The nation’s first deaf leader of a Hillel aims to make Judaism accessible to all

Source: The Washington Post

By Julie Zauzmer

Jacob Salem speaks six languages. Yet if he walked into a typical synagogue service in either of the countries where he grew up — America or Israel — he might still get lost.

Salem is deaf. And a synagogue that offers interpretation into sign language so a deaf person can follow can be hard to find, he says.

Salem is out to change that, by influencing the up-and-coming generation of students who might someday become deaf Jewish leaders — students at Gallaudet University, the nation’s preeminent school for deaf students.

“This is a huge issue,” he said. “They lose interest in Jewish life, because there are no interpreters.

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