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February 14, 2003

All-Inclusive Megillah Reading

From: Arutz Sheva, Israel - 14 Feb 2003

The Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council for the Disabled (NJCD) is offering a Megillat Esther PowerPoint Program that will enable the deaf and hard of hearing to participate in the public Purim reading of the Book of Esther. The program, developed by Frank Duchoeny, Coordinator for the Montreal chapter of Our Way for the Jewish Deaf, uses a computer to project the words of the Megillah onto a large screen, and even provides visual "sound effects" every time the name of the wicked Haman is read.

The OU wishes to make the program available to every synagogue that is interested in including the deaf population in their services. The program was developed in response to a request from Montreal’s Congregation Tifereth Beth David, whose Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz said, "The Power Point Megillah... allow[s] everyone, hearing and deaf, to experience the Megillah together. Instead of being in a sense ‘scattered and divided’ [in the words of Haman in the Megillah itself], we [are] able to join as one for the Megillah reading."

© 2003 Arutz Sheva Israel Broadcasting Network