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Free books strengthen Jewish values and family bonds
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Free books strengthen Jewish values and family bonds

PJ LIBRARY is the successful partnership between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and local partners like the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey that mails free, expertly-selected, age-appropriate Jewish children’s literature and music to families.  

Currently, there are more than 1,600 Jewish families living in Middlesex and Monmouth counties who participate in PJ Library. Every family is invited to join the program. 

When families sign up for PJ Library, their children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years receive a blue-and-white wrapped package with their new book every month, for free.

Research proves that something important happens between children and parents when they read together. Exploring life-changing history, life-affirming traditions, and life-expanding perspectives through shared reading and discussion helps build strong family bonds, increases resiliency and confidence for all family members, and encourages development of cherished family values and commitment to community. 

PJ Library titles range from fantastic escapades like “The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West,” to true-to-life tales such as “All Kinds of Strong,” a story about Sadie Rose, a young girl who proves that strength is more than just physical ability. Titles are chosen carefully to represent the broad spectrum of Jewish families and many have won prestigious awards such as the Caldecott Medal to the Sydney Taylor Book Award. Several were finalists for the National Jewish Book Award.

In addition to encouraging families to sign up for free books and music, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey offers a series of free and low-cost children’s events with a Jewish twist to help connect children and families to Jewish life in the community. Organized almost entirely by volunteers, these pop-up events are opportunities for children to build friendships with peers as they explore story themes and characters, together.

PJ Library currently delivers 167,197 books each month and has dramatically expanded its programs and services since it was founded. Visit pjlibrary.org. 

For information about PJ Parents Pop-Up Play Dates and other PJ Library family-friendly activities, contact lauras@jewishheartnj.org.

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