Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf - An Educational Center for the Deaf and Hearing Star of David
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Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf

There are approximately 50,000 deaf Jews in the United States, many of whom are deprived of the opportunity to practice their religion because of their deafness. Although many of them have formed communities where they can communicate with each other, most have no clergy to lead them or to whom they can turn for religious training or for spiritual help. Jews in the deaf community desperately want to hold onto their heritage to the 5,000 years of Judaism of which they are a part, but which they are prevented from actively sharing because there are few rabbis who understand their distinctive culture or language.

Although there have been deaf Jews throughout the 5,000 years of Judaism, until now there has never been an organized effort to address this need. The Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf was established in 1992 to meet the spiritual needs of the Jewish deaf by training Jews, deaf and non-deaf, to work within Jewish deaf and hearing communities as teachers and rabbis. The HSD seeks to teach Jewish tradition, values and thought to the deaf, with emphasis on deaf culture within the Jewish experience.

The Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf is a unique, pluralistic egalitarian school; our students learn Jewish ethics, thought, religion and history, and gain an in-depth understanding of the deaf culture. The Seminary’s five-year program also includes all of the standard curriculum and courses of study required for rabbinical ordination. In addition, all students must become proficient signers in American Sign Language as well as learning Hebrew Sign Language. These skills will enable them, as rabbis and teachers, to communicate easily and directly with the Jewish deaf communities and congregations throughout the United States that they will eventually serve. We are also proud that the study of Kabbalah and healing meditative practices is an important part of our curriculum.

 
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4435 W. Oakton St.
Skokie, Illinois 60076
VP: 224.534.0029
Voice: 847.677.3330
Fax: 847.677.7945