Project Spotlight: Audio Book Project for the Blind

The Fellowship  |  February 7, 2017

David and Nina, IFCJ recipients sitting by their audio equipment in their home.
Project Spotlight: Audio Book Project for the Blind

The Fellowship’s Audio Book Project enables seeing-impaired Israelis, many of them elderly, to enjoy the pleasure of listening to literature. For many of these people, their vision impairment means a life of isolation and despair. Many are physically unable to leave their homes, leaving them trapped in silence with only their memories, which are often bleak, to keep them company.

The audio books are delivered to their homes and offer them a way to stay engaged, entertained, and vibrant, which is especially important for the elderly participants in the program.

Restoring David and Nina’s Joy

David is 91, and for the past 10 years his eyesight has been deteriorating to a point where he can no longer read or even watch T.V. David’s wife, Nina, is 90, and her eyesight has progressively gotten worse in the past few years as well. Like David, she too can no longer enjoy reading a book or a magazine, and what was once a source of joy and laughter for this couple is no longer available.

David and Nina realize they’ve been blessed with longevity and are grateful for every moment of life, but the years since they lost their eyesight have been difficult. They have had to make many painful yet necessary adjustments to their lives.

Sadly, without television or the joy of reading, the aging couple had nothing to steer their thoughts from the past. Nina sat day after day on her chair in the living room, her imagination wandering back to her childhood of fighting to avoid the Nazi death camps. David sat across from her, his mind racing with memories from the Red Army and the catastrophic battles he participated in between Russia and Germany during WWII.

A bit over a year ago, David and Nina joined The Fellowship’s Audio Book Project for the blind, where an expansive library of audio books is available for them to enjoy together. It released them from the confinement of dark memories, and enabled them to share laughter together as a couple in their twilight years.

“Prior to joining The Fellowship’s project for the blind, my wife and I fell into a lot of sadness and despair,” David said. “Thoughts of the past gave us no rest and we had no way to fill our minds and hearts with joy. I thank The Fellowship every day for this gift. My wife and I now listen to the audio books every day, and once again laughter and joy fill our home.”

Learn how you can help support impoverished elderly people and others in need in Israel