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.
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.
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 will be eternally grateful to JBI, their selfless work had such great impact on my father’s quality of life. My 89-year old father lives in central Russia. He has been an avid reader all his life. About 8 years ago he started losing his eyesight. It was an awful blow for him. The market of audio-books was non-existent in Russia at that time (even now, though quickly developing, it still cannot satisfy an advanced reader like my father). I was thrilled to find out about JBI and their mission. I contacted them – since then they have been providing my Dad with audio-books in Russian on a regular basis. He’s never out of books! They are in New-York, he is in Russia. Isn’t it amazing? Books without borders!
I have been a client receiving services from JBI since my Bar Mitzvah in 1963 when I lost my vision. Over these 46 years, JBI has been essential (a) in making my full participation in my Jewish home, community and synagogue possible, (b) in my general education in philosophy and psychology, and (c) most recently, in my ordination as a rabbi. I have been impressed with how JBI’s vision has expanded in this last half century from an organization serving the young Jewish blind in America to serving the elderly and the young visually impaired throughout the world. It is without reservation and with great enthusiasm that I encourage all to support the efforts of JBI in its mission to repair the world.
Our son is 13 years old and completely blind since birth. Since he started Hebrew school at age 6, JBI has been amazing for him and for us. They gave us all of his Hebrew school books in Braille, the kids' magazine Babaganewz in Braille that all of the other kids (including his twin brother) were getting in print, and the prayer book that he uses in synagogue in Braille. We are Conservative, but our religious school is combined with a Reform temple so he also has a Reform prayer book in Braille from JBI. He has not only been able to keep up with his Hebrew school class, but he has become an excellent Hebrew Braille reader, rising way ahead of his class in the Hebrew Mitkadem series of workbooks. He has also received all of the High Holiday, Festival, and 5 Megillot books in Braille from JBI. Last summer he had his Bar Mitzvah and he got his Torah portion and Haftarah both in Braille from JBI. They have never said no to any book that we or my son has requested that they can provide. Recently, he decided he wanted to follow along with all of the Haftarot every week in synagogue and the first volume of all of the Haftarot for the book of Bereshit arrived very quickly in the mail. With my husband being the rabbi of our synagogue, participating in services at the synagogue is a huge part of our son's life, and thanks to JBI, he can feel an equal participant there. Our son also has a deep love of Judaism and a strong desire to lead services and follow along with services. Without his Braille books from JBI, it would be impossible for him to do these things. Whenever he gets a new Jewish text from JBI, he is so excited and very appreciative and he knows he can always depend on JBI to provide him with the Jewish books he would like to have. As his parents, we are so grateful to JBI for allowing our son to feel included and equal to his peers and everyone else in the Jewish community. We beamed with pride at our sons' B'nai Mitzvah and that was due in large part to JBI.