PJ Library provides the gift of free Jewish children's books delivered right to your doorstep. Enroll now at http://www.pjlibrary.org/signup PJ Library mails free, high-quality Jewish children's books and music to families all over the world, helping them explore the timeless core values of Judaism.
PJ Library is an award-winning program brought to you through the generosity of your local Jewish community in partnership with local philanthropists and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF).
Mission: In keeping with the mission of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the PJ Library program enhances vibrant Jewish life in Western Massachusetts, North America, and Israel. Its goal is to support the Jewish journeys of families raising young children.
The Jewish holiday of Tisha B'Av starts tonight. This day of mourning shares some of the same observances as Yom Kippur, like fasting, but the origins are very different. If Tisha B'Av is new to you, MyJewishLearning.com has a helpful overview.
myjewishlearning.com Tisha B'Av is the major day of communal mourning in the Jewish calendar. Although a large number of disasters are said to have befallen the Jews on this day, the major commemoration is of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
Enjoy a special Spanish storytime replay of one of our books from PJ Library en Español, featuring PJ Library Atlanta Connector Ana.
Disfruta de una repetición especial en español de uno de nuestros libros de PJ Library en Español, con PJ Library en Atlanta Connector Ana.
"Saluda, Lili" ("Say Hello, Lily") was written by Deborah Lakritz, illustrated by Martha Aviles, and published by Kar-Ben Publishing. Find more titles at karben.com.
Earlier this spring, author Lesléa Newman joined us for a virtual chat about writing, including why it's important to create picture books that tackle subjects like gender expression and the death of a sibling.
Lesléa is the author of 70 books, with several PJ Library selections like "Gittel's Journey" and "Welcoming Elijah."
Find a full list of her work at lesleanewman.com.
Optimal Northern Lights viewing season is between fall and spring, and you can actually see this beautiful phenomenon a little closer to home than you may realize. But until the time is right for visiting, you can enjoy some beautiful photos and interesting facts about these viewing spots.
thediscoverer.com You can see the northern lights from several places in the U.S. without traveling to Alaska. Here are 5 surprising spots to see this natural phenomenon.
When her preschool plans a Shavuot hike, Sadie is afraid she won’t be able to make it to the top of their climb and tries to think of ways to be avoid going. But when the day arrives, it’s much different (and better!) than Sadie imagined.
"Sadie and the Big Mountain" is usually part of our Shavuot reading list, but this sweet story about conquering your fears is a great lesson anytime.
Enjoy Paul reading "Sadie and the Big Mountain," written by Jamie Korngold, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry, and published by Kar-Ben Publishing. More Jewish books can be found at karben.com.
Do you have any empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls heading to the recycling bin? Pick one of these ideas per day, and you'll have two weeks' worth of upcycled art projects.
pbs.org Do you have extra paper towel or toilet paper rolls left hanging around? Here are 13 easy DIY activities that your children can do to upcycle plain cardboard rolls into something new!
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
Is there any truer #WednesdayWisdom to live by right about now? How have you changed yourself?
Today's schedule listed below, with times in EDT.
10am: Have a few toilet paper or paper towel tubes you're about to recycle? It's project time!
11am: Paul shares the story "Sadie and the Big Mountain," with a great lesson about overcoming obstacles (even when it's not Shavuot).
Noon: Have you ever seen the Northern Lights in person? For today's virtual field trip, discover some prime viewing spots closer to home.
1pm: Learn more about author Lesléa Newman and her books with a virtual visit.
4pm: We're replaying our Spanish storytime of "Saluda, Lili" ("Say Hello, Lily").
If your kids have really gotten into cooking and baking at home, why not take it up a level with some hints from the experts? Check out these free online cooking classes for families.
offspring.lifehacker.com A couple of months into the pandemic, my 9-year-old son looked at me and said, “Maybe I’ll get into cooking.” He’s helped me bake since he was a preschooler but we’d never really cooked together because weeknights were always so rushed with school and work and activities. Not so much at th...
