I’ve always hated services. I sat there bored out of my mind. Once in a blue moon, I made an effort to sit and follow. But it was too much work for little meaning. For a few years, I’d take a religious book and read it on my own. At least, I was with my family and absorbed in my own material.
But Purim wasn’t as painful especially with all the noise we make when the reader says Haman’s name. That and Simcha Torah with all the moving around we could do.
Now there’s a PowerPoint program for Purim that is available to synagogues to make it more accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired. Almost 200 groups plan to use the program this year. Details available from OU.org, but unfortunately — it tells little about the program.
Here are the details from the web site — just in case:
The mitzvah of hearing Megillat Esther is a requirement of every Jew. Using our Power Point program will facilitate the “inclusion” of our fellow Jews who are deaf or hard of hearing within your community, and allow them to be part of this mitzvah. We would like to make this program available to every synagogue which is interested in including the deaf population into their services.
Our Way/NJCD is proud to offer a power point presentation of Megillat Esther for the deaf and hard of hearing. Developed in Canada by Frank Ducheony of Our Way Montreal, this program is designed to enable the deaf and hard of hearing to follow the Megillah reading and participate in the holiday of Purim.
Here’s how it works: Simply put the disc into the drive in your computer and the program will pop up on the desk top. It can be projected to the front of the synagogue and a hearing person follows along with the Chazzan using the mouse of the computer. Every time the name of Haman is read, the word is clicked and a visual graphic comes up to represent “stamping out the name of Haman”.
This is a fun and engaging program which can be used not only for individuals with hearing loss, but is also useful for the elderly and the visually challenged, and to engage young children.
There is a donation of $100 which would be used to further develop inclusive resources for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Please contact us at 212-613-8127 or firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy and for more information.