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As soon as the Hebrew month of "Elul" begins, we will start a time of reflection and introspection to prepare for the high holy days. Watch a message from Hillel Goldberg, our Spiritual Service Coordinator. The ASL Shabbat Coalition's Spiritual Service Team is seeking lay leaders for the ASL High Holy Days. If you are interested, email us at

Please share this eNews with your family and friends. If you are not already a subscriber of ASL Shabbat Coalition's email list, email us your full name and email address at

Shabbat shalom!

Members of the ASL Shabbat Coalition and friends,

Hillel at GallaudetJDC, and JDRC


Visual description: Hillel Goldberg, a white gray-haired male with a full beard, mustache, black rimmed glasses, and a black yarmulke, is signing his message. He is wearing a light blue short sleeved button down shirt. In the background, against a cream colored wall, there is a plant on top of a brown antique cabinet. On the right on the window are blinds and a floral patterned drape pulled to one side. The video is captioned. The text of his message can be shown in the transcript at the link here.



We thank Rabbi Darby J. Leigh for giving us permission to re-share the vlog he did last year on Elul for this issue.

Visual description: Rabbi Darby J. Leigh, a black mustached and bearded male with wire framed glasses, is wearing a dark blue sports jacket over a light blue button down shirt. He is standing in front of a wood paneled background while signing his sermon in ASL. The video is captioned. To see the transcript of the signed message, visit this link.



TRUE OR FALSE: Which is true? What is not? Find the answers in the articles listed in the sources section below.

  1. ____The Jewish holidays are based on the lunar calendar.
  2. ____Two main symbols of Rosh Hashanah are figs and pomengranetes.
  3. ____Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the new Jewish calendar year at which time we celebrate our connections to all of creation and begin our process of repentance.
  4. ____On Rosh Hashanah, it's not traditional to eat a fruit you haven't eaten in a long time.
  5. ____Yom Kippur is so holy that we get 30 days to prepare. This period is called Yamim Noraim.
  6. ____Yom Kippur fast is long; it's 25 hours! Fasting begins at sundown on Yom Kippur and ends one hour past sundown the following day.
  7. ____On Yom Kippur, Jews fast, attend synagogue, pray, refrain from work and pleasurable activities; they reflect on the past year and contemplate the future. 
  8. ____The use of electricity, wearing of leather, bathing, cosmetics, fragrances and other pleasures are all allowed on Yom Kippur.
  9. ____To complete the requirements for repentance, one must seek change, feel regret and be determined to change. He/she/they also make an effort to repair wrongs committed. 


14 Fun Facts about Rosh Hashana and the Holiday Season in Israel (Israel21c)

Fun Facts About the Jewish High Holidays (JCC PGH)

How to Celebrate Yom Kippur (Jewish Unpacked)

9 Things You Didn't Know About Rosh Hashanah (My Jewish Learning)

7 Fast Facts About Yom Kippur That May Surprise You (Kveller)

The 10 Days of Repentance (My Jewish Learning)




Happy birthday to our celebrants!

  • Yossi Alkoby
  • Jeffrey Michael Cohen
  • Jerald Marcus Cohen
  • Debbie Roth
  • Vicki Saltzman
  • Toby Silver
  • Allon Yomtov
  • Marcia Zisman

Happy Anniversary to our celebrants!

  • Hillel and Deborah Goldberg (8/1) - 24 years
  • Dr. Steven Rattner and Tracey Rattner - (8/1) - 41 years
  • Karyn Rosner and Pete Setliff (8/6) - 14 years

For the next issue, let us know if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or a milestone. Email us at



JDC - L'Chaim Learning: What Does Judaism Say about Death and Afterlife? (online)

Lecturer: Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff

Wednesdays, September 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2023

5:30 - 7:00 PM EST

Register for Zoom link at:

Members - Free

Non-members - $100.00

JDC - Havurah Circle Chat for Women: The Spiritual Meaning of Mikveh (online)

Lecturer: Larisa Aranbayeva

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

7:30 - 9:00 PM EST

Register for Zoom link at

Members - Free

Non-members - $ 25.00

ASL Shabbat Coalition - Virtual ASL High Holidays

  • Virtual ASL Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 15, 2023, 7:00 PM EST

