Devarim Institute created three programs, that when brought together, allow a Jewish blind or visually impaired person to fully participate in congregational life.
Learn Hebrew Braille - a home course that teaches the Hebrew language in braille, so as to be able to read a prayerbook or the Torah scroll.
Refreshable Braille Prayerbook - a file to place on to your device that will contain the entire denominational prayerbook to allow you to follow along and participate as the service moves through their service.
Hebrew Braille Sefer Torah - This allows a blind or visually impaired person to read from a kosher scroll directly in Hebrew braille. This will now allow you to have a bar/bat mitzvah or to have an aliya in your congregation.
Together it forms the complete package, opening up whatever possibilities a Jewish blind or visually impaired would wish for in congregational life.
Rabbi Lenny Sarko and Devarim Institute has created the world's first Hebrew Braille Sefer Torah
For over three thousand years Jewish communities have been reading from a Torah scroll for a congregational service on a weekly basis. Blind and visually impaired Jews were not able to participate in this honor as custom required that the scroll be read not memorized. Although Hebrew braille was invented in the 1940's, no scroll was created for a variety of reasons. Rabbi Lenny Sarko addressed those reasons and created a Hebrew Braille Sefer Torah.
If you have a blind or visually impaired member of your congregation, they will now be able to read Torah for a congregational service. We have created a program that will allow them, or you, to borrow a scroll for their reading and then return it. In this way you do not need to purchase a scroll. For those that need we have also created a program that will teach Hebrew braille. This will now give the opportunity for students to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and for adults to fully participate in their congregations.
If your congregation does not have a blind or visually impaired member, but has an interest in this unique Torah, we can provide a lecture, which can be done in person or remotely, live with a video conference program. Learn the story of the five year pathway it took to address all the issues in making this scroll within acceptable guidelines for a sefer Torah. View the Hebrew braille scroll in person and experience what it is to read from this Torah.
Please use the contact page if you are interested in any of these programs.
If you would like to contribute to the creation of more scrolls, we are able to accept donations as a nonprofit organization. We will provide you with a contribution letter with all the information you require to use it as a tax exempt contribution. Please communicate with the rabbi through the contact page and we will coordinate the arrangements.
Devarim Institute is a nonprofit education research, development, implementation and dissemination organization. Founded in 2007, we are committed to strengthening research about and helping shape better practice in education.