-- Schwerpunkt: Europa und die Welt
Judentum und Israel
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Petition for SIG "Deaf Jews" in WFD Madrid

Prejudice against Jews or hatred of Jews - known as anti-semitism that has plagued the world for more than 2,000 years. It caused forced conversions to Christian religion in countries such as Spain and pogroms in countries such as Russia and Poland. Many lives were taken in these 2000 years of persecution. The Holocaust, the state-sponsored persecution and murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945, is history's most extreme example of anti-semitism. And yet even, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, antisemitism remains a continuing threat...

Today, there are signs of increasing anti-semitism across Europe and the Islamic world, including hate speech, violence targeting Jews and Jewish institutions, and denial of the Holocaust. Militant Islamic groups with political power use suggestive language of genocide regarding the State of Israel. The president of Iran recently declared the Holocaust a "myth" and called Israel "a disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map." The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas pledges in its founding covenant to "obliterate" Israel. Many moral failures led to the Holocaust. In the aftermath of those failures, we must remain alert to the continuing threat of anti-semitism and respond to the ultimate consequences of unchecked hatred. This is on a global scale.

The Deaf community is not immune to these oppositions and hostilities. It is crucial for WFD to address this issue by taking this into consideration by establishing a new SIG “Deaf Jews” to curb the silence and hate. The issues and ominous feelings are similar for Deaf Jews; comparing with other SIG groups such as “Deaf Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered and Bisexual people” and “Deaf Indigineous and ethnic minorities” combating racism and sexism. WFD recognized other groups combating “ism” and it is time for WFD to recognize the Deaf Jews who deal with the “ism” everyday, the “Anti-Semitism.” The Deaf Jews have similar pressing issues, which range from concealing their cultural heritage namely the Jewish culture, to discrimination in employment and/or social circles. Deaf Jews experience double identity issues, which are “Audism” and “Anti-Semitism”, and it is never easy to live with. The hidden Judaism identity is painful for the sake of personal safety and a threat to personal wellbeing, which is a risk of assimilation. When Deaf Jews emerge as Jews, they know in their mind that they experience discrimination outside of their homes and in their social circles, such as Deaf community. They may choose to keep their Jewish identity to stay hidden to avoid the degrees of rejection, oppression and discrimination at various levels. They hide it; especially those who remain in denial about the stark reality of anti-semitism in the Deaf community. It’s imperative to have an open dialogue to help the Deaf Jews and for WFD to support them as well. The goal is to stop intolerance.

One might think that Jewish Deaf people are perhaps being discriminated in the general society. However, inside the Deaf community, anti-Semitism is to be found as well. A sad example is the banishment of Jewish Deaf from the Deaf Association in Germany during WWII. When we look into history, we see that many countries had and have separate schools for Jewish Deaf. The Jewish Deaf community has its own identity process, due to a different religious tradition and lifestyle, and a distinctive history which anti-semitism play a negative role. The Jewish Deaf community is a subgroup inside the Deaf community of which its history is only being researched recently. Their narratives and experiences, both in general society as in Deaf community need to be seen also. And most importantly: an awareness concerning antisemitism in the Deaf community needs to be raised.

This proposal focuses on the establishment of a Deaf–Jews SIG. Politically speaking; it is going to help WFD taking a step towards tolerance and diversity. By doing that, WFD is going to become a more pluralistic organization in a truer sense. The Deaf Jewish community around the world do need your help and support in this matter. We strongly recommend you to consider this proposal and work seriously. Many people prefer to sweep the issue of antisemitism under the rug and imply that there is no such issue in the Deaf community. We believe if WFD accept this proposal and it is willing to have an open dialogue on this issue, WFD will be living up to it’s mission statement. Currently, we all talk about this new “Deafhood” as a time for us to unite and work together. It also means we have to embrace all Deaf people from all cultural and ethnic groups including this small minority group: the Deaf Jews. We look forward to live in a free society with freedom to fully express who we are, and being treated equally.


Mark Zaurov (M.A.), March 2007
Deaf History and Deaf study Researcher, PhD-candidate, Institute of German Sign Languages,
Department of Languages, Media and Literature sciences, University of Hamburg/Germany
IGJAD -President, Coordinator of 6.DHI

