Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

UCF Shlichim help the deaf 'see the sounds' of Eurovision


UCF Shlichim are shown signing two lines from the song "Home" for Eurovision.

The University of Central Florida's Shlichut Institute members participated in Israel's entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired population by producing a music video for singer Kobi Marimi's "Home" in American Sign Language.

In the weeks leading up to Eurovision, which took place from May 14-18 in Tel Aviv, The Jewish Agency's Shlichim (emissaries) from around the world embarked on the "See the Sounds" initiative in order to help people with auditory disabilities experience Marimi's song along with other Eurovision fans. The project was facilitated by The Jewish Agency's Shlichut Institute, which provides Shlichim with ongoing training, content and support before, during, and after their service. The video, inspired by the Sign Now initiative of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, is a collage of 30 different Shlichim groups from as far away as Greece, South Africa and Brazil, and students from colleges and universities across the United States singing together in sign language. Each group signed one or two lines of Marimi's song.

The UCF Shlichim signed "I feel the sun upon my skin/ And I am someone, I am someone."

The project aims to strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Jewish world by giving members of the participating communities a creative platform to express their connections to Israel, while raising greater awareness about Israeli music. The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqRpw1Atc5E.

"Emissaries of The Jewish Agency are working tirelessly on a daily basis to connect every part of the Jewish people and Israel," said Isaac Herzog, chairman of the executive at The Jewish Agency. "Through the See the Sounds innovative project, we made a unique moment in Israeli culture accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing across the world."

Approximately 2,000 Shlichim serve in 150 countries to help carry out The Jewish Agency's mission. They work within Jewish Federations and other Jewish communal institutions, college campuses, summer camps, and youth movements. They strengthen Jewish identity by bringing Israel to local communities, promoting Israel experiences, and facilitating Jewish social activism. Marimi's song, "Home" didn't win the competition, it placed 23rd in the music event.


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