JDAIM Shabbat, February 17, 2018
In February 2018, Adath Jeshurun will observe the 10th Annual Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM.) The Inclusion Committee, in cooperation with the Jewish Family and Children Services, sponsors activities to raise awareness and encourage action to include people with disabilities in all aspects of synagogue life. The Adath Inclusion Committee is dedicated to making the synagogue accessible to all people, especially those who experience special needs and challenges. This year, on Shabbat Terumah, our presenter will be Albert Walla, who will speak and enlighten us on "Being Jewish and Deaf—My Experiences". This should be a very interesting presentation as Mr. Walla speaks through a voice ASL Interpreter.
An ASL interpreter will be present at services for the benefit of people who are deaf or hard of hearing thanks to the generosity of the Edythe and Haskell Cohodes Foundation Fund. The Adath Inclusion Committee is also co-sponsoring with the family of the Bat Mitzvah Isabella Feldman, the Shabbat congregational luncheon following services.
About Albert Walla
Albert Walla, father of three children, is deaf and Jewish, and currently teaches American Sign Language (ASL) in the World Language Department at Eden Prairie High School. He has been an instructor at Metro State University and St Paul College for over 35 years, previously taught at St. Louis Park High School and, until recently, the University of Minnesota. He plans to retire in June of 2018 after teaching for 44 years.
Albert is a Certified Deaf Interpreter and does conference interpreting as well as medical and legal interpreting. He has a BA from Gallaudet University and an MA from New York University. He has won multiple Gold Medals for swimming in the Deaf Olympics, pioneered the development of ASL language mentoring, and has provided workshops for deaf mentors and educational interpreters across the country. To add to his accolades, he is recognized in the Hall of Fame of Gallaudet University and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Albert is a regular interpreter for deaf-blind people at their places of worship. He attends services with and without ASL interpreters. He is an activist for the rights of deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people.
Adath clergy, staff, and congregants share