With the end of July basically here, schools are preparing for what fall might look like. Here are some ways parents can help prepare students.
offspring.lifehacker.com It is, somehow, already the end of July, which means some of our kids are mere weeks away from returning to the classroom—or not. School districts across the country are announcing back to school plans that are either fully in person, fully online or some hybrid of the two. Our kids want to know w...
Our storytelling friends at Circle Round are partnering with Tanglewood Music Festival for an online family concert. The audio will be available today at 5 pm. Eastern at wbur.org.
Learn more about this collaboration:
bso.org Tanglewood Family Concert with Circle Round
You know author Samara Klein from books like "Shabbat Light" and "Purim Masquerade." They're fun, interactive, and loved by families, and here's your chance to learn a little more about the author herself.
Showing kindness to animals (the Jewish value tza'ar ba'alei chayim) is a theme in many PJ Library selections. How do you express kindness to living creatures?
For more, check out 11 books that feature this very topic:
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? No, not practice -- with a virtual field trip! The famous New York concert hall is hosting family live streams, so check out the schedule of events.
carnegiehall.org This weekly spinoff of Live with Carnegie Hall focuses on the power of music to spark growth, curiosity, and connection.
For some Jewish families, Yiddish has been spoken at home for generations. For others, it might be something you've never heard at all.
Today, Lori talks about some of the PJ Library books that contain Yiddish words and phrases. Do you recognize any of these or have a favorite Yiddish saying you remember?
Lots of audio treats for your ears today: Yiddish phrases, Carnegie Hall, and podcasting with Tanglewood. Enjoy at the times listed below (EDT).
11am: What's this Yiddish doing here? Lori reviews the words and phrases you might find in some PJ Library books.
Noon: Visit one of the most famous concert venues in the world, Carnegie Hall, and learn about some of their virtual music programs.
1pm: Discover some of the practical ways your family can practice showing kindness to animals.
4pm: Virtually visit with PJ Library author Samara Klein and learn about her writing.
5pm: Enjoy a collaboration between Tanglewood and Circle Round.
Anytime: Love audio storytelling like the Circle Round podcast? Listen to the latest episode of Have I Got a Story for You! at pjlibrary.org/podcast.
The New York Times "Guide to Modern Parenting" focuses a little bit on several subjects, like eating and sleeping routines, bullying, time management, and more. It's not a step by step guide to raising perfect humans (because there isn't one), but it's a handy go-to for a little help and reassurance.
nytimes.com Modern parents have the entire internet at their disposal and don’t follow any single authority. It’s hard to know what to trust. In this guide, we’ll talk about how to raise a person you really like, without losing yourself in the process.
Enjoy a guest post, Not Jewish Enough? from PJ Library parent and professional, Sarah Rabin Spira:
My sister and I used to rattle off all the things we are, like some kind of personal chant: “English, Scots-Irish, Ukrainian, Cherokee, Baptist, Southern, and Jewish.” But the truth was, we didn’t really feel like we belonged to any of these groups.
You see, it’s our dad who is Jewish, which meant that for many Jews in our hometown, we weren’t actually Jewish at all. We spent a lot of time feeling left out. We loved the holidays and spending time with our Bubbie and feeling connected to a culture and a religion with a long history. We loved that kind of Judaism, but it became exhausting being told, “You’re not REALLY Jewish.”
Fast forward more years than I’ll admit to, and I run PJ Library for all of Greater Washington and work for a Jewish Federation, with a Jewish husband who works at a synagogue, a son in a Jewish Day School and a daughter at a JCC preschool. So, what happened in the middle?
Lots of things.
I inherited my grandparents’ dishes and table and decided to use them to host a Passover Seder with my most supportive friends. It has grown from six people to more than 25 friends, family, and kids.
I started teaching preschool at a JCC and learned as much as I taught.
