Tyler, age 14, reading from his Braille Haggadah Rochelle, who lost her vision later in life, enjoys JBI Talking Books A young child named Lotem is able to see the printed page thanks to customized lenses created by the team at the JBI Low Vision Clinic in Tel Aviv

Our dedicated volunteers are truly the heart of our organization!

JBI offers many wonderful opportunities for volunteer services:

Photo Caption: Victor Persik, one of JBI's Russian narrators, records a JBI Talking Book in our sound studios
  1. In our state-of-the-art recordings studios in mid-Manhattan:
    • Narrating Talking Books - If you pass an audition, we will train you to record Talking Books. JBI records Talking Books mostly in English but also in Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, and Spanish. If you are a native speaker of any of these languages, and would like to try to record, we want to hear from you.
    • Directing Talking Books - Every recording session requires a narrator (who sits inside the recording booth) and a director (who sits outside the recording booth). The director monitors and shapes the level and quality of the recording, and provides editing on-the-go. JBI will train you to do this. You need no professional experience.
    • Quality Control - When a recording of a Talking Book has been completed, it is reviewed by a third party for quality control. This, too, is an essential part of Talking Books production and we will train you to do it.

    Photo Caption: Two volunteers help respond to the onslaught of telephone requests for JBI Large Print Haggadot prior to Passover

    Our studio is open from 11am to 7:30pm, Monday through Thursday, and until 3pm on Fridays. We are flexible, and we will work around your schedule.

    Over the years, we've had hundreds of volunteers of all ages (minimum age 18, please) and professions. About 120 volunteers are currently active in the recording program. Volunteers meet each other in our lounge (stocked with free coffee, tea and snacks) before and after each session. Many lasting friendships have been formed at JBI over the years.

  2. Computerized Braille Production:
    • JBI produces a great deal of customized Braille for blind children and adults. We always need qualified computer literate individuals who already know--or are willing to be trained--in Braille formatting and production.

  3. Large Print:
    • Among its individualized services, JBI offers a great deal of specialized Large Print material in English and Hebrew. Our Library staff can always use additional help with proofreading and production. A reading knowledge of Hebrew is important here.

Photo Caption: Rabbi Harold Kushner lending his voice to a special JBI Audio project If you are interested in volunteering in the recording studio, please call Jane Blecher at 212-889-2525, ext. 108. If you are interested in any of the other volunteer opportunities, please call Arlene Arfe at 212-889-2525, ext. 127. You may also email us at volunteers@jbilibrary.org.