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Beth Torah of the Deaf To Honor Friedman

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Beth Torah of the Deaf in New York will be honoring Rabbi Fred and Connie Friedman during their 22nd Melave Malka on November 28th. Also scheduled as guest speaker is ChaimTzvi Kakon, an Orthodox Deaf Rabbi who is the grandson of Rabbi David Rabinowitz who was the first Deaf Orthodox Rabbi. Rabbi Kakon is currently director of Camp Gesher L'Chaim for the Hearing-lmpaired in Baltimore, MD.

Shabbaton Weekend In Toronto, Canada

Over the August 28-30th weekend, Toronto Jewish Association of the Deaf (TJAD) hosted its first Shabbaton Weekend at a hotel which was attended by over 80 people. This event which had Rabbi Chaim Kakon and Rabbi David Rabinowitz from Baltimore, MD participating, thanks to funding through the United Jewish Appeal Federation as part of Israel's 50th Anniversary. Martyn Wayne reports that "we had great workshops, children's programming, entertainments and a great opportunity to learn more about our Jewish roots. We had people coming in from the U.S.A. mostly from NYC, Halifax (Nova Scotia), and Montreal". TJAD is planning a Retreat Weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake over the November 6-8th weekend to explore ways for TJAD's future.

Two Deaf Actresses Appear On PBS

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is scheduled to show three deaf actresses in an episode of 'The Puzzle Place on or around December 4th. The episode, titled 'I'm Talking to You', includes Academy-winning actress Marlee Matlin and deaf teenagers Sheena McFeeley and Mario Lovitch. Both Matlin and Lovitch are Jewish. According to the program description on the website for the Deaf Entertainment Foundation (DEF) of Beverly Hills, CA, "Syke is frustrated because one girl at the Play Center seems to be monopolizing the Shoot the Hoops game. He can't get a turn at the game because the girl keeps ignoring him. He returns later with Kiki and finds the same girl and her friend still playing. Kiki confronts the girls and discovers that they're both hearing impaired. Jane (Sheena McFeeley) and Wendy (Mario Lovitch) didn't realize Skye wanted to play the game because they didn't hear him talking to them. Back at the Puzzle Place, Syke and Kiki use the Weebus to reach deaf actress and Academy Award winner, Marlee Matlin, who teaches them about hearing disabilities, lip reading, and sign language, Jane and Wendy, portrayed by two hearing impaired young actors, also helped the kids understand about the degree of deafness and the differences in abilities to speak within the deaf community. Check your local TV listing for the exact day and time.

Gabrielle Petroff's Bat Mitzvah

gab Over one hundred people attended a Sabbath service at Temple Beth Torah (TBT) in Philadelphia where Gabrielle 'Gabbi' Petroff had her bat mitzvah on Saturday, August 22nd. Lore Rosenthal interpreted the ceremony as Petroff led the congregation in the 'Bar'chu' with both voice and signs in Hebrew and English. She may have been nervous because it was the first time she used her voice in such a large gathering. Her regular interpreter, Karen Beth Staller, who had interpreted Petroff's TBT religious school classes, was also present but Petroff had requested Staller not 'work' on this special day but be able to enjoy this moment in Gabbi's life as a proud spectator! First, Petroff voiced in Hebrew, then asked the congregation to join her in English which she signed and voiced. Her parents was also given the honor of reading parts of the Torah.

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