Do you know a child aged eight or under?
Families at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue have been receiving free Jewish books every month since PJ Library, the international Jewish family programme, arrived in the UK over a year ago. Marian Cohen, Director of Education at EDRS, helped bring the new books and programmes to the synagogue, after hearing of the impact PJ Library makes on almost half a million Jewish children worldwide.
“I love the concept of PJ Library, giving Jewish children and their families Jewish themed books to read and talk about at home. We know that home remains the primary learning place for children to develop and grow their Jewish learning, skills and knowledge and PJ Library books are a perfect resource to help parents teach the love of Judaism and Jewish values to help shape their children into wonderful, caring human beings” explained Marian.
Every month, PJ Library sends a Jewish book to families’ homes as a gift, to connect children and their parents with Jewish festivals, values and traditions. Hugely successful in America, Israel, Mexico and beyond, the books are modern, beautifully illustrated and allow families to learn about Jewish ideas in the comfort and security of their home. Nearly 3,000 children receive a book from PJ Library every month, throughout the UK, including a number of EDRS members.
“We often go into our 5 year old daughter's room to find her reading of her PJ Library books! For us as parents we love so many of the PJ Library books as they have a Jewish theme but most importantly teach a lovely life lesson” described Lauren Nathan, PJ Library parent and EDRS member.
An important element of the programme is that the books are gifts to all recipients. This ensures that families who would otherwise not necessarily engage with the community, are signing up for the programme and starting their Jewish journey through the books. To cover the costs PJ Library partners with philanthropists and runs fundraising campaigns. Families donated to the ‘pay it forward’ campaign earlier in the year, which raised over £9,000 and ensured another 200 children could receive their monthly subscription. 5777 will focus on growing the programme so more children can enjoy the monthly books, and working closely with communities like EDRS to strengthen that connection between Judaism in the home and the community.
It is with great enthusiasm that Marian has used PJ Library books and borrowed the pop-up library, led programmes at the Cheder and used the PJ programme activities at the Purim event and the Chanukah Community Tea.
To find out more about PJ Library visit www.pjlibrary.org.uk or ask Marian when you next see her!