JBI Update, May 2023

JBI Logo

Dear Emily,
It is finally truly spring, and we have an exciting list of new books and activities to share with you. We are proud that we sent out over 2200 Haggadahs out to the community this Passover; if you received one, please send us your Seder story.

It is not too early to ask for our Calendar/Luach in Braille and Large Print (available in English or Russian), and/or High Holy Day prayer books. You can do that by clicking HERE, or by reaching us directly (see below). If you received a calendar last year, you will automatically receive one this year.

We are excited that we are building our collection of children’s books available in Large Print, Braille over print, and Audio formats, many from PJ Library but also from other publishers, so that families can read together.

Some of our new Books

Cover of the book, Shabbat Hands by Ken Bresler

Shabbat Hands by Ken Bresler:
Easy reading for young children--We use our hands to celebrate and enjoy shabbat –Shabbat hands presents ten ways that we use our hands on shabbat, one of each finger.

Covers of five of our newest books listed below

Married Life by David Vogel:
Set in Vienna in the early 1920s, this is the story of the relationship between a penniless Jewish writer and a debased Austrian aristocrat.
Heart and Soul by Liz Rosenberg:
Seventeen-year-old Willie Steinberg returns home to Richmond from a private school in Philadelphia depressed and overwhelmed, but as she helps an eccentric fellow student, she begins to have a better understanding of her parents and of her own musical talent.
Jews-The Essence and Character of a People by Arthur Hertzberg and A. Hirt-Manheimer:
Conservative rabbi and historian Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer, editor of reform Judaism magazine offer their views on the essential Jewish identity. They assert that the identity is shaped by the legacy of history and faith, which bridges divergent cultures, politics and even beliefs. They explore the meaning of Jewish identity through the ages and what it means for Jews and non-Jews alike.
Noah’s Flood by Norman Cohn:
Cohn traces the story of Noah and the flood from its origins in Mesopotamian mythology through early Jewish and Christian interpretations, and down into modern times. He discusses the attempts to reconcile the story with geological evidence.
Everything In Its Place by Oliver Sacks:
Oliver Sacks, scientist, and storyteller is beloved for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behavior at its most unexpected and unfamiliar.

Exploring new ways to serve our Patrons

This year, we are launching a poetry project. We will be recording, Brailling and creating Large Print versions of poems written by Jewish poets and sharing them with you. We will also host free virtual poetry discussion events with some of the poets. Whether you have ever talked about poetry before or are, secretly, a poet, we hope you will enjoy this new initiative. This is one of our exploratory programs to broaden the ways in which we serve our patrons—and we want to hear from you about other programs you would like to see. We will be sharing more on our website and via email patron communications over the summer and fall.

JBI (Jewish Braille Institute) communications with our patrons

We love reaching out to you and sharing what we are working on, and we hope you are enjoying our newsletters. We would like to share our new books and programs more frequently, and the only way to do that is to send our newsletters by email. Going forward, you will continue to receive email updates on a regular basis.  We will have one physical newsletter mailing before Rosh Hashanah every year.

PS: Did you sign up for JBI Voices/Review, our bimonthly compendium of articles of broad Jewish interest, available in Audio, hard copy Braille and .brf file? Are you enjoying our collection of articles, stories, and cultural events? Please let us know what you think. If you still have not signed up, you can do that HERE.

JBI’s Strategic Plans

JBI’s board and staff are working on our plans for the future. Stay tuned for information about our programs, book production and distribution, and technological upgrades, which we hope will serve you better and make it easier for you to search for books and materials, and to order and get them.

JBI Volunteers

We are continuing to expand the number of volunteers, and opportunities both in and out of our recording studio. Do you know someone in the New York City area who might be interested? Please have them contact Jane Blecher at JBlecher@jbilibrary.org or 212-889-2525.

We are excited for one of our new volunteers whose wife’s painting of Nathan’s hotdog was recently chosen to become a banner flying outside of Rockefeller Center’s Ice-Skating Rink.

Wife of a JBI volunteer holding her artwork in front of a flag in Rockefeller Center that is showcasing her artistic interpretation of the famed Nathan's hotdog logo

Enjoy the warmth and smells of Spring and the flavors of cheesecake and blintzes as we move into Shavuot. 

Chag Sameach!

Livia Thompson, JBI President's signature
Livia Thompson

Get in touch!

We are committed to serving you, and want to hear from you:

Call us at: 212-889-2525 or 800-433-1531 

Email: Livia Thompson, President, at Lthompson@jbilibrary.org 
Email: Arlene Arfe, Librarian, at Aarfe@jbilibrary.org

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JBI International
(established in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute)
Connecting individuals who are blind or visually impaired to Jewish life
110 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016

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