Inclusion Efforts in Our Communities: Shaare Tefila Congregation
Shaare Tefila Congregation in Olney, Maryland offers sign language interpretation at shabbat morning services once a month. A member of the congregation approached Rabbi Jonah Layman and asked for his High Holiday sermons in advance so that she could sign to her cousin. Rabbi Layman then asked if she would be willing to sign on shabbat as well. The synagogue has advertised on the Washington Society for the Jewish Deaf listserv in order to reach out to the Jewish deaf community. Though no one who is deaf - aside from the cousin of the one who signs - attends, it is important for the shul to know that all Jews should feel welcome in the synagogue.
Here are a few links to help you learn more about the Jewish deaf community and to get involved:
The Jewish Deaf Resource Center
Allowing the Deaf to be Jews - article in Kolot
Washington Society of Jewish Deaf - has a resources page on its website that is very helpful
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