ICEJ Supports Hearing-Impaired Students

By: Laurina Driesse

Students in a mixed Jewish and Arab school for the hearing impaired in Jerusalem recently had the opportunity to display their creative side—and the ICEJ was delighted to sponsor their educational journey.

The students participated in a unique photography project that allowed a select group to explore the world of visual concepts. The course encouraged active learning through a topic they chose. Beyond gaining photography skills, students also learned the importance of teamwork and how to communicate and consider their teammates’ ideas to reach an agreement and achieve results.

Jiska and Noam worked together on the topic of “My Shadow and Me,” shooting photos of objects and animals and their shadows. Meanwhile, Nati and Liav paired up to photograph “Water Reflections,” capturing the reflections of nature and other objects in the water (see right).


Photo excursions around the school and in the streets of Jerusalem provided plenty of opportunity for the imagination. Khaled submitted images of cars and has already started working on another project called “On the Street,” where he captures ordinary people’s daily lives. Some people are directing traffic or riding bicycles while older people walk with their walking sticks or shopping carts, and younger people focus on their cell phones as they walk.

Students took and submitted many photographs, but at the end of the project, they chose only the best 10 for an exhibition. The selection process proved challenging for students; it was natural to be passionate about their own photographs. Yet they learned to look critically at their own work and acknowledge their skill level compared to fellow students. Finally, the selected photos were printed and exhibited along the school corridors. Students helped display the photos for everyone to enjoy, and a sense of pride and accomplishment filled their hearts upon completing the project.

A segment of the project included a lesson in prioritizing, budgeting, and sales. During this task, students embarked upon a shopping expedition. They were given a budget and tasked with checking prices and calculating costs to buy boxes, canvasses, and other materials within their budget. They then painted the boxes, selected their most suitable photographs, and applied the photos to the boxes with a special adhesive. Finally, on a designated “market day,” students whose pictures were not in the exhibition erected a table in a local neighborhood to display their creativity and sell their work. They were thrilled when several of their boxes and other items sold!

“In the Kitchen”

Meanwhile, the photographs from Salma and Ahmed’s “In the Kitchen” project—which focused on food preparation shots—will replace previous faded photos currently displayed in the stairwell leading to the school kitchen.

During the course, students also learned about taking photographs to produce on magnets, and when an opportunity came up to participate in events held in Jerusalem’s gardens, they quickly agreed. They took photos at the event and charged a fee; some even displayed their magnets.

This course was significant for students nearing the end of their formal education. Their exposure to the creative and commercial opportunities of photography has left them hopeful that they can develop and use these skills in the future.

“It is very special to be able to assist these hearing-impaired students and help them gain new creative and technical skills that could turn into a source of income for them in the future,” said Nicole Yoder, ICEJ Vice President for AID and Aliyah. “The medium of photography is a marvelous way to communicate, and the ICEJ is honored to support this vocational training project by providing essential equipment and covering the expenses of the course.”

Thank you for your generous donation to support this and other ICEJ AID projects. Through your faithful giving, we can touch lives and meet needs in all sectors of Israeli society, giving them a future and a hope.