JBI International, Inc. dba Jewish Braille Institute

Rating: 4.96 stars   24 reviews

Issues: Disabilities, Education, Health, Human Services

Location: 110 East 30th Street New York NY 10016 USA

Mission: JBI International seeks the integration of Jews who are blind, visually impaired and reading disabled into the Jewish community and society in general. We assist those whom we serve to relate to the religious, educational, cultural and communal life of the Jewish people. Our scope is international and we serve those of all ages and backgrounds.
Programs: JBI International (established in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute) provides the visually impaired, blind and reading disabled of all ages with FREE books, magazines and special publications of Jewish and general interest in Audio, Large Print and Braille formats that enable them to maintain their connection to the world of ideas and the life of their communities. JBI Talking Books (over 13,000 titles) provide access to a very wide range of fiction and non-fiction; periodicals and cultural programs keep people entertained, informed and connected; customized textbooks and Bar/Bat Mitzvah materials allow blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students to study alongside their peers; and JBI's liturgical materials, in Braille, Audio, and Large Print, allow participation in synagogue services. JBI is truly the only resource of its kind worldwide. JBI's materials are available in English, Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish and now in Spanish. Additionally, JBI's pioneering Low Vision Clinic at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv is the premier facility of its kind, treating the visual consequences of congenital disease, aging, or head injury, with personalized optometric devices. JBI serves more than 35,000 individuals in need all over the world, FREE OF CHARGE.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am so proud to be a part of JBI! I have been volunteering in the recording studio to help record, direct, and edit audiobooks, and it is always more fun than work. :) I love the staff and I love that I get to develop professional skills (I work in audio) and help others at the same time!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...bring on another paid staff member of two, to increase productivity and to alleviate the workload of the three who currently have to cover everything going on up there!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My husband and I have been with JBI for about 10 years;I record books and he directs. The longevity of our comittment says it all. The work we do is very rewarding and important. A bonus is that you get to read and record lots of terrific books.
The staff is fantastic:warm and genuinely appreciative of everything we do. I have done a lot of volunteer work and never felt the comraderie among staff and volunteers as I do here.
The studios are state of the art, and the pros we work with make sure that the end product sounds top notch(Many of the volunteers are professional actors).


If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Once a week I go to the beautiful studios on 30th St and spend two hours in a sound booth telling a story. It's an extrordinary opportunity to get to share amazing and wildly different tales from a mobster's girlfriend who falls in love with a cop to a heartbreaking true story of a young girl during the Holocaust to a wildly entertaining book about an 18th century French knife seller who gets reincarnated as a fly in Long Island. And did I mention that there are always amazing people there? It's the best few hours you can spend in a week!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Being a volunteer at JBI Internationsl has been a rare experience. Recording books for the visually impaired is rewarding and always interesting. As a reader and as a director, I am enjoying books I might never have discovered, and imagining a recipient enjoying the recording is very satisfying. Being behind the microphone allows me to revisit my past performance skills as an actor. The technical staff in the studio and the manager of audio production, Jane Blecher, makes being a part of the volunteer family a delightful, inclusive experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

JBI has been such a wonderful experience in my life. I started volunteering this past March. I narrate books and magazine articles. I feel so good that I am helping someone enjoy a story or a current news article.

The recording staff at JBI is 200% professional and so helpful! They're gracious in thanking me for my time there but I feel like I should thank them for the wonderful experience they're bringing into my life.

Thanks JBI!!

Marie Hoffman

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After my father had a stroke he was both visually impaired and unable to attend services at his synagogue. JBI provided, at no charge, excellent recordings of both Sabbath and High Holiday services as well as the Passover Seder. I have contributed to them ever since and am now a volunteer as well. They are a wonderful organization - the recording operation is well run, the staff and other volunteers are great, and I feel that my time is used wisely (no "make work" as is the case with other organizations). I look forward to going to the recording studio every week and am glad to have the opportunity to work with them.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I started volunteering years ago with JBI as a narrator of talking books. Reading is one of my greatest joys and I wanted to be able to "give back" and help others share in that experience. The staff at JBI is incredible. They make you comfortable, listen to your ideas and become friends. The fun and the joy you have in recording the books keep you coming back. Knowing a book club was waiting for one of my books was the "highlight" of my recording "career".

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have been visually impaired for almost ten years. My vision loss was caused by a blood disorder discovered by my by my Ophthalmologist and Hematologist. I was only fifty years old when I became visually impaired and was distressed to think I would have to give up reading. I believed I had lost all sources of reading material. That is when I learned about JBI. JBI has become one of the best gifts I have received since becoming visually impaired. The traditional way of reading was lost to me. I have been an avid reader since I lost my father in the summer of 1990. Reading became a way of getting through my grief and has continued to offer me many years of pleasure. I used to check out books from my synagogue’s library and The Public Library System. Now, through JBI, I can receive books with Jewish Themes right to my door. JBI is now my number one source for Jewish books on any topic I choose to listen. The most surprising coincidence happened when JBI sent a book titled Visions of Greatness to me. The book contained short stories written by Rabbinic Scholars. Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt wrote two of the stories. He was my teacher in Hebrew School many years ago. I planned to meet him to discuss the stories, but he was leaving soon to move to Israel. That part was unfortunate, but I was still happy that I had the opportunity to talk to him on the phone before he left. I want to thank JBI for the opportunity to continue reading and learning Jewishly. I have personally shared this information on to my legally blind friends and to my synagogue’s librarian to share this wonderful resource.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Reading the books that they send me.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

JBI is a very much appreciated. They are very kind and very helpful. Having Jewish books on tape and in braille both in English and in Hebrew is invaluable. Government libraries have general subject books, but they do not have anything Jewish. Much thanks to all the staff and volunteers. If you are a person or organization looking for where to donate, please consider JBI. JBI makes a huge difference in the lives and learning of the Jewish disabled community.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to get Jewish materials on tape and in braille.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

increase the number of books available, also increase their outreach activities to adults and children in the Jewish disabled community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

My wife Pnina and I are Israelis who spent three years for graduate studies in the US in the mid-fifties. During a visit to the US in 1997, with Pnina's vision starting to worsen, we visited the New York office of the JBI and were impressed with the range of assistance provided to people with impaired vision. Only many years later, with Pnina's vision almost completely gone, did we get in touch with the JBI library and get via airmail books and periodicals from their extensive collection. We are most thankful for their services and their prompt reaction to our requests. Thanks to JBI and its friendly staff! Falk Gadiesh

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We have personnaly experienced their helpful sevices

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Their willingness to assist and to adapt their services to our specific requests

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

We have never personally met any of their staff, being thousands of miles away from their offices. Yet we feel as if we have known them for years and been in direct conract with them.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

The service we get makes us feel as if they have the 10 million bucks already.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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