Standing on the raised platform at the front of a packed Jerusalem synagogue, 13-year-old Oren S. took the microphone to describe what it was like for him to reach the age of bar mitzva. He even read several lines from his Torah portion.

Yet while his soft voice did carry, many of his peers in the room heard very little or nothing at all. That’s because Oren was addressing a group of over 60 deaf and hearing-impaired children from all over the country, who gathered on a Monday morning earlier this month with their families, teachers and counselors to celebrate a communal bar/bat mitzva.

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