An ad-hoc committee for JDC success was established during the 2017 JDC Convention.

Photo of original ad-hoc Committee.


Have a closer look at some of our ad-hoc members below:


Steve Brenner, from Boston, MA., worked 45 years as a physical chemist at Naval Research Laboratory with his Noble Prize winner boss on structure determination of matter. Steve also worked outside his government job in many different capacities. While associated with Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc., he was one of the few pioneers in reconditioning old TTY machines for placement in homes of Deaf people. He is well-known as a founder and past president of the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf (WSJD). He also was a board member and newsletter editor of the Jewish Deaf Congress.  He was inducted into the Jewish Deaf Congress Hall of Fame in 1998. Currently, he represents Maryland Deaf Senior Citizens as a photographer as well as a board member. He continues to volunteer as a historian and photographer with both JDC and WSJD.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

The reason for my being on the Ad Hoc Committee is that I cannot bear to see JDC fade away forever and I will work to keep it alive for the sake of future generations. In the future, our local affiliates may need a national organization for help and resources. Deaf people will want to know what the JDC affiliates are doing in their cities, enabling us to improve our organization.

Steve Brenner



Jeffrey Dunefsky grew up in NYC and went to PS 47 then Lexington school. He enrolled at RIT for 3 years then graduated from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree. He worked for the federal government for 32 ½ years before retiring. He enjoys the arts and crafts, being involved in the Deaf community, and helping Deaf Blind people.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I want JDC to represent and support a strong Jewish Deaf community and to grow more.

Jeffrey Dunefsky



Lance Fischer (JDC ad hoc committee co-chair) grew up a Brooklynite in a large Jewish neighborhood.  He attended P.S. 47 and NYSD (Fanwood), and then graduated from Gallaudet University in 1971. He was employed by the National Archives as an archivist for many years. He was and continues to be involved in numerous activities as a volunteer: President of Gallaudet Alumni Class of 1971; Vice President and Board member of Maryland Deaf Seniors, Board member of Deaf Seniors of America, and active member of Maryland Association of the Deaf. He was a member of the advisory committee involved in the Gallaudet University President Search Committee which resulted in the selection of Dr. Alan Hurwitz, who himself is a Jewish Deaf person. Lance and his wife currently reside in Wellington, Florida.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I am on the ad hoc committee as a co-chair because I want to ensure JDC continues and to organize a conference.  It is important to me that Jewish Deaf people value their religion, heritage and spirituality, to keep Judaism alive among the Jewish Deaf community.

Lance Fischer



Vicki Lowen was born in the Bronx and grew up mostly in Westchester County. After graduating from Gallaudet University, she settled down in the Washington DC area because of its great career opportunities. Karen Alkoby asked Vicki to work together to help make the 2013 Jewish Deaf Congress conference a great success. She also enjoyed working with Steve Brenner. For many years, she had not associated with the Jewish community because of the lack of accessibility. Now, she feels a strong sense of belonging with the Deaf Jewish community because of ASL as a shared language and there are no barriers.  She believes there is a dire need for more Deaf rabbis who are fluent in ASL to provide much needed contagious inspirational messages.



Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?


I want to support the preservation, appreciation and promotion of Jewish Deaf culture and Jewish Deaf heritage.

Vicki Lowen



Tracey Rattner grew up in an observant home in the Catskills Mountains where all the Jews went for vacation before it became easier to travel. She did not enjoy going to Hebrew School because it was not deaf friendly. She was active in Hillel Club at Gallaudet College (now University). Tracey and her husband Steve started an interpreter fund at the synagogue where their hearing daughters were enrolled in Hebrew school. She was involved in the Sisterhood there. Along with a group of other deaf women, she studied Judaism with Lore for three years and had their b’nai mitzvah/graduation ceremony at Tracey’s synagogue. She is on the Board of Hillel at Gallaudet and on the Caring Committee with the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf (WSJD). She leads the Bereavement Committee under the Caring Committee. She states that being a Jewish Deaf person is not easy, but she looks forward to working with JDC and helping everyone to be a proud Jew.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I am on the Ad Hoc Committee because I feel it’s important to have an organization for Jewish Deaf people from all over the world to connect for educational, informative & social purposes.

Tracey Rattner



Elliott Richman grew up in New York City where he enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at the United Nations International School. He moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1978 and graduated from Dalhousie University with two BSc degrees – one in Chemistry and one in Computer Science. After briefly working for two small R&D companies in the IT field, he was employed by the Nova Scotian provincial civil service and retired in February 2017 with 28 years of experience in database analysis. While working for the government, he volunteered for Deafness Advocacy Association Nova Scotia (DAANS) – 21 years as its President. Post retirement, Elliott works for DAANS –as its Executive Director since late 2018 working to remove existing and potential barriers faced by Deaf, Deaf-Blind, late deafened and hard of hearing people. Elliott has extensive experience with writing, collating and editing articles for newsletters and magazines. In August 2019, he was appointed as the Chair of Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee where dedicated volunteers from all over Canada and he advocates for reliable, affordable and accessible telecommunications services resulting in functional equivalency and equal access for Deaf persons in the telecommunications industry.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

After attending JDC for the first time in 2017, and especially after seeing firsthand how JDC programs benefited me and other Jewish Deaf attendees, I joined to ensure JDC maintains and enhances its excellent reputation serving as a shining light guiding Jewish Deaf from all over the world.

Elliot Richman



Dr. Roz Rosen (JDC ad hoc committee co-chair) was born to a Deaf family in the Bronx, NY. She attended the Lexington School for the Deaf and Gallaudet University. Currently retired, her career included being director of the National Center on Deafness at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and faculty, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Gallaudet University. Roz has also been intensively involved in community service. In the 1970’s, she served as the NCJD Quarterly editor for a few years as well as secretary of WSJD. She has served as a National Association of the Deaf (NAD) board member and President and World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) board member. She currently is on the core team for the national campaign to stop language deprivation, known as Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids – Kindergarten Ready (LEAD-K) and board member of Discovering Deaf Worlds. She has presented and written on different topics, ranging from human rights to education, women, and educational leadership. She authored “Deaf Culture Fairy Tales.” In her spare time, Roz reads, beachcombs, cooks, writes and dabbles in the arts.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I believe in JDC’s vast potential and ability to grow as an inclusive national resource, network and advocate for Jewish Deaf people, their families, friends and professionals.

Dr. Roz Rosen



Ellen Roth, born in Brooklyn, New York City, attended the Lexington School for the Deaf from nursery to 6th grade and was mainstreamed in public school. She has earned degrees from Gallaudet University (AA), New York University (B.F.A and M.A.), SDSU: Post-Graduate Public Administration/Leadership Certification, and Chicago HSD with a Rabbinical Degree/Judaic Law. Ellen currently is an entrepreneur, managing her own company, The Indigo, which provides conscious and consensual communications, motivational speaking, interpreting, translations, private writing services on contract: providing all range of writings and translations, legal interpreting, and trainings/teaching at two different Universities. In addition to her contractual work with several entities, she worked with FEMA as a Disability Integration Advisor, fundraises, is a theatrical ASL master, President of U.S. Deaf Skiers and Snowboard Association for 6 years and currently a co-chair for RID’s CPC conduct of professional conduct committee.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

Why am I on this committee is to see if I can help develop the JDC educational section.  My thought and feeling is that we need to have more intimacy with God and his word and those which exist in books, the Talmud, Gemara, Midrash and have more immersion with the experience which can be found in Zohar books.

Ellen Roth



Lloyd Shikin, born in the Bronx, N.Y., was the 1st pupil to attend Pre-K at JHS 47 for Deaf & Hard of Hearing students when it started in Sept. 1942 til 1953.  He enrolled in a public printing high school. He worked at various bookshops then was employed at the NY Times for 28 yrs and has been a member of ITU for 40 years. He was married to Phyllis Toch Shikin on May 24 1987.  Lloyd had been involved with the “47” Alumni and enjoyed collecting many old archival things that go way back in the history of PS 47 & JHS 47. His motto: “47 School is my home and my heart.” He served as a substitute paraprofessional for 15 years at the school. He volunteers at “47” The ASL & English Lower School (PS 347) to help with Archives, Photographs & Sponsors.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I love JDC and want to help JDC to be successful for the next convention. I also hope that more Jewish Deaf people join JDC.

Lloyd Shikin



Scott Vinegar hails from Houston, Texas, where he works as Vice President of Vinegar Technologies, LLC. Growing up, he lived in different states and went to St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis. During his high school years in Baytown, TX, he played on the school varsity baseball team. He graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a degree in mathematics. Scott loved living in Israel for 8 years, especially the foods there. He enjoys traveling, researching genealogy, drinking favorite craft beers, and volunteering with organizations. He hopes the world will improve, with less poverty, upgraded Deaf rights, and peace for all! He would like to meet more Jewish Deaf people in Texas since he likes to chat and socialize with them.


Why Am I on the Ad Hoc Committee for JDC Success?

I joined this committee because I love to meet Jewish Deaf people and would like to help increase opportunities for us all.

Scott Vinegar