Bar-Bat Mitzvah for Hearing Impaired (file)
Bar-Bat Mitzvah for Hearing Impaired (file)Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

On Monday, 48 young men and women will celebrate their bar and bat mitzvas at a special ceremony in Jerusalem. The young celebrants are all deaf or hearing impaired, but were given a chance to take part in the ceremony – which for most involves public chanting of the Torah portion – thanks to the Council of Young Israel Rabbis.

The Council runs the Judaic Heritage Project, a one-of-a-kind program that focuses on teaching deaf children in preparation for their bar or bat mitzvah. The planning to celebrate Monday have been learning for a year.

The ceremony itself will take place using sign language so that the young celebrants can play an active role. Their relatives will actively participate as well.

After the ceremony celebrants and their families will enjoy a gala luncheon, then tour the Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall).

Director Rabbi Michael Strick said, “The Bar/Bat mitzvah program brings tears to my eyes every year as parents of the celebrants recall the prognosis of their child at birth, and her he or she is standing becoming a bar/bat mitzvah in Jerusalem… We wish all the celebrants and their families a heartfelt Mazal Tov.”