My husband and I chose to confirm our children’s Judaism in the mikveh (ritual bath). They loved getting “dunky-dunkied” to “be more Jewish.”
I did everything I could to make conscious choices about my beliefs and practice and to lead a meaningful Jewish life with my husband and children.
Most important, I found a Jewish community that accepted my family as we are.
The angst is there, but it’s diminished over time. (What’s a Jew without a little angst?!) Every day as a PJ Library Professional, I get the chance to make Jewish life and our Jewish community more welcoming for all families. We want the Jewish connections to be meaningful, and the books are often just the first access point to our shared culture. Education tools are included with the books, so that parents (including me) can easily learn and teach their children while spending quality reading time together. More importantly, we want families to love being Jewish.
Each family finds their own path to Jewish life, so we provide a lot of options for families to make connections through the books and within the community. We host programs in grocery stores, bookstores, converted factories, playgrounds, ice cream stores, art studios, and more. We also have programs in synagogues, JCCs, day schools, our Federation building, and other Jewish spaces. Every engagement opportunity is designed to be high-quality, low-barrier, and welcoming to all families. If the books are the first access point, the programs are the second (and hopefully the third, fourth, fifth, and so on). I see it as my job to prevent the feelings that I had so long ago—feelings of being left out, of not knowing what is going on, of not being sure of my place. I do this by actively welcoming newcomers, explaining everything we are doing, translating and transliterating all Hebrew, and providing enriching experiences in delightful spaces.
And my sister? She read PJ Library books to her daughter until she was old enough to read them for herself. My niece’s connection to Judaism was created by the PJ Library books—she takes them as part of her heritage, without guilt or judgment, just joy. And that’s the experience I want to replicate for PJ Library families.
This post originally appeared in the 2016 edition of PROOF magazine.
With unemployment reaching crisis levels, this article presents an interesting idea that might sound familiar to families who've read a certain PJ Library selection called "Pavel and the Tree Army."
Jamie, PJ Library's Director of Conferences and Events, is here to read "Pavel and the Tree Army," written by Heidi Smith Hyde, illustrated by Elisa Vavouri, and published by Kar-Ben Publishing. In the book, the title character, Pavel, joins a tree-planting army corps and ends up learning what it means to plant your own roots somewhere.
Here's a PJ Library fun fact: In 2010, there was a postage flexibility rule change -- yes, that's really a thing. The rule change required mail to meet a certain level of flexibility to be considered “flat mail.” PJ Library's earliest board books did not meet these requirements, so we worked with our publishing partners to employ a different type of paper. Now PJ Library board books are sturdy enough for the hands of toddlers but flexible enough for postage machines. And even big-name publishers are starting to use this paper!
What other fun facts would you like to know about?
For today's #MusicMonday field trip, visit the famous Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
And tune in tomorrow for a special Tanglewood concert with our storytelling friends at Circle Round.
bso.org An educational resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Wishing the happiest of birthdays to Harold Grinspoon, founder of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and PJ Library, who's turning 91 today! You can leave your own birthday greetings for Harold in the comments below.
In this virtual author visit, New York Times bestselling author Chris Grabenstein and coauthor J.J. Grabenstein talk about working together to write Shine!
youtube.com Chris and J.J. Grabenstein talk about working together and how they wrote SHINE. Everyone deserves to shine in this sparkling new book from the New York Time...
Good Monday morning! Enjoy a selection of stories and behind-the-scenes treats to get your week started. Come back to the PJ Library page at the times below (in EDT).
11am: Join bestselling author Chris Grabenstein as he talks about the book Shine!, which he co-authored with J.J. Grabenstein.
Noon: Take a virtual tour of the famous Tanglewood concert venue in Lenox, Massachusetts.
1pm: Curious about how PJ Library sends board books through the mail? We'll share some little known PJ Library history.
4pm: Jamie's here to read "Pavel and the Tree Army," and this PJ Library selection happens to have a connection to an article in the recent news.