1. Adam, Robert, Postgraduate Researcher, City University, London/UK
2. Ataman, Oya, American Literature, Amerika-Institut, L.-M.-University, Munich/Germany
3. Baer, Anne Marie, ASL Development and Assessment researcher, doctoral student, Speech Language
Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder/USA
4. Bahan, Benjamin, PhD, Professor Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University/USA
5. Balázs, Judith, Teacher, Government for Youth, Budapest/Hungary
6. Bienvenu, MJ, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chair of Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet
7. Bliersbach, Michael, Teacher, Deaf School Dortmund/Germany
8. Blumenthal Kelly, Arlene, Ph.D.; Professor, Department of ASL & Deaf Studies, Gallaudet
9. Brumm, Hubert, former teacher of communication, Zürich/Switzerland
10. Buzgalo, Uzi, Artist, Colorado Boulder/USA
11. Carmel, Simon J., Ph.D., Retired Associate Professor, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at
Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York), West Palm Beach, Florida USA;
Folklorist/Anthropologist/Writer/Lecturer; Presenter of "Deaf Holocaust Survivors' Testimonies"/USA
12. Costrau, Andreas, Companyowner “Sign Language Service”, Berlin/Germany
13. Durr, Patti Associate Professor, NTID at RIT, Rochester/USA
14. Eickman, Jordan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Deaf Studies Department, California State University, Northridge/USA
15. Ely, Newby, Deaf history researcher, Philadelphia P.A./USA
16. Fleischer, Lawrence, PhD, Chair, Deaf Studies Department, Cal. State Northridge/USA
17. Foundation DovenShoah, Amsterdam/Netherland
18. Gertz, Genie, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Deaf Studies Department, California State University, Northridge, USA
19. Henseler, Dominik, Teacher, Deaf School Düsseldorf/Germany
20. Hofmann, Ilona, Institute of German Sign Language Research, University of Hamburg/Germany
21. Huiszman, Lea, Holocaust-survivor, Antwerpen/Belgium
22. IGJAD e.V. (Deaf Jews and Descendants in Germany e.V.)
23. Jacobowitz, E. Lynn, PhD., ASLTA-Professional, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University and President-Owner, ASL Rose/USA
24. Jarmer, Helene (Mag.a), Austrian National Association of the Deaf, Vienna/Austria
25. Jikeli, Guenther International Study Group Education and Research on Antisemitism, London/UK
26. Kollien, Simon, Dipl.-Psychology, Lecturer, Institute of German Sign Language Research,
University of Hamburg/Germany
27. Krausneker, Verena, PhD. University of Vienna, Dept. of Linguistics and Dept of Education,
28. Ladd, Dr. Paddy, Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol University/England
29. Lane, Harlan, University Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University/USA
30. Leigh, Irene W., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Gallaudet University/USA
31. Levy, Doron, chairman of the Association of the Deaf in Israel, Tel Aviv/Israel
32. Limousin, Fanny, doctoral student in linguistic at Paris 8 university/France
33. Mathur, Gaurav, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University/USA
34. Meranski, Deborah B., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Art and Museum Studies, Gallaudet University, Author of Deaf Artists in America: Colonial to Contemporary (under the name of Sonnenstrahl)/USA
35. Mirus, Gene Instructor, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University/USA
36. Neumärker, Uwe, Executive Director, Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,
37. Ostendorf, Manuel, Referent of Deaf Youth Hamburg/Germany
38. Papaspyrou, Chrissostomos, PhD in Sign Language Linguistics (University of Hamburg), Educator at the Athens Special High School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Athens/Greece
39. Rathmann, Dr. Christian, Linguist /Lecturer, Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol University/England
40. Roth, Ellen, M.A., School of Art Institute, Liberal Arts and Language Dept. & Kabbalah Scholar
41. Steinwurz, Chana, teacher at Ernst-Adolf-Eschke -School for the Deaf, Berlin/Germany
42. Supalla, Ted, Associate Professor, University of Rochester (RIT), Rochester, New York/USA
43. Tangalou, Catherine, M.A. in Fine Arts (University of Athens) and Education for the Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing (University of Edinburgh), Educator (emer.) at the Athens Special High School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, Athens/Greece
44. Tijsseling, Corrie, MSc, Lecturer/PhD-researcher in Deaf History, University of Utrecht/
45. Vinardell i Maristany. Marta, Deaf Language Specialist Teacher and Physicopedagogist.
Educational Department of Catalonian Government, Barcelona/Spain
46. Vos-Van Dam, Anna, Holocaust-Survivor, Netherland
47. Weinmeister, Knut, Research assistant and Phd-Candidate, Institute for Rehabilitation Science, Field: Sign Language Education, Humboldt University of Berlin/Germany
48. Woolfe, Dr. Tyron, University College London/UK
49. Urban, Amanda, Poem performancer/Poet, Toronto/Canada
50. Zuckermann, Mira ,Theatre manager – in Profesjonelt Theatre Manu, Oslo/Norway

Category: Allgemein
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10/11/07 10:29:49

Hey dudes getup your asses and go to school
10/18/07 11:49:04

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