JBI offers free Haggadahs for people with visual challenges

Accessible “Haggadot allow everyone ... to join together with family, friends and community, and partake in the mitzvah,” says JBI's director.

JBI Jewish Braille Institute free haggadah program. Credit: Courtesy.
JBI Jewish Braille Institute free haggadah program. Credit: Courtesy.

JBI, the nearly century-old nonprofit that enables access to Jewish life for individuals who are blind, have visual impairments and/or print disabilities, recently launched its annual Haggadah campaign offering free large-print, Braille and audio Haggadahs to anyone in need. 

Free Haggadot: large print, braille & audio formats
JBI provide free haggadahs in large-print, braille and audio formats. Credit: Courtesy.

JBI’s executive director Livia Thompson said, “Participation at a Passover seder can be difficult and isolating for those who have trouble reading standard text. Our accessible large-print, Braille and audio Haggadahs allow everyone, young and old, to join together with family, friends and community, and partake in the mitzvah of sharing the Passover story. Whether leading the seder in long-standing family tradition or reciting the Four Questions for the first time, all should be able to participate and feel they belong.”

JBI offers 18 different versions for patrons to choose from, including Haggadahs in several languages and denominations, as well as a Haggadah “digest” for communal seders for use in settings such as nursing homes. Last year, JBI partnered with several organizations to add new Braille and large-print editions to their offerings, and these now include the “Mishkan HaSeder” from the CCAR Press, PJ Library’s “Family Haggadah” and the “Chabad Haggadah.”

Through the PJ Library collaboration, JBI has also made an audio version available for families who want to study the text and songs in advance of the holiday.

Orders are requested by April 11 in order to receive a free Haggadah in time for this year’s Passover seder. They are free for individuals.

For institutions requesting multiple Haggadahs, JBI charges a modest fee to cover the cost of production for those outside of New York City. (Nonprofits in New York City can request Haggadahs, free of charge, thanks to an accessibility grant.) 

To learn more or to request a free, large-print, Braille or audio Haggadah, visit: JBI’s website at www.jbilibrary.org, call 800-999-6476 or email: haggadah@jbilibrary.org.

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JBI, established in 1931 as The Jewish Braille Institute, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people of all ages and backgrounds who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled gain access to Jewish life. Through a vast circulating library, liturgical texts, customized materials, and cultural offerings, JBI enables its patrons to connect to the rich literary, cultural, and religious texts of the Jewish community. JBI creates, publishes, and distributes thousands of Jewish-interest materials in audio, braille, and large print that are provided free of charge and sent directly to patrons' doorsteps. JBI continues to innovate and empower communities through its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. To learn more, visit www.jbilibrary.org.
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