1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer

Los Angeles Jewish Deaf Community

How did Jewish deaf people in the Los Angeles area become organized? Although California always had a reputation of being "the first" to start new programs and services for deaf and hard of hearing people such as the relay service, free TTY distribution program and social services, opportunities for Jewish deaf people started very late!

The first and oldest Jewish deaf organization in the United States is the Hebrew Congregation of the Deaf in New York. Now known as Hebrew Association of the Deaf (HAD), it was founded in 1907. There are many reasons why these opportunities in California took awhile. If you may recall, sign language was not widely used in schools until the early 1970's. Oralism was strong, so the only way for deaf kids to participate in school was to lipread their teachers.

TBS High Holiday Choir - 1960
L-R: Elliott Fromberg, Wayne Sonneson, Helen (Zucker) Inga, Barbara Goldman
Choir Leader: Elaine (Melizer Fromberg) Aikins


Interpreter's Corner

Lore Rosenthal
Philadelphia, PA

The most common question posed to any Jewish interpreter is, "how do you interpret from Hebrew?"

Depending on the situation, the background of the deaf consumer(s), and the skill of the interpreter, the answer may vary. It is always important to consult with the deaf people in attendance and solicit their input and preferences.


Jewish Deaf Business

Custom Bead Jewelry
Precious & Semi-Precious Gems
Bead Restringing

50 Dinsmore Avenue, Suite 101
Framingham, MA 01701

508/879-1640 TTY/Voice
617/965-7880 FAX

JDCC is pleased to introduce you to Betsey-Freya Kaplan. She was born deaf in Boston, Massachusetts to musical parents whose families immigrated from Holland and Russia.

She was trained, at 2 years old, to speak and lipread. With influence and encouragement from her parents, Kaplan also took two years of ballet training "to broaden her creative horizons".


Jewish Deaf Profile

The Pillar of the Washington, D.C. Deaf Community


If there is such a thing as a pillar of the Washington, D.C. deaf community, which more or less is far flung, then Helena Schmitt is it.

Helena, a graduate of Gallaudet University and New Jersey School for the Deaf (named as such before it was changed to Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf), has been serving the Washington, D.C. deaf community from Day One. There are few major activities that she hasn't, one way or other, not been involved with. 

Her real job is with the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, a long sounding name of a branch which is part of the Department of Commerce.


More Articles...

  1. Deaf Jews in Sports


This Month's Video

Irina, our event coordinator, shares the exciting updates of the #DeafChanukah event in this video!

Designed and maintained by Eyeth Studios, LLC
donate jdcc
Designed and maintained by Eyeth Studios, LLC
jdcc news