Understanding and Interpreting Jewish Prayer in ASL
Together , the Academy for Jewish Religion and the Jewish Deaf Resource Center are offering a program that certifies American Sign Language interpreters and Deaf community prayer leaders by training them in the depth and meaning of the liturgy they already have the tools to interpret on a less profound level .
“ Those who speak with their hands , the Deaf community and ASL interpreters , are speaking in God ’ s image ,” Dr . Prouser said . “ God uses divine fingers in the Bible to achieve miraculous results , and , to write the Ten Commandments . So when we use our hands to communicate , whether as the Deaf community , or as ASL interpreters , we are acting in the divine image .”
JDRC President , Susan Cohen , notes that “ The Academy for Jewish Religion and the JDRC have created an historic partnership to address the critical need of training hearing and Deaf ASL interpreters for synagogue services and programs of Jewish context .” Together , JDRC and AJR developed a new certifcate program ...“ that includes lectures and ASL prayer labs and offers professional interpreters and Deaf prayer leaders an opportunity to analyze and understand Jewish prayer so that they can create an equivalent experience for Jewish deaf individuals who rely on American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication . Members of the Deaf community have a voice in the design of the program so that it can benefit both hearing and Deaf interpreters and Deaf prayer leaders .”
As Dr . Prouser says , “ It ’ s part of our belief in inclusion of all sorts , and our belief in the importance of the diversity of the Jewish community . It ’ s about the respect we feel for all members of the community , and how we cherish them .”