April 16, 2024
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Dining in the Dark to Help the Visually Impaired in Israel

The Jerusalem Institute for the Blind will host its first-ever “Blackout Brunch” to benefit the visually impaired in Israel. This unique sensory-awareness experience will give diners a first-hand glimpse into the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired and take them on an unforgettable culinary journey in the dark, safely and comfortably.

For more than 100 years, the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind has provided a wide range of educational, rehabilitative, health and social-welfare activities for blind and visually impaired children and youth throughout Israel.

The Jerusalem Institute for the Blind’s inaugural Blackout Brunch will take place on Sunday, May 22 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, which is located at 5 East 62nd Street in New York City.

Tickets for the Blackout Brunch are $90 per person until April 12 (or $125 per person after April 15). To order ticket and make reservations, visit www.BlackoutBrunch.org or call 212-532-4155.

Attendees will be given featherweight blindfolds before entering the dining space and will be guided to their seats and served an exquisite meal. They will dine in total darkness, allowing their senses to be their guides, enjoying smells, sounds, tastes and textures in a way never thought possible.

The Blackout Brunch is being hosted by the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind in collaboration with Dark Dining Projects and will utilize the power of darkness to clear away the expectations created by sight. Amy Baumgarten, an expert in facilitating and coordinating feasts for blindfolded diners, will be on hand to bridge the beauty of the everyday with the magic of the unknown.

“Sometimes, to truly open your eyes, you must close them,” said Leo Brandstatter, the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind’s New York office. “The Blackout Brunch was developed to raise awareness about the sensory world that lies just beyond our vision. By experiencing the world in this way, we can gain a new perspective on the world of the blind and visually impaired. This will be a powerful presentation, where sensing is perceiving.”

The Jerusalem Institute for the Blind, which was established in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1902 and relocated to its state-of-the-art campus in Kiryat Moshe in 1937, has grown into a widely respected Jerusalem landmark. Today, the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind, which is the first institute of its kind in the Jewish world, serves as a home, school, social outlet, sports center, respite provider, confidence builder and networking enabler for the many blind and visually challenged individuals throughout the Jewish state.

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