Having just returned from the Jewish Deaf Congress (JDC) Convention this morning, Sharon asked me to write a short report on the week. I was personally involved with the Children's Program and as a working interpreter, so I will give you my perspective on the Convention.
All in attendance agreed that it was highly successful. The hotel was elegant and the food was delicious. The only major problem was that many large activities were delayed in their start time, due to the number of people in attendance.
The Interpreter SIG (Special Interest Group) met on Wednesday, with 16 people in attendance. [FYI, there were another 5 interpreters that were "working" but did not attend the SIG. There were five other Judaic Interpreters who showed up later in the week]. I think this convention had a record number of Judaic interpreters, from MD, OH, CA, NJ, WI, NY, and PA.
The Interpreter SIG had a very lively two-hour discussion, on a variety of topics, ably facilitated by Alisa Warmund. It was very interesting that we did not spend any time discussing "how we interpret". Instead, our discussions focused more on issues of:
a) encouraging national conventions to PAY interpreters, so deaf people have greater access,
b) how deaf adults can gain access to Jewish Concepts/Education (so the consumers we serve will have more background knowledge of their religion, and
c) what type of publication could JDC produce to further explore the expression of Judaism through the use of signs.
The SIG drafted three motions, which were submitted to the JDC Board. They will be voted upon at the next Board Meeting.
The conference also hosted many interesting speakers and workshops on Thursday and Friday. I was able to attend three. Although the topics varied, the overall message seemed to be the same: it is time for the Jewish Deaf Community to explore and discover the "spark" within our Judaism. Speakers such as George Schroeder and Fred Waldorf demonstrated their own strong bond with Judaism, through their personal paths of study. The overall message was to grasp hold of the "Wonders of Judaism", in whatever way is right for you.
Over 50 children participated in the Bethany Roer Memorial Children's Program. We had three groups of children [1-5, 6-10,11-15] who participated in a variety of activities. Field trips included the Ratner Jewish Museum, Children's Museum, Zoo, and tour of Washington Monuments. Guest Speakers included Rabbi Fred Friedman, Connie Friedman, Ido Achrak, Helen Rubin (Israeli Dancing), Mort Feldman (three magic shows), Simon Carmel, George Schroeder, Bonnie Gracer, and David Dropkin (Kesher Camp).
I am pleased to report that our very own Sharon Dror was inducted into the JDC Hall of Fame!
The 2003 JDC Convention will be held in Las Vegas, NV. Erick Posner will be the chair.
. Till next time...