Shirley Pinto, a deaf social activist and New Right candidate, posted a video on Twitter of her lighting the Chanukah menorah with her husband and baby.
A Chanukah picture or video is par for the course for most Israeli public figures but Pinto’s video is particularly fascinating due to the fact that she and her husband are both deaf and made the brachos in sign language as their baby attentively watched.
Pinto made history almost a year ago when the New Right announced that she was joining their list as the first deaf candidate to ever run for Knesset.
Pinto, 30, was born deaf to a deaf father and a deaf and blind mother in Kiryat Bialik (outskirts of Haifa). She has a younger brother with normal hearing. Due to witnessing her parents’ struggle as well as her own struggle in being disabled and the lack of public accessibility, she decided to dedicate her life to advancing the rights of deaf Israelis.
״וְהַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה נִזְכָּרִים וְנַעֲשִׂים בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר
חנוכה שמח! pic.twitter.com/YXWh4jPAwA
— שירלי פינטו Shirly Pinto (@shirlypinto) December 23, 2019
Pinto served in the Israeli Air Force as a project and logistics manager, receiving a reward of excellence for her service, and then attended law school and was the only deaf law intern in Israel. Since 2016, she teaches sign-language interpretation at Bar-Ilan University. She also dedicates much of her time assisting the deaf community and in 2016, she and other activists established The Israeli Center for Deaf Studies to advance the status of the deaf community in Israel.
Pinto lives in Ramat Gan and is married to Michael Kadosh, an oleh from the United States who is also deaf and works as a telecommunications engineer, and has a baby son who is also deaf.