Shalom Life | January 29, 2015

PJ Library Delivers its 3 Millionth Jewish Children’s Book

Popular program in York Region looks to expand across the GTA

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: June 7th, 2012 in News » World

PJ Library Delivers its 3 Millionth Jewish Children’s Book

PJ Library (PJ as in pyjamas), which offers free, high-quality Jewish books and music each month to families raising Jewish children, achieved a major milestone recently when PJ’s 82 year-old founder Harold Grinspoon hand-delivered the organization’s 3 millionth Jewish children’s book to a Livingston, New Jersey family.

The program now sends 100,000 free books to families across North America each month – up from 200 a month in 2005, when Grinspoon first started the program in Massachusetts.

One of PJ Library’s goals is that somewhere between Dr. Seuss and the Berenstein Bears, a child may turn to a book like Vivian Newman’s “Ella’s’ Trip to Israel” or Toronto’s own Aubrey Davis’ “Bagels from Benny” and spark a Jewish discussion in a household that doesn’t have enough of them.

The program’s impact is felt throughout Jewish federations, community centres, synagogues, and other organizations that partner with PJ Library in making these books available to young children and their families.

For almost two years, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s support of PJ Library has helped bring the books to over 1,800 families in York Region, one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the world.

While The Harold Grinspoon Foundation funds about 50 percent of the program, locally the program is made possible by the generous donations of Gabi Weisfeld, the Weinbaum Family Foundation, Phyllis & Ab Flatt and UJA Federation.

“The positive, upbeat stories we hear from parents and grandparents about the ways the books inspire their children and grandchildren with new feelings about their Jewish identities are powerful,” said Ted Sokolsky, President & CEO, UJA Federation of Toronto. “Getting these children involved in reading at an early age and having their Jewish identities nurtured and fortified, has been a wonderful experience for everyone.”

The books, which are chosen by a selection committee of educators and editors, run the gamut from explicitly Jewish to barely so. The themes reflect the personal dedication of the program's founder, who puts a premium on stories promoting tikkun olam (repairing the world), Jewish summer camp, visiting Israel and contemporary families enjoying Judaism.
Each age group, from 6 months to 5 1/2 years old, receives its own age-appropriate books, and all the books include a parents' guide for further discussion or activity.

Currently in over 170 communities in Canada, the United States, Israel and Australia, UJA Federation is seeking additional funds to expand PJ Library across the Greater Toronto Area.

For more information about PJ Library, or to enroll, please visit pjlibrary905.ca



Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust TrendingJoe Rotman, Toronto Businessman, Philanthropist, and Icon, Dead at 80 Joe Rotman, Toronto Businessman, Philanthropist, and Icon, Dead at 80 TrendingSteven Spielberg Holds Special Reception for 100 Holocaust Survivors From Around the World Steven Spielberg Holds Special Reception for 100 Holocaust Survivors From Around the World Trending
 

EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Spielberg Talks New Documentary ‘Above and Beyond’

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Spielberg Talks New Documentary ‘Above and Beyond’

'Above and Beyond' is the first major feature-length documentary about the foreign airmen in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Read More

Toronto is Hosting a Drake Themed Drag Party

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Toronto is Hosting a Drake Themed Drag Party

This weekend, The Crush Project invites you to 'Drake Expectations'.

Read More

Reporter to Rashida Jones: I Like Your Tan [VIDEO]

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Reporter to Rashida Jones: I Like Your Tan [VIDEO]

A TNT correspondent commented on Jones' "tan" at the SAG awards.

Read More

Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake

January 28, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Sorry, Israel’s BDSM Domino’s Ad is Fake

Domino's announced that the viral ad for their new sriracha pizza is unauthorized.

Read More

Anti-Israel BDS Movement May Be Fashionable in Academia, But It's Far From Invincible

January 28, 2015 | By Roberta P. Seid, JNS.org
Anti-Israel BDS Movement May Be Fashionable in Academia, But It's Far From Invincible

BDS resolutions degrade academia and do not meet even the most elementary scholarly standards

Read More

Hezbollah to Israel: We Don't Want Further Escalation

January 28, 2015 | By Itamar Eichner, Moran Azulay
Hezbollah to Israel: We Don't Want Further Escalation

Attack was an 'eye for an eye' - revenge for January 18 attack in Syria attributed to Israel

Read More

Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust

January 28, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Artist Envisions The Simspons as Jews During the Holocaust

With 'The Simpsons NEVER AGAIN', Alexsandro Palombo draws the iconic cartoon family imprisoned at Auschwitz in honor of the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation

Read More

Report: Poverty in Israel Comparable to Mexico

January 28, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Report: Poverty in Israel Comparable to Mexico

With the middle class disappearing, the gap between the rich and the poor is becoming all too clear in the Holy Land, according to the Adva Center

Read More

More Headlines