Deaf rabbi to lead Mass. synagogue

CONCORD, MA (JTA) — A deaf rabbi is slated to become only the second deaf spiritual leader of a hearing synagogue.

Rabbi Darby Leigh will take over at Congregation Kerem Shalom in Concord, Mass. on Aug. 1, Tablet reported.

A 2008 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Leigh previously toured with the National Theater of the Deaf and worked as a substance abuse counselor for the New York Society of the Deaf.

Leigh will use a combination of lip reading and American Sign Language to communicate with the congregation. A longtime heavy metal fan, he hopes to enable a thriving musical culture in the synagogue.