web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Knesset and Menorah Lawyers Called Upon to Use Their Legal Skills in Israel’s Defense

Learn about the up to the minute human rights and legal challenges facing Israel, while networking with other likeminded professionals and earning CLE credits in your jurisdictions – all at the same time



Saying Mazal Tov in Sign Language

All the boys were called up together, and recited – for the very first time – the blessing for being called to the Torah, with their interpreter.
NAC_4657

December 9, 2013, was a very special day for 63 very special Israeli children.

On this day, boys and girls from all over Israel gathered under the auspices of the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) – Israel to celebrate their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. While this milestone of Jewish adulthood is a significant one for every twelve- and thirteen-year-old, this Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony was a unique one. Every one of its 63 participants was deaf or hearing impaired.

This year’s ceremony took place at the elegant Beit Yaakov Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. The atmosphere was a lively combination of excited exclamations and equally animated signing, as the children, some with hearing aids, some with cochlear implants, others with no visible signs of the challenges they face, filled the seats of the sanctuary.

NAC_4761

IYIM – Israel in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel is the primary organization in Israel providing Jewish identity programming and Torah education for the State’s hard-of-hearing youth population. The Movement’s Judaic Heritage Program for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, directed by Rabbi Chanoch Yeres and Daniel M. Meyer, works in partnership with the National Association for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired to provide services and activities particularly suited towards this extraordinary group of youngsters. The Judaic Heritage Program has even had to invent new signs for Jewish terms, including the blessings for Shabbat candle lighting and Kiddush, for use by Israel’s deaf community.

But the highlight of the year is always the day when dozens of these young people, primarily from traditional and secular homes, join together, along with their parents, siblings, and grandparents, to celebrate the fact that they too can play integral roles, as committed adults, in the Jewish nation.

NAC_4705

The ceremony was opened by Rabbi Chaim Wasserman (President, CYIR), Liat Wizman (JAFI) and Bentzion Chen (Chairman, ACHA), each one of whom addressed the crowd. Whether in speech or in signs, all of them expressed their pride in the young people before them – pride in all they have achieved until now, pride for what they will certainly go on to accomplish in the future.

The boys were then aided by invited guests, members and friends of IYIM in putting on tefillin for the first time. Explanations had to be made in a challenging combination of demonstration, motions, and words, but the patience of the men and the enthusiasm of the boys crossed all communication barriers.

NAC_4743

Then the actual ceremony began. All of the boys were then called up together, and recited – for the very first time – the blessing for being called to the Torah, their interpreter signing the bracha alongside them. Then it was the girls’ turn to come on the bimah. Rabbi Yeres addressed the girls with inspiring words about the woman’s power and role in Judaism. Then they recited together a pledge of commitment to the responsibilities of a Bat Mitzvah. This was followed by a shower of candies.

But the day was far from over. The entire assembly then headed down to the shul’s social hall, where they were hosted to a festive meal, accompanied by musical performance by each group of students. The rest of the afternoon was then spent on an inspirational tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, culminating in the opportunity for prayer – for the first time as adult members of Am Yisrael − at the Kotel Hama’aravi.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Saying Mazal Tov in Sign Language”

  1. Gil Gilman says:

    One of the easiest languages to master, and one of the most neglected.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.
Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)
Latest News Stories
Sony Pictures Entertainment studio, Los Angeles, CA.

The New York premier of Sony’s new film, “The Interview” has been scrapped due to a terror threat.

The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.

Harvard boycotts SodaStream to avoid offense to Palestinian Arab students.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

FM Avigdor Liberman refuses meeting in Jerusalem with Swedish counterpart over PA recognition.

The State Dept. re-defines “unilateral” and won’t veto a resolution that does not explicitly ”prejudge” outcome of peace talks.

Two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority fears criticizing leader Mahmoud Abbas, according to the latest poll. Does he still represent the PA people?

After 5 years in jail, Cuba has released Jewish-American Alan Gross.

The Cincinnati case helped clarify what cities can and cannot do concerning access to public places.

In the boy’s bag police found a Chanukiah, oil candles and matches.

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has expressed outrage over the removal of Hamas from the European Union’s list of officially designated terror organizations, after the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg accepted an appeal filed by Hamas against its inclusion in the list. “We have reached a new low in moral relativity if an organization […]

Jeb Bush announced his intention to “actively” explore the presidency in a Christmas and Hanukkah greeting message. “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!” the former Florida governor Bush said in a Facebook message posted Tuesday. He described conversations he had with his family over Thanksgiving. “As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the […]

“We are not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter,” ‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday following the decision of the General Court of the European Union. “The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it […]

Two-thirds of Palestinian Authority Arabs in Judea and Samaria are afraid to express criticism of Mahmoud Abbas, according to a survey carried out by the Palestinian Policy and Research Center. The poll was conducted after Abbas ordered the arrest of leaders of the Palestinian Authority’s largest workers’ union, which he also outlawed.

High housing prices are blamed, but has anyone suggested that working for a living might help?

The decision may boomerang on Hamas once the court studies new evidence to prove Israel’s case.

“This is the earliest evidence of the use of olive oil in the country, and perhaps the entire Mediterranean basin.”

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff

Over 800 people filled The Shul of Bal Harbour on Monday night, November 24, to hear Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

The Packers joined both local synagogues, Young Israel of Bal Harbour and The Shul of Bal Harbour, and Martin participated in the Bal Harbour commission.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saying-mazal-tov-in-sign-language/2013/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: