Just in time for Chanukah, more than 1,200 families in Broward County are starting to receive free Jewish children’s books thanks to PJ Library, an international award-winning literacy program that delivers Jewish heritage to children, one book at a time.
To celebrate the program’s launch, PJ Library will be part of a free Community Chanukah Celebration at Fort Lauderdale Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with games, story times, activities, and amusements. The event is sponsored by the Hebrew Free Loan Association of South Florida.
The PJ Library in Broward County is a gift of The Jewish Federation thanks to the generous support of The Sam Berman Charitable Foundation, additional donors and a Collaborative Partnership with 17 synagogues, Jewish schools, and agencies. In 2005, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation started the PJ Library program by sending out 200 free Jewish children’s books monthly to families. Now, more than 200,000 books go out each month to children in 155 communities across North America and Israel with plans to continuously grow throughout the world.
PJ Library is an award-winning Jewish family engagement program designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families and their relationship with the Jewish community. PJ Library offers free, high-quality Jewish books and music each month to more than 85,000 children between the ages of six months and eight years in more than 155 communities in the United States and Canada. Another 120,000 preschool children in Israel also receive books through “SifriyatPijama.” The program was created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which funds institutions and programs that directly transmit Jewish learning to children, adults, and families.
PJ Library impacts families beyond the books they receive at home by building a community of practitioners, connecting families to their local Jewish communities, and enriching local Jewish programming. PJ Library seeks partners with philanthropists and Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Centers, and other Jewish non-profit organizations to bring PJ Library books and music to children.
PJ Library pays more than 50 percent of the cost of sending one package each month to PJ Library participants, while the partnering organizations pay just $40 a year. For more information about PJ Library, visit www.pjlibrary.org.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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