Shalom Life | July 24, 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



Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO] Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO] TrendingBelgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign TrendingHoward Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] Howard Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] Trending
 

Startup Club: GetYou

July 24, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: GetYou

The new app has been described as the "Tinder-Meets-Secret-Meets-Flirting Game"

Read More

Standing with Israel, from Around the World

July 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Standing with Israel, from Around the World

A new social media campaign initiated by StandWithUs invites people to show their support of Israel by sending photos of their passports

Read More

Zach Braff Sends Touching Video To His Biggest Fan [VIDEO]

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Zach Braff Sends Touching Video To His Biggest Fan [VIDEO]

The 'Wish I Was Here' director and star recorded a personal video for a man named Mattias.

Read More

Mayim Bialik Will Host ‘Candid Camera’ Reboot

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mayim Bialik Will Host ‘Candid Camera’ Reboot

The 'Big Bang Theory' star will be co-hosting alongside Peter Funt.

Read More

Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway' Stage Production is a Flop

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway' Stage Production is a Flop

The play will be closing its curtains after just five months

Read More

Seth Meyers May Have Started a Feud Between Louis C.K and Ricky Gervais

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Seth Meyers May Have Started a Feud Between Louis C.K and Ricky Gervais

Gervais and C.K are nominated in the same category at the upcoming Emmy awards

Read More

Before Songza, Google Tried to Buy Spotify

July 24, 2014 | By Shaleni McBain
Before Songza, Google Tried to Buy Spotify

The Internet giant backed off after Spotify asked for double its worth

Read More

More Headlines