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April 2024 – Welcome Jane, Danaye, Yoel, and Philip to Jewish Deaf Congress Board

✨April 2024 – Welcome Jane, Danaye, Yoel, and Philip to Jewish Deaf Congress Board✨

Introductions

** JANE JONAS
Jewish Deaf Congress Program Director

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Jane was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from California School for the Deaf and then attended Gallaudet University where she received a degree in Communication Studies. At Gallaudet, Jane co-founded a newspaper called Buck Naked Bison and also resurrected the Literary Society. She was involved with the Student Council as well.

Jane founded Eyeth Studios in 2007. Eyeth has provided a wide spectrum of web design and creative services for over ten years and is proud to work with all Deaf contractors. Jane also owns Lost River Vacations, a luxury tiny house vacation retreat in Lost River WV, with a deaf partner. Jane aspires to support the Deaf community in radically shifting old paradigms and to create a Deaf ecosystem that is sustainable and self-supporting.

Jane is very proud to be Jewish and carries the memories of her Holocaust survivor grandparents close to her heart. She took Judaic education classes growing up and has been involved with the Washington Society of the Jewish Deaf since her collegiate days. She is very excited to work with JDC as the new program director. In her view, JDC is a crucial organization that disseminates resources and programs that are educational and beneficial for all. Jane hopes to enhance the digital assets that JDC provides. connect and engage with Deaf Jewish youth, and support JDC’s growth.

In her spare time, Jane enjoys espresso, the outdoors, her menagerie of dogs and cats, reading, and doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

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Danyae Washington
Jewish Deaf Congress Board Member
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Danyae Washington is the Founder and CEO of Magnificent Journey for Deaf Africa-Israel Alliance. She is also a Board member of Jewish Deaf Congress and an Ambassador of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI).

Danyae is currently working at the Texas School for the Deaf as a Job Coach at Access (Adult Curriculum for Community, Employment, and Social Skills) and former Teacher Assistant at High School where she held a certificate as an educational aide from the state of Texas.

She expects to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies in 2028 from the Texas Women’s University and she is also enrolled in the Semikhah Rabbinic Program at the Hebrew Seminary.  She has earned an Associate of Arts degree in Secondary Education and Teaching 8-12.  As a former student teacher with the Navarro College, she taught Deaf students in Elementary Schools and as a former team leader for Awana, she taught biblical concepts to 5th graders.

Danyae is involved as an Ambassador with the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, dedicated to teaching young, influential Africans and Black Americans the history and importance of the Israel-Africa and Black-Jewish relationships.  She is a former member of the National Black Deaf Advocates and is involved with the Black Deaf Students Union (BDSU) @ Texas School for the Deaf.  Danyae has given lectures and workshops on being a Jewish Black Deaf person.

** Yoel Buzgalo
Jewish Deaf Congress Board Member
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Yoel Buzgalo is a dynamic leader and advocate within the Jewish Deaf community. As one of the youngest Board Members of JDC, he brings a fresh perspective and a deep commitment to service. Currently a student in engineering at RIT, he also serves as a Vice President of the WOLK Jewish Deaf Culture Club at RIT/NTID. His passion for fostering community and cultural expression is evident.

Born to a Deaf family in Silver Spring, Maryland, and raised near Boulder, Colorado, Yoel’s upbringing was rich with exposure to Jewish Deaf culture, influenced significantly by his father, Uzi Buzgalo, a renowned Israeli Deaf artist. When Yoel was 12 years old, his family relocated to Rishon LeZion, Israel, where Yoel spent nearly 11 formative years. During this time, he engaged in diverse experiences, including participation in the Israeli Air Force Cadet program and integrating with both hearing and Deaf peers at his high school.

Yoel’s journey has shaped him into a proud community advocate with a keen desire to support and empower the younger generation of the Jewish Deaf community in the United States. His unique blend of experiences and unwavering dedication make him a valuable asset in facilitating growth and understanding within the community.

Yoel says: “I joined the JDC Board because of my profound passion for recruiting the younger generation of the Jewish Deaf community. In light of the increasing antisemitism across the nation, it is crucial to unite and provide support to our younger members, thereby strengthening our identity and fostering networking opportunities.”

** Philip Corey Rubin
Jewish Deaf Congress Board Member
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As a second-generation American, Philip Rubin was born in Chicago to a hearing Russian-Jewish immigrant family. He was fortunate to have had an older deaf cousin Evelyn Zola who introduced him to several deaf schools and clubs including the Hebrew Association of the Deaf (Skokie, Illinois). He met several excellent Jewish Deaf adult role models such as Warshawskys, Stroms, Abarbanells, Glazers, and others. Paul Cantwell (Jewish Deaf vocational rehabilitation counselor) encouraged his father to hire several deaf printers. He met them during summers working for his father.

After graduating from the Bell School and Lane Tech HS, he went to the National Technical Institute of the Deaf for two years before transferring to Cornell University for his Bachelor’s in Architecture degree. He worked at prestigious architectural firms such as Perkins & Will and Skidmore Owing & Merrill in Chicago. In 1985, he established an architectural practice in Dallas, Texas which continued in San Francisco and lasted for 35 years until his retirement in 2020. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Business at the University of San Francisco. He is currently enjoying his retirement in Palm Springs (Rancho Mirage), California with his husband of 30 years.

His lifelong community advocacy and activism began when Rabbi Goldhammer recruited him to set up the Junior HAD. It was the first of many Deaf nonprofit organizations he founded/co-founded/or served as a board member/officer: the Chicago Theater of the Deaf, Cultural Society of the Deaf (Dallas, TX), Deaf Action Center (Dallas), Mesquite Interpreter Training Program (TX), Deaf Gay & Lesbian Center (under DCARA – San Francisco, CA), Deaf Counseling Advocacy, Referral Agency, Deaf Visual & Performing Artists (San Francisco, CA), Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf, International Deaf Leather, and Deaf Seniors Foundation of Palm Springs. Currently, he mentors several Deaf college students and young Deaf adults. He co-chaired the successful 2023 JDC Festival of Lights fundraiser in Los Angeles. This success led to an invitation for him to become a board member of the Jewish Deaf Congress.

Philip says: “I see JDC as an opportunity to create a haven for diverse Jewish Deaf people who are in danger of becoming a “Lost Tribe” due to issues of access, isolation, and lack of cohesive Jewish Deaf communities in both rural and metropolitan areas.”

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https://jewishdeafcongress.org/donate