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Sign Of The Times

Ted Merwin
Special To The Jewish Week

Communication between parents and children is often fraught with misunderstanding. But few children are frustrated even by the simple mechanics of relating to their parents. Gloria Rosen’s one-woman show, “Listen … Can You Hear Me Now?,” is the autobiographical tale of a hearing child with two deaf parents. When it ran on the West Coast, the Santa Monica Mirror hailed the show as “amazingly funny,” adding that “audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, identified with it.”

Directed by Peter Flint, “Listen” is the story of a deaf Jewish couple who met and married in the interwar era in New York, at a time when sign language was viewed as impeding the ability of the deaf to read lips and communicate with the rest of the world. They ended up needing their daughter to repeat what others were saying, whether in person or on the phone.

Rosen, who appeared earlier this summer as the ghostly grandmother in the Off-Off Broadway play, “Bubby’s Shadow,” has performed in many productions in New York, as well in as the independent film, “How To Break Up With Your Mother.” Her show has been performed at women’s theater festivals in New York and Los Angeles. The inability to use sign language hampered communication between Rosen and her parents. “Reading lips can take you only so far,” the performer told The Jewish Week. “You can’t convey anything intimate; you can only give a basic message. The person whose lips you’re reading can’t be laughing or eating — or it’s like trying to read a printed sentence with the words all jumping up and down.”

Photo: Gloria Rosen's one-woman show "Listen ... Can You Hear Me Now" depicts life as the hearing child of deaf parents.

Misunderstandings were legion. “When I talked to people on the phone on my parents’ behalf,” Rosen said, “they often thought that I was saying that my parents were dead rather than deaf!”

While often heartbreaking, “Listen … Can You Hear Me Now?” is thus leavened with humor. Among the funniest scenes are those involving telephone relay operators, who converted oral messages into typed ones, or vice versa. This go-between was required to verbalize everything that he or she heard, including side comments and background noises.

“Some relay operators were frustrated actors,” Rosen recounted. “If my mother were calling me through the relay, and she were a little worried, the relay operator would make it sound as if she were totally distraught! I could only handle one mother at a time.”

Rosen struggled to find her own voice. “You don’t get to have tantrums, because no one can hear you.” Her mother perpetrated a species of emotional blackmail. “I wasn’t even allowed to get upset; my mother would say that I could hear, so I couldn’t possibly have anything to get sad or frustrated about. And if she wanted to stop me from doing something, she would ask if it isn’t enough that she can’t hear, do I need to do this to her as well?”

“Listen … Can You Hear Me Now?” will be performed on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. at the Women at Work Festival, held at Stage Left Studio, 214 W. 30th St., sixth floor.  For tickets, $20, visit www.stageleftstudio.net.

For tickets, $25, call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.nymf.org.

Source: http://www.thejewishweek.com/arts/theater/sign-times?nocache=1

Video and Art Gallery updates from JDMM

JoshYomKippThe Jewish Deaf Multimedia (JDMM) posted the following videos and blogs the past month:

     > "The Real You: A Yom Kippur Message"
Are you a bad Jew? Is there such a thing? In this video, find out who the "real you" is!

      Play video - http://jewishdeafmm.org/the-real-you


     > "Rosh Hashanah: The Purpose of Life"
What is the purpose of life. Why were we placed here in this world? What does G-d want of us? This theme ties in with the deeper meaning of Rosh Hashanah as the day that G-d created human beings.

      Play video - http://jewishdeafmm.org/rh-purpose-life

     > "Why Fast?"
This video by Yeshoshua Soudakoff posted to Chabad's Jewish.TV site.

      Play video - http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/1959594/jewish/Why-Fast.htm

     > Addition to JDMM Art Gallery

Su Robbins' latest artworks - a tribute to the shofar. This creative piece ties in perfectly with this time of the year - the High Holidays. It also provides the viewer with an insight of how a deaf person understands the blast of the shofar.

      Visit JDMM Art Gallery - http://jewishdeafmultimedia.createsend5.com/t/r-l-kjalyd-ydlytdtyik-i/

Source: Jewish Deaf Multimedia

Jonathan Weiss opens Big Mango Cafe in southern California

BigMangoCafeReprinted from "Playa Vista Today"
Sept 9, 2012

NEW! Big Mango Cafe in Playa Vista
They serve specials each day such as Soup of the Day: Roasted Garlic Potato (Vegetarian), Sandwich of the day: Chicken Milanese with Italian Checca, Lettuce, Tomato and Basil Aioli on Focaccia Roll, Wraps of the Day: Asian Chicken Salad Wrap (which I tried and was delicious!)

They also serve coffee drinks, fresh pastries and prepared salads and entrees.

There's a new food destination in Playa Vista, Big Mango Café.   
I met with owners Jonathan Weiss and Adam Drucker at their new restaurant at the Campus business park.

12BigMangoCafe2Big Mango Cafe is a casual breakfast, lunch & coffee spot based on the long established Big Mango Catering company from renowned Chef Jonathan Weiss.

He has trained under famed chef Patrick Terrail at Ma Maison & worked with such chefs as Wolfgang Puck, Julia Child, Paul Bocuse, Paul Prudhomme, Susan Feniger of Border Grill and Bravo's Top Chef Masters.

Big Mango Cafe
12035 Waterfront Dr
Suite 104
Playa Vista, CA 90094
(310) 862-9400

BigMangoCafe3Hours: Mon-Fri 11 am - 2 pm
Open for Breakfast in approx. 2 weeks at 8:30 am



Source: Playa Vista Today

Simchat Torah Morning Service - Interpreted, NYC - Oct 9

TandVTown & Village (T&V) Synagogue announces they will provide Simchat Torah Morning Service on October 9th with with sign language interpreter.

During this event, they will also honor Bram Weiser, its Coordinator of ASL-Interpreted Services & Events now in its eighth year of providing services almost every month.

     WHAT: A Simchat Torah Morning Service with full readings from the Torah and Haftorah (Prophets) along with Hakafot (dancing with the Torahs)

     WHEN: 10:30 AM -- 1:30 PM (approx.) on Tuesday, October 9th (SPECIAL TIMES due to extended prayers and Hakafot)

     WHERE: Town & Village (T&V) Synagogue
334 East 14th Street
(between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

A Kiddush - refreshments and social hour - and luncheon will follow Services. For information,  contact Bram Weiser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Source: Bram Weiser


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