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Jewish Deaf Singles Registry's Trip Takes Place As Planned Despite the War

by Rachelle and Samuel Landau
JDSR Coordinators and Trip Leaders

Thank G-d that we had a G-R-E-A-T trip to the Holy Land, and that we all came back home safe!  It was not easy to encourage the participants to come on this trip due to unexpected fighting up north. May we take this opportunity to wish our brothers and sisters a new year of peace, health, prosperity, and to bring in Messiah in our days, please G-d.

There is a lot to see Israel even if it is the size of New Jersey! It is an amazing country, only 58 years old and yet it has different climates, land, and old/modern places to visit. Jerusalem is one of the world's wonders so without a visit to Jerusalem it would not be a visit to Israel! Yes we saw the Wailing Wall from outside and below surface (more in length and height) as we walked through the tunnel. We were in the Jewish quarter, as well as Armenian, and even a brief visit to the Moslem Quarter (going out through the Lion's Gate).

We also visited the south of Israel where Ben Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, lived his last days on the kibbutz and had a dream of turning the Negev (desert) to growing land.  We have someone in our group who wants to follow in his footsteps so if you would like to be pioneer, please contact us if you are interested in living in a new settlement.

Believe it or not, there are waterfalls in the desert. Come and see for yourself. We also went to Masada, where we witnessed the last stand of the Jews more than 1500 years ago. They chose to  die there instead of being taken to captivity by the Romans at that time. Who said that the Jews walk like sheep? By the way, we had one participant who is short and thin, but could lead the sheep, and would be an excellent shepherd. No one else could get the sheep go to specific area, but she did! Remember that our forefathers were shepherds, even our greatest leader, Moses.

With the coach bus and the driver, tour guide, interpreter, and security man, we were able to visit many places in ten days! We visited Tel Aviv, the Negev, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, went on an archeological dig, rode camels, and had opportunities to meet deaf and hard of hearing Israelis.  We have not included the other two days for travel which is a total of 12 days.  We flew with El Al, Israel's airline and service was superb! Security was very strict but good!  As leaders of this group, we took most people out at nights as there is night life!  We will be writing up more on this trip for the JDSR newsletter.

Without the backing of the JDSR/Our Way/NJCD, an agency of the OU and the hard work by Peter Abelow of Keshet (land planning), this trip would not be possible. Last but not the least, we thanked all the participants for coming on this trip, for their courage in face of fighting up north, and support to the Israeli people who were very happy to greet us. We even packaged boxes of necessities for soldiers fighting up north.  Yes, we did meet some deaf and hard of hearing Israelis.

Those of you who have missed this trip, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax us at 908 352 7395 if you are interested visiting Israel. We hope to have a second trip in December 2007, G-d willing. More details will follow soon.

August 2006, Trip participants:

Ramin Fazel-Yetka
Denise Finkelstein St. Cyr
Michael Griebler
Andrea Kurs
Faith Kuznitz
Shlomo Nussbaum
Svetlana & Gary Rosenblatt
Jay Schwartz
Caryn Tenin
Hillel Waldman
Philip Weiss
Abby Wells
Shira Ziegler
Rachelle & Samuel Landau - Coordinators
Miriam Solomon - Interpreter
Batya Jacob

Deborah Graetz To Be Student Rabbi At TBS

Deborah Graetz will be Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf's Student Rabbi starting in the fall in Tarzana, CA.

Deborah Graetz is currently a fourth-year rabbinic student at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She is following in the footsteps of her father, a reform Rabbi at Temple Isaiah in northern California. She graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2001 with her BA in Classical Civilization and minor degree in Jewish Studies. Studies. She will receive her Master of Hebrew Letters in May 2007 and plans on ordination in May 2009. 

She was born in Argentina and grew up in Brazil before moving to the United States when she was 13 years old and learned sign language when she was 18 years old.

TBS will be welcoming their new student rabbi, Deborah for Shabbat and Simchat Torah Services on Friday, October 20 at 8pm. Temple Judea, Presidents' Lounge 5429 Lindley Av, Tarzana CA 91356.

Philadelphia - HAD Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

Beth Israel Association of the Deaf founded on November 5, 1907 and changed its name to Philadelphia Hebrew Association of the Deaf. They will be hosting their 100th Anniversary Banquet on Sunday, October 21, 2007 from 5pm to 10pm at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, 201 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA. Guest speaker is Alan Abarbanell.

The banquet costs $100.00 per person including parking. Send payment to Gay Balsam, 978 Princeton Place, Warminster, PA 18974. For more information, contact Ronnie Adler 610/644-3154 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New York - HAD Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

The first and oldest Jewish deaf organization in the United States was the Hebrew Congregation of the Deaf in New York which is now known as New York Hebrew Association of the Deaf (NY-HAD), it was founded in 1907. New York - HAD  will celebrate its 100th birthday by hosting 'Celebration of Life' banquet which will be held on Sunday, October 7th, 2007, 4 pm at Abigael's, 1407 Broadway at the corner of 38th Street, New York, N.Y. The food is certified-kosher. Dr. Deborah Menranski, a well-known Deaf authority in Art History, will be the guest speaker.

The banquet costs $125.00 per person. Send payment to Melvin Sobel, 5601 14th Avenue Apt.# 2H, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11219 TTY or VP: 718-851-9326

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