Melton in ASL - Jewish Deaf Resource Center

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Jewish Deaf Resource Center
PO Box 318 Hartsdale, NY 10530

Melton in ASL is partially funded by the Jewish Deaf Resource Center's operating grant from UJA Federation of New York.

Director of Melton in ASL Pilot

School DirectorSusan Cohen is the Jewish Deaf Resource Center's third president. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Cohen was born Deaf to hearing parents and raised in a Conservative Jewish household. Her siblings had the bar and bat mitzvahs that she did not have because such opportunities were not available to her as a Deaf person. Inequities such as these inspired her passion to increase communication access in the wider Jewish community. Ms. Cohen was elected president of JDRC in February 2021. She believes that the JDRC has given her a platform to forge partnerships with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and the wider Jewish community to increase communication access through education and advocacy. Ms. Cohen has been integral in the collaborative initiative of a national ASL Shabbat Coalition which was founded in April 2020 shortly after the onset of the pandemic, when four Jewish Deaf organizations created an online ASL spiritual community.  

Faculty of Melton in ASL Pilot
School DirectorA native of Los Angeles, California, Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has served several synagogues in different cities, including Thousand Oaks, CA, Hollywood, CA, and New Brunswick, NJ. Currently, she is the rabbi for Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington, IL. Since her arrival during the summer of 2015, Rabbi Dubowe has played an active role as the spokesperson on behalf of the small but vibrant Jewish community in Bloomington. She serves as the co-chair of the Faith and Outreach committee associated with the Not In Our Town organization, a grassroots movement focused on stopping hate, addressing bullying, and building safe, inclusive communities for all. In addition, Rabbi Dubowe co-founded the McLean County Interfaith Alliance, which promotes interfaith dialogue and fellowship within the greater Bloomington Normal faith communities. In 2016, Rabbi Dubowe was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Delaware Valley University, PA, and in 2018, she received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. An avid learner of theology, Rabbi Dubowe’s most recent essay was included in Because My Soul Longs for You: Integrating Theology into our Lives, a book recently published by CCAR Press (Central Conference of American Rabbis). Besides serving the rabbinate full-time, Rabbi Dubowe also offers her time to the greater Jewish Deaf Community, including teaching the first-ever Introduction to Judaism in ASL in partnership with the Union of Reform Judaism, which she is currently teaching. This community has a special place in Rabbi Dubowe’s life as she is the first female Deaf rabbi ordained in the world. Rabbi Dubowe has spoken at numerous synagogues throughout the country, written various articles, and led webinars on the importance of inclusion within the Jewish community.

(Please note: This course is exclusively for Deaf students.)

Love, Loss and Wisdom
Discover, during this six-week course, the Jewish responses and rituals that take us through mourning and arrive at a place of healing. When death inevitably enters our lives, Jewish wisdom and ritual can help us cope with heartbreak and loss, the anguish of why suffering exists. We will also seek to understand the big questions of what Judaism says about life after death and its understanding of messianic times. With a wider lens, we gain a context with which to better understand our moments of anguish as individuals and as a community.
Table of Contents
Lesson 1 - Why Me, Why Anyone? Making Sense of Suffering
Lesson 2 - A Virtuous Visit: Making Time for the Sick
Lesson 3 - Rest in Peace: Jewish Customs in Death and Burial
Lesson 4 - Good Grief: How Mourning Helps Heal
Lesson 5 - The Soul’s Steps: What happens next?
Lesson 6 - Are We There Yet? Jewish Views on the Messianic Era

Meets: Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Eastern, October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 2023
Teacher: Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe
Location: Online via Zoom
Number of Sessions: 6
Coursebook: eBook included with registration

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