In Israel, over 600 people attended Purim services at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue, drawn to what The Jerusalem Post called the country’s first-ever sign-language Megillah reading.
As the Megillah, the text of the Book of Esther that is read on the holiday, was read out loud, a translator rendered the story in sign language, simultaneously.
The Institute for the Advancement of the Deaf and the national-religious rabbinic association Tzohar co-sponsored the event.
“We were saved on Purim because Jews came together as a people and through that merit, God acted to deliver us from our enemies,” Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn, founder of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue, told the Post. “This unity is important, and we can’t have an element of society missing out on an important experience of the Purim holiday, so this was the motivation behind the megila sign language initiative.”
Liane Kupferberg Carter, a writer and advocate who has a son with autism and epilepsy, was showered with deserved attention today in the blogosphere for a post penned in honor of Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month.
Titled “Ten Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Parenting A Child With Special Needs,” the piece is part of a series with Jewish parenting website Kveller.com and Matan, the non-profit that advocates for the inclusion of children with special needs.