Bar mitzvah project gets synagogue’s hearing-impaired in the loop

Jake Vistoso and his brother, Evan, both wear hearing aids, yet had trouble understanding the rabbi at their synagogue in Newtown.

Since Jake had just turned 13, he wanted to tackle that auditory challenge for his bar mitzvah project.

The answer was a “hearing loop” – a strand of wire hidden under the carpet of the sanctuary at Congregation Brothers of Israel.

Jake helped raise more than $3,000 for the loop system, which transmits audio from the rabbi’s microphone directly into most hearing aids. No headset required.

A miniature version of this technology has been around for decades, required by law to be built into all land-line telephones. If a hearing-aid wearer has trouble hearing a phone conversation, he or she simply pushes a button or switch on the hearing aid, activating an internal “telecoil” that receives a wireless transmission of the telephone’s electromagnetic signal.