Now that it's pretty clear that kids will spend at least some time learning online in the fall, parents might want to note these tips for keeping them safe.
kveller.com As the pandemic rages on, so many elements of our lives, and our childrens’ lives, continue to shift from in-person to online. As a result, a host of new questions and concerns regarding online safety are more important to consider now than ever before. On last week’s episode of Camp Kveller, we...
What are you up to tonight? How about a tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris? RSJ Moishe House Philadelphia is hosting a virtual tour of France’s most famous galleries, including a viewing and overview of the Louvre's popular displays. Head to the dedicated Facebook* page at 6 p.m. Eastern to check out the fun: https://www.facebook.com/louvrevirtualtour
*The Zoom event went over capacity, but the Facebook Live stream is public and open to anyone.
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement.
There's still one more week to enjoy every delicious bite of National Ice Cream Month. These are the flavors Google says you're searching for. Are they right?
huffpost.com Google shared insights into Americans' frozen treat preferences ahead of National Ice Cream Day.
For families wanting to diversify their bookshelves, here are two more great lists to peruse, both of which also happen to have some PJ Library selections.
7 Diverse Jewish Children's and YA Books
6 Favorite Diverse Jewish Kidlit Books from Heidi Rabinowitz, host of The Book of Life podcast.
bookriot.com Check out this selection of some great diverse Jewish children’s and YA books to add to your library and expand your knowledge of the Jewish community.
The holiday of Tisha B'av starts Wednesday night this week. Here are a few interesting facts about this annual fast day:
✅ Tisha B'av literally means the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, kind of like Tu B'shevat means the 15th day of Shevat.
✅ Tisha B'Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av.
✅ The holiday commemorates the destruction of the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date.
We don't need to tell you that reading to your children is important. Study after study has shown it impacts a child’s development. Even the mere presence of books in a home increases the level of education they can reach.
But finding the right books and making the time to read as a family can be hard. That’s where PJ Library comes in.
PJ Library sends free Jewish children's books to families across the world every month. We know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values and traditions that are important to you.
A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. Families with Jewish kids ages 6 months through 8 years old are welcome to sign up. PJ Library welcomes all Jewish families, whatever your background, knowledge, or family make-up, or observance may be.
Through our partners around North America, we also offer activities for your family — because you’ve got to get out of the house and meet new people sometimes.
Your children are learning about the world around them through the stories they hear. PJ Library books can bring Jewish ideas and inspiration for you and your children to share together.
Do you have a 9-11 year old at home? Check out PJ Our Way, our program for tweens. Kids get to choose their own chapter book or graphic novel each month. Sign up at pjourway.org.
In keeping with the mission of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the PJ Library program enhances vibrant Jewish life in Western Massachusetts, North America, and Israel. Its goal is to support the Jewish journeys of families raising young children.
PJ Library was selected as one of the "50 most inspiring and innovative programs in North America" by Slingshot and its 2008-2009 Resource Guide. PJ Library was also a JESNA 2010 pick for "Best in Jewish Education of the Decade."
The Grinspoon Awards (formerly Grinspoon-Steinhardt Awards) have recognized over 700 outstanding educators in the U.S. and Canada in the past 15 years.
Your 1st CHOICE Home Loan Lender in Agawam! Inspiring Hope, Delivering Dreams and Building Prosperity in the United States since 1988!
Welcome class of 1997! Reconnect with classmates, share stories, pictures, and memories.
Follow us for information on the instrumental music program at Agawam High School. Instagram: @agawamhsbands
Teaching Quality Dance in Agawam since 1966. Ballet, HipHop, Jazz, Tap
The premier comedy troupe of writers, performers, and producers based in Western MA.
Before / After School
Learn the traditional style of Muay Thai Boxing from a Thai coach in the local area of Agawam, Western Massachusetts.
Design, Scrapbooking, Needle Felting, Pottery, Slipcasting, Greenware, Ceramics, Painting, and all other forms of art.