Posted by: israelembassysa | July 30, 2010

Simon Ash

TELFED: “I’m deaf, but certainly not dumb!” (Simon Ash)

Simon Ash is a unique Oleh from South Africa. Simon is profoundly deaf, with sign language and lip reading as his main form of communication.

Schooled at the Catholic St Vincent school for the deaf in Johannesburg where he was the only Jew, he learnt from his class mates how to be an anti-semite. After telling his older brother, Craig, “I hate Jews!” Craig decided it was time to to introduce Simon to the Betar youth movement. Simon became an integral part of Betar camp life, setting up the camp site, playing sports and attending the Israel educational programmes.

At 23 Simon kissed the tarmac at Ben Gurion airport and immediately volunteered as a sports teacher at the Keshev School for the deaf in Kfar Saba. He quickly mastered Hebrew sign language and for four months became an integral part of the Keshev faculty. Within 3 months Simon was back in Israel, this time as a proud Oleh.

Following his initial absorption, utilizing Telfed’s manifold Klita services, he began work in the Ra’anana municipal gardening department, whose head told his mother, Sheryl Ash, “Don’t thank me for giving Simon a lucky break – his work in the public gardens of Ra’anana gave the city much more that what we gave him!”

Simon got married recently and we wish him and his family a wonderful future!


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