Charleston PJ Library and PJ Our Way

PJ Library sends Jewish-content books monthly to children from 6 months to 8-years-old for FREE! Sign up at

PJ Library supports families in their Jewish journey by sending Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to children from age six months to eight-years-old for FREE! Created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, The PJ Library is funded locally by the Charleston Jewish Federation in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and generous local philanthropists.

PJ Library

Good morning PJ Library families! In addition to the fun programs we have planned below (Eastern times), PJ Our Way subscribers should note:

-PJ Our Way book selections are due tomorrow, July 10. Choose now at
-Join PJOW author Donna Gephart on Sunday, July 12th, at 1pm EDT for "Tell Your Own Story with PJOW." Register at

11am: Author Kirsten Hall reads her book about one of the hardest working creatures in nature, "The Honeybee."

Noon: We want to visit YOU on today's virtual field trip. At noon Eastern, check out our virtual field trip post to share a #ThrowbackThursday photo from last summer in the comments.

1pm: It's too early for Sukkot, but not too early for a Sukkot story. Laya Steinberg reads her book "The Best Sukkot Pumpkin Ever.

4pm: How do Hindu weddings compare to Jewish weddings? Listen to "Bindiya in India" read by the author Monique Kamaria Chheda.

The Resilience of Jewish Camp

This goes out to all of our families that would have been experiencing the magic of Jewish Camp this summer. We see you and we know how hard this experience has been for your children not being able to see their camp friends and experience all that overnight Jewish camp has to offer.

Let us know you’re here in the comments so we can send you our care and love. And if you are comfortable, please post a photo of your children at camp from a previous year.

Over the course of a camper’s time at camp, they develop confidence on the stage, learn resilience on the rock-wall, nurture creativity in the art shack, bui...

Summer Reading!

Check out the Anti-Defamation League's resources for summer reading. You will find ideas on how to make reading fun for kids and a list of multi-cultural and anti-bias books by topic. Whether your child is five or fifteen, summer is the perfect time to nurture reading for enjoyment.

Together Apart RSVP

From our partners at Congregation Dor Tikvah:

Join us on July 15th for Pandemic Parenting - If parenting during the pandemic has made you feel frightened, frazzled, grateful, and everything in between, you’re not alone. Join other parents for an open conversation facilitated by Ora Davies where we’ll share experiences, supports, survival tips, and more.

Fill out the RSVP FORM for details on how to join . Looking for ways to stay connected while social distancing? Join us weekly on Wednesday evenings at 8 pm on Zoom for Dor Tikvah’s newest program, Together Apart. Each week will focus on a different theme. Everyone is welcome to participate in the conversation or just come to listen and hear from o...

Did you know that Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) Reform Jewish Congregation of Charleston hosts a virtual TOT Shabbat program on certain Saturday mornings? The next one will take place on Saturday, July 11th at 10 am!

Need the link? Contact Robin at [email protected]

Check out these great virtual activities happening today from our friends at PJ Library!

How many candies can you fit in a candy jar? How do you get a kite unstuck from a tree? How does a museum display artwork?

These are the critical questions we're tackling today. Eastern times listed below.

11am: Hear the hilarious "Stuck" by award-winning author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers.

Noon: Today, it's a combination field trip: part museum tour and part hands-on art project.

1pm: We're revisiting our chat with PJ Our Way author Elissa Brent Weissman.

4pm: Author Tom Watson reads a little from the latest book in his early chapter series "Trouble at Table 5."

Looking for something for your tween (8.5-12) to do? Or do you know someone else who is?

They are invited to join peers from around North America for “Tell Your Own Story” with PJ Our Way!

PJOW author, Donna Gephart taps our imaginations as we explore and document this totally new time in our collective history.

For kids ages 8.5-12
Time: Sunday, July 12th, at 1pm EST

Space is limited- Families can register here:

4 Super Fun Ways to Help Kids Really Know What a 6-foot Bubble Is

If summer plans have you out a little more, here are some creative ways to reinforce safe personal space. And as always, parents should use their discretion. How bubbles, string and even you can help kids turn social distance into a social skill.

PJ Library

Rachel from PJ Our Way shares some of her favorite chapter books. Don't forget, kids ages 8.5-12 are eligible for PJ Our Way. Visit to sign up.

Rachel from PJ Our Way shares some of her favorite chapter books. Don't forget, kids ages 8.5-12 are eligible for PJ Our Way. Visit to sign up.

