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Sign language class at Jewish Community Center, San Francisco

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is excited to offer a course in American Sign Language (ASL) for children and adults of all ages who wish to communicate with deaf people in the community. In this fun and challenging class, Instructor Steve Mayers uses a “total immersion” approach to learning this graceful and voiceless language. By the end of the course, students will communicate in ASL on a basic level, gain insight into the deaf culture and apply knowledge of ASL structure to continue learning on their own. All participants are urged to enroll early to avoid program being cancelled.

Session Dates: September 29 – November 17
Every Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fees: $220.00

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

Please contact Emily Wallace at 415-292-1200.
Please contact Steve, ASL Instructor, at 650-251-4680.

source: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/cls/1979321869.html

Sukkot event to be held in American Sign Language

Patti Singer – Staff Writer
Democrat and Chronicle
September 26, 2010

The festival of Sukkot, when the Jewish people give thanks for the harvest and commemorate the 40 years in the desert after the exodus from Egypt, may be more special for Rochester’s deaf community this year.

For the first time, there will be a celebration in American Sign Language.

“We recognize that the deaf culture is a special culture,” said Rabbi Asher Yaras of Chabad Lubavitch of Rochester, which is organizing “Sukkot with the Entire Rochester Jewish Deaf Community” at the Hillel Community Day School. “There’s no reason for them to be deprived of a Jewish opportunity.”

Rabbinical student Joshua Soudakoff of Los Angeles, who is deaf, will lead the event, which begins at 6 p.m. Monday. Soudakoff, 19, is returning to Rochester after participating in a summer program with Chabad.

The prospect of a Jewish celebration in ASL was exciting to 16-year-old Hannah Metlay of Brighton, a student at Rochester School for the Deaf.

“I have to convince my mom to go,” she said through an interpreter.

Hannah’s father is president of Congregation Beth Hamedresh-Beth Israel. When Hannah was younger, her mother would interpret for her at synagogue. In any setting, the teen said it can be difficult to follow a conversation when most of it is in English.

Celebrating Sukkot in ASL would increase her interest and understanding. “I can follow what’s going on.”

Soudakoff is from a second-generation deaf family. He wrote in an e-mail that he grew up without formal Jewish education. His mother ran the Jewish Deaf Community Center, a nonprofit educational, religious and charitable organization, and hosted Jewish events in their home for the deaf community.

He wrote that on Monday, he would be discussing the theme of Sukkot, telling stories and answering any questions.

According to the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, there isn’t a census of local Jewish deaf people. Last year’s survey didn’t expressly ask about concerns of the deaf population when it inquired about people with special needs. Sign language interpreters are available at Jewish events.

“You want the Jewish world to be completely accessible to everyone,” said Suzie Lyon, director of education at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Brighton. “You want them to feel attachment.”

Soudakoff wrote that Jewish deaf people would not have the same experience at a mainstream event, and Hannah agreed. Having an event in her language would make it more inspiring, she said.

“I love to socialize with deaf Jewish people. There’s only a few my age.”

Hannah said that need can be even greater for younger Jewish children.

“It’s so important for them to be able to meet other deaf kids and older teenagers so they’re not so isolated.”

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

If you go
What: Sukkot for the Rochester Jewish Deaf Community, featuring a kosher barbecue.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Monday.
Where: Hillel Community Day School, 191 Fairfield Drive, Brighton.
Cost: $7 adults, free for children 10 and younger.
Contact: To make a reservation, call (585) 503-9224 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Source: http://rocnow.com/article/local-news/20109260357

River Edge synagogue expands services to the disabled

Published: 08 September 2010
New Jersey Jewish Standard

In time for the High Holy Days, Temple Avodat Shalom has installed an assisted listening system in its sanctuary. The system was funded by a grant from the Jewish Deaf and Hearing Impaired Council and was secured as a result of the efforts of Stella Teger, the shul’s executive director. The system was built by Joel Rosenblatt, technology chair.

Worshippers use the system through transistor radios that are pre-set to WTAS, the synagogue’s internal radio station that operates on FM frequency 108.0. People are welcome to bring their own transistor radios and personal headphones or earbuds set to 108.0 to take advantage of the assisted listening system during religious services.

The system is part of the synagogue’s continued commitment to ensure that all members can participate in temple activities. The shul offers sign language interpreters for the deaf during the second day of Rosh HaShanah, afternoon Yom Kippur services, and other services during the year. The building is handicap accessible with an access ramp to the bima (pulpit).

Source: http://www.jstandard.com/content/item/river_edge_synagogue_expands_services_to_the_disabled/14782#

New book in UK on history of Deaf Schools

LondonDeafSchoolsThe Jewish Deaf Association (JDA) is hosting a book launch event in Finchley, UK on Sunday, November 7th.

The new book is "The Story of Three London Deaf Schools in Nightingale Lane" written by Peter Jackson.

"The book features The Residential School for Jewish Deaf Children, Oak Lodge School and Annerley Residential School for Deaf Boys, which merged with Oak Lodge School in 1956.

"Tea and cake/biscuits will be served." For information, contact Ann Clements at the JDA to book at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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