The JBI Library
Est. in 1931 as The Jewish Braille Institute
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About Us
JBI International is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the Jewish and general cultural needs of the visually impaired, blind, physically handicapped and reading disabled - of all ages and backgrounds - worldwide.
Founded in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute of America to help the blind and visually impaired in the United States, JBI now also provides services in Israel, the Former Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America, Western Europe and all English speaking countries.
The JBI Circulating Library forms the cornerstone of the agency's work. It allows blind, partially sighted and reading disabled young people to receive a Jewish education alongside their sighted friends; it keeps the elderly, many of whom are coping with sudden vision loss, involved in the community of culture in which they grew up. JBI is dedicated to reaching out to seniors, their families and caregivers in an effort to raise awareness of JBI's unique services. The JBI Library, which is an Affiliated Library of the United States Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, has the largest collection of Jewish interest books in the world for the blind, visually impaired and reading disabled, containing well over 13,000 Talking Books, as well as several thousand Braille titles and Large Print materials. The Library uses the broadest possible interpretation of "Jewish interest" when selecting materials for its collection, which encompasses poetry, fiction, history, biography, short stories, humor, psychology and self help, Jewish studies, memoirs, cookbooks, mysteries and more. The Bible, a wide variety of Haggadot, the Yizkor service and prayer books for all major denominations are available in Audio, Large Print and Braille formats.
Image: A volunteer made up as a clown holding a happy baby at a JBI school visit
JBI has become a treasure for me. You opened so many doors for me that were closed before. I'm so glad I found you.
Stuart F., Cleveland, OH
Image: Harriet smiling next to her mother, a JBI patron Image: A blind JBI volunteer speaking to a class

Israel: The JBI Low Vision Clinic at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv (formerly Ichilov Hospital) treats severely visually impaired children and adults with state-of-the-art, customized optometric devices. We recently established a dedicated Children's Clinic that offers a more congenial waiting room and examination stations outfitted with special equipment for the treatment of severely visually impaired young children. The JBI Low Vision Clinic also offers a special Mobile Screening Service to reach the homebound elderly who cannot come to the clinic for diagnosis and treatment. JBI also has a relationship with the The Central Library for Blind and Reading Impaired People, based in Tel Aviv, who can be found here.

Russia, Ukraine, and Central and Eastern Europe: The JBI Library serves thousands of blind and visually impaired people in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. JBI offers an extensive and growing collection of Talking Books in Russian, Hungarian and Romanian. A catalog in Cyrillic is easily accessed on the web. JBI also distributes books to Russian speakers in the United States, Israel and Germany. In addition to Talking Books, JBI offers a special audio magazine in Russian (The Russian Voice), a Large Print Hebrew/Russian Haggadah and the only Russian children's audio library of Jewish interest for the blind and visually impaired.

Latin America: JBI has a library of Jewish interest materials in Spanish to serve the needs of visually impaired and reading disabled Spanish-speaking Jews in the US, Israel, Latin America and around the world.

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