Tami Assouline

is a Deaf poet and activist of the Deaf Israeli culture in the preservation and development of the Israeli Sign Language

I am Tami Assouline, a Deaf poet, multidisciplinary artist, Sign Language teacher, and activist regarding the preservation and development of the Deaf culture and its rich Sign Language. Signed visual poetry and movement allow me to express myself naturally and correctly. I sign and write poetry with “FA” Sign Language, the most natural syntax of Israeli Sign Language. “FA” has a rich linguistic depth and uses hand gestures and facial expressions. I find it the most beautiful language in the world for the simple reason that one can express themselves in it very naturally.

Dance Sonata

Yours is a spring sonata dance
Deaf you are key Deafpoem
Rhyme there is no Dance there is one
This blue mug ISis blue
Sign Language one blue one
A true spring dance sonata

Woman of the Year 2021 in Poetry by the Rudeman Foundation: Tami Assuline, poet, dancer, teacher.

Tami Assouline (51) is an inspiring figure who lends her hand in almost every field of culture and gives hope to many.
Tami, who lives with her family in Holon, has been deaf from birth and was a member of the 'Kol ve Dmama' (Voice & Silence) dance company, where deaf members performed alongside hearing members.
She published three books of poetry; the last one, called YamFA (published by Ma'ayan Magazine), is the first book in Hebrew in the syntax of FA Sign Language, which is popular among the Deaf community.
Still, she fought for her place against the established Israeli Sign Language for years.

The unusual book received many laudatory responses and extensive coverage and raised awareness of Deaf culture in Israel, which the hearing public has much to learn from.
Tami is proud to be Deaf and is not interested in a hearing aid.
She is a sort of one-person cultural bulldozer, organizing initiatives in cinema, art, literature, and dance, collaborating with many creators, and appearing worldwide in performance shows at festivals to increase awareness of the silent world and the creativity bubbling in it.

Deafpoem Performance

A solo performance in which I sign a Sign Language choreography that combines FA and free movement. A Hebrew/English narration accompanies my live poem reading in Sign language with some written translations projected on a screen as video works. The show is suitable for all ages, deaf and hearing. Simultaneous Sign Language interpretation: Dana Naria / Gal Naor

from Deafpoem Performance
Cafe Shapira, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, 2022
(Photo: Kathriel Kraus)

from Deafpoem Performance
Beit-Beer, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 2022
(Photo: Kathriel Kraus)

For bookings

Poetry Books


(Self-published, 1990)

The Thousand Leaf Tree

(Tammuz Publishing, 1994)


(Ma’ayan Publishing, 2018 - soft cover, 2023 - hardcover)
In my latest books, I chose to avoid servitude to the Hebrew syntax and wrote my poems in Hebrew subject to the syntax of the “FA” Sign Language.

Bass of the Heart

moon sing me
all night
and make in me
of body

strings of
shake in me
inside my drum

of the heart

With the first Deaf Knesset member, Shirley Pinto (photo: Liat Peugeot)

Peoples and Religions Film Festival Turin, Italy, 2019

The Italian film festival Popoli e Religioni Terni Film Festival. Tami Assoulin's film, "Stomach Fire", won awards.


Copyright © All rights reserved to Tami Assolin
Text editing by Yael Birenbaum

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