Oranim will not take action unless they know for a fact that they have people! They are not going to preemptively hire interpreters or choose staff who know sign language just based on the possibility that deaf people will go. What does this mean for you? That means you need to go ahead and apply and let Oranim know that you are definitely interested and plan on going! The more people we get to apply, the more that Oranim will do in order to accomodate the group.

Apply even if you're unsure! Even if you get accepted and then you decide not to go you can cancel at any time with no penalty. If you turn 18 by May 1 or turn 27 no earlier than May 1 then you can go. It's no problem if you turn 27 during the summer. If your birthday is on the borderline, go ahead and apply, and then I can try to help you work it out from there. If you're unsure of your Jewish affiliation but have some Jewish affiliation in any manner, go ahead and apply, and then contact me to see what the issue is. The registration opens on February 19th and there's only a short time frame in which they accept applications so be sure to apply ASAP!! http://www.israelfree.com to apply for trips this summer and be sure to indicate that you are Deaf and want a sign language interpreter in the "special accomodations" field or "disabilities" field.

This is something that I am doing in order to encourage more deaf participation in Birthright and to get more deaf people involved in Israel! Please contact me ASAP if you're interested or have any questions.

Thanks,
Vern

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted March 26, 2009
DeafNYC News

TBS Has New Email Address

Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf in southern California has changed their email address. The new email address, effective immediately, is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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