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Jewish Deaf Congress conference UPDATE


Latest updates from the Jewish Deaf Congress (JDC) conference in Washington, DC:

Elections of officers


  • Jacob Salem, President
  • Archie St. Cyr, Vice-President
  • Simon Roffe, Treasurer
  • Secretary - vacant

Board Members:

  • Joshua Soudakoff
  • Rebecca Dubowe
  • Allan Karp
  • Denise St. Cyr
  • Larissa Aranbayeva

Awards announced:

  • Celia & Leonard Warshawsky Young Adult Award: Jamie Perlman
  • Anna & Henry Plapinger Award: Susan Cohen

Presenters To Appear at Jewish Deaf Congress

ReenergizingJewishAmong presenters scheduled to participate at JDC Conference 2013 held in Washington, DC May 30-June 2nd:

Rabbi David Kastor graduated from Gallaudet University with BA in Computer Science in 1986. He married an Israeli deaf woman, Tchia. He received his smichas (rabbinical ordination) from Ner Yisrael of Baltimore and Pirchei Shoshanim. He started the Ahavas Israel school of the deaf in Frederick, Maryland and taught there for 2 years. He has worked for deaf Jewish outreach, Our Way under Orthodox Uniion for 25 years.

Ortal Meir, a master student in Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto, Ontario CA. She has an experience working in the fields of tax law and disability rights advocacy in Israel. She was a vice-president and president at Israel Deaf Sports Organization in 2009-2012. She was a counselor at Rama summer camp, WIS, USA in 2005. She served in the Israel Defense Forces in 2002-2004.

DeborahSMayerDeborah S. Mayer, St. Louis, MO, MA, CRC, PCC, Owner, Crossroad Solutions Coach, LLC, is a professional certified leadership and life coach recognized by the International Coach Federation. Deborah coaches one-to-one and leads interactive workshops, conferences and retreats on life and leadership development for Deaf and hearing communities. She designs highly interactive coaching and partnership programs that maximize potential and empower individuals to achieve the greatness in them. Deborah teaches professional online coaching courses at Gallaudet University and through her company, Crossroad Solutions Coach.

EllenMansfieldEllen Mansfield, Born Deaf in Manhattan, New York but grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. Went to public school where Ellen learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. Spent all summers in Goldens Bridge countyside, north of New York City. She earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Ellen has led a life filled with art and experiences with a background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other media that have brought her onto her current journey. When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been part of her artwork. Life was starting to blossom as she was surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, which developed increasingly colorful images including watercolors , oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork. Ellen had commissions for handpainted tiles for mural decorations, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace mantel surroundings, and murals behind ranges



Deaf-mute children's prayer heard

ynetAkiva Novick
Published: 05.31.13, 13:08
Israel Jewish Scene
ynet news.com

Thanks to new halachic ruling, bar mitzvah boys who can't hear nor speak may now read from Torah just like their friends

RabbiMetzgerFor decades, deaf-mute bar mitzvah boys have not been called up to read from the Torah due to their disability. Now, following a new halachic issued by Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, these boys will be able to celebrate their coming of age just like their friends.

According to the Halacha, people called up to read from the Torah must say the blessing out loud, which is impossible for those who cannot hear nor speak. This situation caused a lot of distress for deaf-mute bar mitzvah boys, who have been praying for a solution.


Rabbi says deaf 'ineligible for conversion'

DeafineligibleRivkah Luvitch
Published:  05.27.08, 15:30
Israel Jewish Scene
ynet news.com

Those who cannot hear, cannot fulfill mitzvoth and therefore, believes rabbinical court in 2008, cannot convert to Judaism

Anyone inflicted with a severe hearing and speech impediment cannot undergo Jewish conversion. This harsh statement was recently made by Rabbi Avraham Sherman of the Chief Rabbinical Court, in a ruling now made public.

And so the story goes: Many years ago a deaf woman appeared before the Conversions Court and declared her desire to become a Jew so she could marry her Jewish love. The court ruled in the majority that there was no point in converting her, since the Halacha exempts the deaf from performing mitzvahs; and since the conversion would be rendered insignificant, there was no way to perform it.



This Month's Video

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

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