Printer Friendly

OLD AND NEW; DEAF CELEBRANTS PUT SPIN ON SEDER.

Byline: Jesse Hiestand Daily News Staff Writer

About 90 deaf Jews shared the meaning and spirit of Passover on Wednesday in a unique and innovative way through the experimental use of multimedia projectors at a Seder.

The two towering projection screens allowed the group to follow the prayers, songs and readings together, where in the past they would have struggled to watch a sign language interpreter while trying to read along with the Haggadah prayer booklet.

``It's amazing. Deaf people need the visuals so there's no miscommunication, no misunderstanding. That way they get accurate information,'' said Evylyn Zola, 76, who is deaf and communicated through an interpreter.

Several deaf actors attended the dinner Wednesday, including Marlee Matlin, who won a Best Actress Oscar for ``Children of a Lesser God.''

``In the past we didn't feel like we could pray together all at the same time. Each table prayed separately and the timing was off,'' Matlin said through interpreter Connie Schultz. ``It's very exciting. Now we can pray together.''

Zola said she traveled from her home in Concord, Calif., to Burbank's Temple Emanu El specifically to see the Jewish Deaf Community Center, a national organization based in Burbank, try this new technology.

Her daughter, Tarzana resident Sue Carol Zola, said the projectors gave her mother an opportunity to better follow the symbolism of Passover and participate in its sense of community.

``Now she gets to understand what the customs are, why we celebrate this holiday and its historical impact,'' said Sue Carol Zola.

Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, started at sundown Wednesday. The first of the eight nights is treated as a feast to God, with family and friends gathering to remember and celebrate the Israelites' freedom from slavery and their exodus from Egypt.

Traditionally each person takes turns reading from the Haggadah, a ritual that deaf people found difficult.

``I didn't know what page they were on or what words they were following,'' said Gary Sidansky, a deaf 11-year-old from Thousand Oaks.

In past years, the Jewish Deaf Community Center used sign-language interpreters at its local Seder dinners.

With the projectors, there was no need for a print version of the Haggadah, although two interpreters were hired to sign along with the colorful graphics on the screens.

The projectors were made possible by a $5,600 grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

Organizers hope to repeat this event in the San Fernando Valley next year and be the model for other deaf Jewish groups.

``One thing that's nice about this technique is that it's run by computers, which means we have the ability to distribute a copy of the program on CD-ROM to other deaf Jewish groups around the country to use,'' said David Rosenbaum, a board member at the center.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Photo: Robert Sidansky signs to his son Gary during a Jewish Deaf Community Center Seder at Temple Emanu El in Burbank.

Tom Mendoza/Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 1, 1999
Words:493
Previous Article:TAGGERS BLAMED IN SPREE; CHP ARRESTS TEENS SUSPECTED OF CAUSING $10,000 IN DAMAGE.
Next Article:SNAG SCUTTLES BRUSH FEE, AT LEAST FOR NOW; COUNCIL CITES ERROR BY FIRE DEPARTMENT; SUSPENDS $13 CHARGE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS.


Related Articles
TEMPLE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR FOR TREES WITH SYMBOLIC MEAL.
REMEMBERING AND RELIVING; WEDNESDAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER FEAST.
PASSOVER PREPARATIONS; TEMPLE SCHEDULES SEDER, SERVICES.
DINE BEAT : RESTAURANT NOTES THE FLAVOR OF '78.
STUDENTS USE BIBLE TALE AS LITERATURE LESSON; PASSOVER PROVIDES SPRINGBOARD FOR CELEBRATION IN CLASSROOM.
JEWISH ELDERS SIT DOWN TO FEAST AT SEDER SERVICE.
AGENCY WILL OBSERVE PASSOVER WITH THOSE WHO NEED COMPANY.
SIMI YOUNGSTERS LEARN MEANING OF PASSOVER AT SEDER WORKSHOP.
BETH KNESSET TO OBSERVE PASSOVER.
A SEDER FOR THE AGES TRADITION RUNS DEEP AT HOME FOR ELDERLY.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters