JDC Accomplishments: 2017 – 2020

 November 27, 2020


 This is to update you on the work of the Jewish Deaf Congress (JDC) since the last conference, August 2017 in Rockville, Maryland.  A group of attendees formed a JDC   Ad Hoc Committee on Future Success for JDC.  https://www.jewishdeafcongress.org/about-us/welcome/ad-hoc-commitee/
 This committee has been busy since then with many activities and “behind the scene” planning – strategic planning, finances and organizational matters.  Everything   listed below is possible only with your support, both volunteer time and financial.


  1.  Met twice at the Brenner home to review past and develop plans to strengthen JDC.
  2.  Developed a strategic plan (a living, working document ) based on two national surveys
  3.  Worked on a strategic plan to revive, revitalize and update JDC to meet the needs of modern-day Jewish Deaf Americans
  4.  Reviewed and updated the JDC mission and vision statements for approval at next business meeting
  5.  Developed mission statements to inspire and mobilize the Jewish Deaf community
  6.  Renamed JDC ad hoc committee the JDC Board
  7.  JDC co-chairs held online sessions with several local Jewish Deaf Organizations to determine mutual needs and desires regarding networking, collaborations
    and needed resources


  1. Updated and upgraded the JDC website (still in progress) JewishDeafCongress.org
  2. Send periodical emails and bulletins to JDC subscribers
  3. Disseminate information via Facebook “Jewish Deaf Congress” which now has nearly 1,000 followers


  1.  Collaborated with the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf (WSJD) in hosting a virtual ASL Passover Seder last April
  2.  Formed a Virtual ASL Shabbat Coalition with WSJD, Gallaudet University Hillel Club and Jewish Deaf Resource Center (JDRC of NY) to plan monthly zoom
    Shabbat services
  3.  As part of the Virtual ASL Shabbat Coalition, co-hosted monthly zoom Shabbat services in ASL, led by Deaf people, with voice interpretation and captions,
    which  attracts about 150 attendees per service since last April
  4.  Hosted a panel discussion “High Points of the High Holidays” featuring 5 Deaf Rabbis and Leaders
  5.  Named JDC historical records belonging to the Brenner’s dating back to 1956 the “Stephen and Dorothy Brenner Jewish Deaf Collection.” Now exploring how
    this Collection may be best archived and electronically accessible to the public.
  6.  Co-hosted, with WSJD, a three-part series of panel discussions on Anti-Semitism
  7.  Host a national Hanukkah Menorah Creation contest for DHH Kids and KODAs, https://www.jewishdeafcongress.org/currentevent to generate awareness and
    enthusiasm, and a zoomparty on December 10, 2020  
  8.  Lead a Virtual ASL Shabbat / Second Night of Hanukkah service, cosponsored by the Virtual ASL Shabbat Coalition on December 11, 2020
  9.  Identified Jewish themes to develop for the JDC Virtual Resource Library (examples: modules on Jewish Life Cycle events, holidays, traditions and spirituality) and
    virtual Torah discussion sessions


  1.  Updated JDC’s financial report and annual budget
  2.  Maintained good 501c3 standing with IRS
  3.  Established a JDC Fundraising Committee (JDCF) with eight members
  4.  Raised almost $30,000 in donations to develop resources, improve networking and support operations and a future meeting
  5.  Created a video “Jewish. Deaf. Proud.” of various members explaining why JDC is important and needs donations – posted on JDC website and FaceBook
  6.  Started a JDC “Light up Lives” fundraising campaign to achieve 6 goalshttps://www.jewishdeafcongress.org/donate/
    – ASL Judaism Education
    – Community and Advocacy
    – Jewish Lifecycle Events
    – Virtual Shabbat & Holiday Services
    – Weekly Torah Studies
    – JDC Website


  1.  Pre COVID-19, JDC meetings were conducted on person or by email
  2.  Now since COVID-19 restrictions precludes face to face meetings, JDC held frequent Zoom meetings of the Board and the JDC Fundraising committee
  3.  Hoped for a JDC Summit in 2021 with representatives of local organizations; now postponed to October 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  4.  Now planning for virtual sessions with these representatives during 2021 as a lead up to an October 2022 in-person Summit. During the 2022 Summit, JDC
    mission, goals, & bylaws will be discussed and aligned with modern/future needs and officers will be elected. 

 And many more accomplishments to come!  JDC is committed to working to meet the spiritual, educational and community needs of Jewish Deaf people of all ages.   We need JDC and are committed to keep it viable and strong.  Please do contact us if you have ideas or issues or wish to be involved in JDC.      president@jewishdeafcongress.org

 JDC needs your support to develop resources, to support networking, and to continue with services.  Please keep the JDC flame burning brightly.  Please, please   consider donating to JDC to meet the religious, spiritual, and social needs of the Jewish Deaf community and their families. 

 Heartfelt thanks to you for lighting up the lives of so many people.   Happy Holidays.

JDC Board JDC Fundraising Committee
Marla Berkowitz Myrna Aiello
Dorothy Brenner David Birnbaum
Lance Fischer, Co-Chair Jeff Cohen
Vicki Lowen, Treasurer Lance Fischer
Tracey Rattner Roz Rosen
Elliott Richman Sofia Seitchik
Roz Rosen, Co-Chair Liz Tannebaum
Ellen Roth Christ Wagner, Chair
Steve Weiner


Jewish Deaf Proud Campaign by Jewish Deaf Congress

Shalom! Something exciting is brewing — projects with a great committee to share with you. JDC is ready to expand and enhance the Jewish Deaf experience with online ASL educational and spiritual programs. The Jewish Deaf Proud Campaign starts now to raise funds. With your generous support and donation, much more can be done. Please share this exciting campaign on your FB page, share it with friends, families, and fans! Please visit this link for more details: https://www.jewishdeafcongress.org/donate/ #jewishdeafproud
Thank you! Toda!