& Hard of Hearing
Yiddish for the deaf and hard of hearing
has a different set of requirements than for the blind and visually
impaired. Reading is no longer a problem. Thus the size of the font
is not significant and graphics may be used. Also writing Yiddish is
more easily learned. The major problems are speaking and being able
to hear Jewish and Klezmer music. The number of deaf and hearing-impaired
organizations is less. By using a cane/sight dog others know that one
is disabled even from a distance. However it is not as obvious when
meeting a deaf or hard of hearing individual The U.S. has no accepted
standard for deafness as does Israel. In Israel a loss of 45dB is the
standard. The U.S. legal definition for visually
Web Sites for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Directory of Jewish
By Jon Kalish
This ran as a sidebar
to the cover story in Jewish Week in May 1995. Directory of Services
Sidebar The following organizations help deaf Jews. In some cases you
need to use a relay service to "speak" to deaf people who have TDD's
(telecommunication devices for the deaf). The relay service operator
listens to your conversation and types it out to the person on the other
end. The operator then reads the deaf person's response aloud to you.
The relay number in NY is (800) 421-1220. A number of software programs
let personal computers to communicate with some, but not all TDD's.
The AT&T operator for the deaf (800-855-1155) can connect a computer
to those older TDD's it is unable to communicate with.
The New York Society
for the Deaf
344 E. 14th Street, N.Y., N.Y. 10003 contact: Joel Ziev(212)
777-3900 (voice and TDD) Originally founded as the Society for the Welfare
of Jewish Deaf to serve mostly teenagers 83 years ago, NYSD has a variety
of services for deaf people of all faiths, including sign language classes
and housing projects for the deaf.
The Hebrew Association
of the Deaf (HAD)
and Congregation Beth Or of Queens are reached through NYSD. HAD
is an unaffiliated congregation that meets at the Emmanuel Y on 1st
Ave. and 14th St.. Beth Or is a reform minyan that meets at the Marriot
Laguardia Hotel. Both congregations are led by Rabbi David Edelson,
the associate director of NYSD. HAD and Beth Or have joint services
and holiday celebrations. Edelson conducts a Shabbat service monthly
at each shul.
Beth Torah of the Deaf
1712 Ave. T, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11229 contact: Frady Steinhaus (718)
339-8324 (TDD or relay service) A deaf Orthodox group based in the Flatbush
home of Frady Steinhaus, a deaf mother and hat maker. It provides interpreters
for Jewish lectures, funerals and weddings and has a Melave Malke every
Thanksgiving weekend that attracts 200 deaf Jews from all over the U.S.
Thanks to Beth Torah, for the last 12 years deaf Orthodox men have learned
Sundays at the home of a Boro Park rabbi. Deaf Orthodox women study
at the home of an Orthodox woman in Flatbush. The group has 4 rabbis
who advise deaf Jews on halakha.
Our Way c/o the National
Conference of Synagogue Youth
333 Seventh Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10001 contact: Rabbi Eliezer Liederfiend
(212) 563-4000 x 234 Our Way is the Orthodox Union's outreach effort
and works with adults and youths. It coordinates the Association of
Jewish Parents of the Deaf and the Deaf Jewish Singles Registry. Never
married singles looking for a shidduch can write to the registry at
P.O. Box 10-0711, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11210 or call Yitzchok Dach (718) 252-5619
(TDD), Shmuel & Rachelle Landau (908) 352-7395 (TDD) or Rabbi Liederfiend
at the Our Way office.
The Brooklyn Hebrew
Society of the Deaf (BHSD)
c/o the Hebrew Educational Society 9502 Seaview Ave., Brooklyn,
N.Y. 11236 contact: Susan Greenberg 718-843-3959 BHSD meets at the Hebrew
Educational Society building in Canarsie once a month. The group holds
High Holy Day services at the Canarsie site, which is also the home
of its Sunday Hebrew School. There were about 10 students last year
but this year there are just two, according to Susan Greenberg, a member
of the BHSD cemetery committee.
1747 E. 24th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11229 contact Moshe Yaraslowitz
(718) 339-4139 The Hebrew word haazinu means to hear and this national
group helps parents of deaf or hearing-impaired children obtain financial
support for hearing aids, FM assistive listening devices and speech
therapy. Haazinu believes in mainstreaming Jewish children into yeshivas
and is organizing support groups for parents of deaf Jewish children.
The National Congress
of Jewish Deaf (NCJD)
1717 Bagley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90035 contact: Sharon Ann Soudakoff
310-836-2666 (TDD) or fax 310-202-0035. NCJD has a book on Jewish signs,
publishes a quarterly newsletter, a biennual conference, a list of deaf
synagogues and deaf Jewish groups in major metropolitan areas in the
P.O. Box 789 Monsey N.Y. 10952 contact: Rabbi Tovia Singer
914-356-1915 Active in kiruv work and battles proselytizing of deaf
Jews in cyberspace.
[deaf jews] [Kalish on
the Web!] [write]
Copyright©1997 Jon Kalish
Jewish Deaf Community
Jewish deaf people in Southern California