9 Jewish Activities to Try When You’re Cooped Up at Home with Kids

A message from Melanie Archer, Religious School Director, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) Reform Jewish Congregation of Charleston:
Quarantine time with children can be challenging. It can be a real struggle to continue to find new activities to keep your children busy. Now would be an opportune time to start documenting your family’s history. Your children can call older relatives and ask about family members and their stories. You can create a family tree, label old photographs with names, dates, and locations, and start a new photo album with pictures, notes, and saved memorabilia. You could create your own version of the board game Guess Who using family members, or make trivia questions about the family. Older children could make a Kahoot (they know what is). There are many ways to capture and preserve family history, and now would be a great time to help engage your children in the process.
For more ideas for keeping your kids busy during the quarantine, check out: Spending more time than usual at home these days? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Jewishly inspired crafts, recipes, activities, videos, and other ideas to keep you and your family occupied during days spent indoors – all while learning about and embracing Judaism together.

PJ Library

There's a little something for everyone in today's lineup -- food, travel, and storytelling. To join, just head back to the PJ Library page at the times below (listed in EDT).

10am: Bake pita from scratch.

11am: Duncan shares a story about passing on the kindness "One Good Deed" at a time.

Noon: We're virtually exploring Alaska. It's a pretty big state, so you might want to bring a change of clothes.

1pm: Rachel from PJ Our Way shares some of her favorite chapter books.

4pm: Have a virtual visit with author Esty Schachter.

Anytime: The PJ Library podcast and other audio content like music videos and Spotify playlists can all be found at

Happy #mitzvahMonday⠀

For today’s project, it’s time to get creative and spread some cheer. We want to see your best #sidewalkart whether it’s with chalk, homemade paint, or whatever medium you want to use. Create hopscotch, twister, 4 square, a maze, or any other game. Draw pictures. Write messages. Whatever you create, we want to see it! Don’t forget to upload and tag us in it! ⠀

#mitzvahMonday #sidewalkchalkart @kkbe_chas @synagogueemanu_el @dortikvah @jewishchs @addlestone_hebrew_academy @jewishcharleston @pjlibrary #pjourway

PJ Library

Happy Monday (and July!) everyone. We know you may need more than the usual list of go-to summer activities this year, so in addition to our daily stories, be sure to check out all the goodies on the PJ Library Pinterest boards:

For everything below, just head back to the PJ Library page at the (Eastern) times listed.

11am: *Listen* as we follow the adventures of Baby and Savta in a special animated read-along of "Listen."

Noon: Mister G is taking us on another fantastic musical journey today for #MusicMonday: it's a virtual field trip to Buenos Aires!

1pm: "Everyone Says Meow" author Constance Lombardo demonstrates how to draw a kitten.

4pm: A virtual visit with Tammar Stein, author of the PJ Our Way selection "The Six-Day Hero."

The Holderness Family

Raise your hand if you’ve had to check what day it is at least once in the last few weeks!

Today is Sunderday the Threlvth of Junetember, right?

PJ Library

For our US subscribers, happy almost 4th of July! But Shabbat starts before the 4th, and we have some sweet stories lined up to get you ready for the weekend. Times listed in Eastern Daylight Time.

11am: Sarah shares some "Shabbat Light" with us.

Noon: You can virtually visit New York and catch Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Show in places all around the city.

1pm: Have you ever participated in a meal train? "Cholent Brigade" is a little like that. Duncan's here to read a hearty and heartwarming book.

4pm: Amy is a fantastic story reader, and Nelson is a fantastic story listener. What a great pair for "Goodnight Sh'ma."

Anytime: Listen to the latest episode of the PJ Library podcast, Have I Got a Story For You! In "The Sweetest Sound," the members of the band Kreplach Riot find the sweetest sound while also honoring friendship and community:

PJ Library

These not-so-loud 4th of July activities also happen to be great for at-home parties with just your family:

PJ Library

Before you dive into July and conquer the summer like nobody's business, let's let go of June with some lighthearted stories and art projects. Come back to the PJ Library page at the times below (EDT) to learn, laugh, and paint.

11am: Craft time! Let out your stress with a homemade stress ball - it's so easy to make and so satisfying to squeeze.

Noon: We're virtually visiting Neot Kedumim, a "Biblical Landscape Reserve" in Israel.

1pm: Lori (with the help of a special guest) reads the hilarious "Don't Sneeze at the Wedding."

4pm: Grab a few supplies, and let's create some tree art, inspired by Christie Matheson's book "Tap the Magic Tree."

PJ Library Books Arriving This Month: July 2020

Get excited - you’ll be receiving one of these books this month for each subscribed child! Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of your PJ Library envelope? Here are the books going out to families this month.

Hey PJ Our Way families, guess what! Today is July 1st! That means it’s time to choose your #PJOW book! Remember, you have until the 10th to make your selection. ⠀

What will you choose? Let us know when you do!

#pjourway @kkbe_chas @synagogueemanu_el @dortikvah @jewishchs @addlestone_hebrew_academy #bsbicharleston @jewishcharleston

Summer Parent Survey for Fall Planning

CCSD parents - have you completed the survey yet? This is to help the schools navigate a safe reopening based on your feedback. As we look to ensure that we take into consideration feedback from parents as it relates to our Safe Restart in August, we are respectfully requesting that you please complete this second summer survey. 𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦 𝐟𝐨...

