Shalom Life | September 17, 2014

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



Archaeologists Uncover Gas Chambers at Sobibor Death Camp Archaeologists Uncover Gas Chambers at Sobibor Death Camp TrendingBritish Retailer Bans Jewish Schoolchildren from Entering British Retailer Bans Jewish Schoolchildren from Entering TrendingJustin Trudeau Strongly Opposes Anti-Terror Bill Justin Trudeau Strongly Opposes Anti-Terror Bill Trending
 

Judd Apatow's 'Love' Is Coming to Netflix

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Judd Apatow's 'Love' Is Coming to Netflix

The '40 Year Old Virgin' director is returning to his television roots.

Read More

Seinfeld Mourns Loss of Joan Rivers, Tells Fans She Was Scheduled For 'Comedians in Cars'

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Seinfeld Mourns Loss of Joan Rivers, Tells Fans She Was Scheduled For 'Comedians in Cars'

The late great Rivers was supposed to star on the premiere episode of the next season of 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'

Read More

'YidLife Crisis': Your Yiddish Answer to 'Seinfeld' [VIDEO]

September 17, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
'YidLife Crisis': Your Yiddish Answer to 'Seinfeld' [VIDEO]

What if 'Seinfeld' took place in Montreal instead of New York and saw it's main characters speaking Yiddish?

Read More

Bill Clinton: Netanyahu "Not the Guy" to Bring Peace

September 17, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Bill Clinton: Netanyahu "Not the Guy" to Bring Peace

The former U.S. President criticized the Israeli PM, a contrast of what his wife, potential Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, believes

Read More

Ryan Braun is Milwaukee Brewers Nominee For Roberto Clemente Award

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Ryan Braun is Milwaukee Brewers Nominee For Roberto Clemente Award

The right fielder is being rewarded for his community service since the PED scandal last year.

Read More

Louis C.K. Joins Bruce Springsteen at Stand Up For Heroes Benefit

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Louis C.K. Joins Bruce Springsteen at Stand Up For Heroes Benefit

The annual show, involving a night of comedy and music, is organized by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, as well as the New York Comedy Festival benefitting injured servicemembers and their families.

Read More

Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Adam Lambert is Returning to 'American Idol' as Guest Judge

The former contestant will replace Keith Urban while he takes time off to grieve his father-in-law's death

Read More

Shia LaBeouf’s Stalker Returns, Compares Him to Albert Einstein

September 17, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Shia LaBeouf’s Stalker Returns, Compares Him to Albert Einstein

She also threatened to blow up his house before getting a restraining order placed against her.

Read More

More Headlines