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Deaf awareness service at Radlett Reform

Pictured left to right: E J Cohen (ASL signer), Elizabeth Arendt (recipient of one of the dogs), Rabbi Celia Surget, Rabbi Paul Freedman, Esther Rose Bevan (BSL signer) with Head Warden Jack Alvarez in the front.

In addition to sign language interpreters, Radlett Reform Synagogue had  two very well behaved canine visitors attend Shabbat morning service on 30 December – the hearing dogs were present to help mark a deaf awareness service.

Senior Rabbi, Paul Freedman spoke about the ancient role of the meturgeman, the translator, which was particularly appropriate as the Torah was leyned phrase by phrase in Hebrew by Rabbi Celia Surget interspersed by Rabbi Freedman leyning the translation in English, whilst the English in the whole service was signed in British Sign Language by Esther Rose Bevan and the Hebrew in American Sign Language by E J Cohen.

Rabbi Freedman said “whilst our quadrilingual service this morning was particularly accessible, it also served as a useful reminder of how difficult life can be for those in the deaf community”.

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