A New Land, A New Life: Mighty Girl Books About the Immigrant Experience A Mighty Girl's top picks of books about Mighty Girl immigrants historically and in modern times.

URJ Camp Coleman and Racial Justice - URJ Camp Coleman | Jewish Summer Camp & Retreat Center

From our friend and colleague Melanie Archer, Religious School Director, at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) Reform Jewish Congregation of Charleston:

I was asked to share “tidbits from Melanie” as part of our weekly series of communication from Executive Staff. Here is my contribution:

Children feel the impact of the world around them. They have feelings, ideas, and opinions about what they hear and see at very young ages. Children mimic and identify with what they are exposed to. Our children experience things happening in our homes, communities, and schools. They are also exposed to a constant flood of information through social media. As adults, it is our job to guide our children through modeling of behavior, discussions, and actions. It is critical to talk to our children about difficult topics. It is even more important to LISTEN to our children. Kids see the world through a different lens than the generation before. It is important to let them talk, give them a voice, and really hear them out. We must also use our collective voices to stand up for what is right and just. Together, with our children, we can amplify our voices to protect all people.
Racism is one topic our children are experiencing. Some of our children are victims of racism and some are witnesses. Unfortunately, some may even be acting or speaking in a racist manner. Some of the racist words spoken or acts committed may have not been intended to be hurtful. They may have been learned through exposure. It is critical to talk about racism so our children can understand the power behind words and actions. As adults, we want to teach our children to use those powerful words and actions for good and not for hate.
Starting a dialogue with children is the first step. Be open and honest and be sure to listen. As adults, we must also be open and honest with ourselves. Sometimes, we do not have the answers. Sometimes we have used the wrong words. It is our job to find the appropriate course of action, find the acceptable words, take ownership when mistakes are made and apologize when hurt is caused. Even more, talk to children about the mistakes and how they are repaired. Be the change.
Sometimes, children are not able or comfortable expressing their thoughts in words. It is important to offer other outlets to express ideas and feelings. If a child does not want to engage in a dialogue, suggest an alternative form of communication: drawing, painting, singing, building, creating poetry, story writing, acting, and so on. Art can be an impactful way to provide an outlet for emotions and a creative display for ideas to share with others.
There are so many fantastic resources to help adults start meaningful conversations with children of all ages. Here are a few links to articles I found particularly impactful: Shalom Camp Coleman family, Last week our nation watched another video of a Black man, George Floyd, being killed by police. We could list many more names of Black men and women killed by police in the last several years. I shudder to think how many more names we would have learned if a mobile came

PJ Library Summer Fun BINGO (1).jpg

Don't forget about the Bingo card! You asked and we answered:

1. If climbing a tree is too risky for your child, consider hugging a tree instead.

2. Tzedakah = charitable giving

3. A mitzvah = a good deed.

If you have questions about anything on the bingo card, let us know! [email protected]

Happy #mitzvahmonday⠀

For this week's mitzvah, we want you to write a #thankyounote to someone. It can be the delivery person, the mail carrier, your parents, grandparents, neighbor. ⠀

Take a photo of your note (child not necessary) and tag us! ⠀

#mitzvahmonday #pjlibrary #pjourway Charleston Jewish Federation @p @addlestone_hebrew_academy @kkbe_chas @charlestonjewishfamilyservices @synagogueemanu_el

PJ Library

Storytelling is what it's all about, and we have some great stories and story activities to share today, including explorations in pictures and music. Just head back to the PJ Library page at the (Eastern) times below.

10am: Explore storytelling through drawing pictures with a lesson plan from PBS.

11am: Those silly Chelmites are at it again. Alli reads "The Sages of Chelm and the Moon."

Noon: Mister G is taking fans all over the world with his new series. Today - New Orleans!

1pm: We're revisiting our virtual Q&A with author Laurel Snyder.

4pm: Where are all those animals headed, Fox wants to know. Naomi reads "Fox Walked Alone."

8:30pm: Join Kveller's discussion tonight about diverse books (on the page).

Missing the Olympics? Organize Your Own Games, at Home Sure, the official Summer Games have been postponed. But with most people staying local and many camps shut down, you can create a fun, friendly competition in your own backyard.

Next Monday (6/29), we'll be talking diversity in Jewish children's books with authors Sarah Aroeste and Aviva L. Brown! You won't want to miss it, so see you here at 8:30 pm EDT!

Family Getaways - Ramah Darom

Camp Ramah Darom is offering Physically-Distanced Family Getaways in July and August. This is an all-inclusive kosher experience! It’s time for a change of scenery. It's time to take a break from cooking and cleaning. It’s time for an all-inclusive, physically-distanced, kosher, Family Getaway at Ramah Darom.

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