Register for a Zoom meeting link:

  • Virtual ASL Yom Kippur Closing Service

Monday, September 25, 2023, 5:30 PM EST

Register for a Zoom meeting link:

For more information, email ASL Shabbat Coalition,

JDC - L'Chaim Learning: Creating a Jewish Life That Matters (online)

Lecturer: Marina Fanshteyn

Thursday, September 21, 2023

7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

Register for a Zoom link at

Members - Free

Non-members - $ 25.00

JDC: A Bar/B'nai Mitzvah Journey Program in ASL (for families)

Coordinator and Instructor: Hillel Goldberg

October 8, 2023 - April 7, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 PM EST

Register at

Melton in ASL/JDRCLove, Loss, and Wisdom (online)

Faculty - Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe

Wednesdays, October 11, 18, 25, and Nov. 1, 8, 15, 2023 (6 weeks)

7:00 - 8:30 PM EST

For more info and to RSVP:

Fee: $ 75.00 (partially funded by JDRC's operating grant from UJA Federation of New York)

WSJD WSJD's 50th Anniversary (In Person)

Sunday, October 15, 2023

1:00- 4:00 PM EST

Black Rock Arts Center

Germantown, Maryland

Ticket fee: $75.00 (Individuals), $25.00 (Children), $ 175 (Family with at least one child)

Register at

JDRC/Union for Reform Judaism - Introduction to Judaism taught in ASL (online)

Faculty - Rabbi Rebecca L. Dubowe

Mondays, October 16, 2023 - March 25, 2024 (20 weeks)

8:00 - 9:30 PM EST


Fee:  $180.00 (partially funded by JDRC's operating grant from UJA Federation of New York)


Do you have news or resources to share with us? Email us at

1.The Jewish Deaf Resource Center is compiling a list of Deaf led, ASL interpreted or captioned High Holiday services for you. If your synagogue is offering ASL interpreted or captioned services, email JDRC at the following information by August 14:

date, time, type of service,  type of accessibility services provided, event link, and ticket information.

2. Did you miss last month's service? Look for past ASL Shabbat video recordings and other videos produced by JDRC at the bottom of the JDRC homepage.



Donations help support voice interpreting services and other incidental expenses related to monthly ASL Shabbat and holiday services.  This month, we thank donors for their support:

  • June McMahon
  • Judy Motylinski

The ASL Shabbat Coalition is compiling a list of names of individuals you want to remember during the Yizkor memorial service that will take place on Yom Kippur. Donate $18.00 to have names listed on a slide that will be shown during the closing Yom Kippur service.

Donate no later than 12:00 p.m., September 20, 2023.

To donate, go to

Under the "I want my donation dedicated to:" box, you will be given two options: ASL Shabbat and JDRC. Select "ASL Shabbat Coalition."


Under "I want my donation to be dedicated in memory of ____________, father of ____________ or remembered by ________family.

Questions? Ask us at



Special thanks go to Caption Anywhere for their captioning and video editing services.

Special thanks go to JDRC's grant through UJA-Federation of New York for partially funding ASL Shabbat.


This event is made possible through a collaborative effort of three organizations that comprise the ASL Shabbat Coalition (ASC): Hillel at GallaudetJewish Deaf Congress, and the Jewish Deaf Resource Center.


Hillel @ Gallaudet promotes inclusive Jewish educational, religious, social, cultural, and communal activities at Gallaudet University by creating opportunities for diverse expressions of Jewish life among students.


Jewish Deaf Congress (JDC) is an inclusive and accessible Jewish Deaf national organization, network and resource center, rooted in Judaism and Deaf experiences, cultures and values of lifelong Jewish learning to discover, connect and flourish.

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Jewish Deaf Resource Center, a pluralistic national 501(C3) nonprofit organization, builds bridges between Jews who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the individuals and organizations which serve the wider Jewish community. We do this through advocacy, providing guidance on communication access solutions, collaborating on accessible educational opportunities, advising on inclusive public policy and practices, forming partnerships, sharing resources, and presenting training sessions.

Jewish Deaf Resource Center P.O. Box 318 Hartsdale, NY 1053| Website