CLOSE TO 200 program professionals, lay leaders, executives and donors from 90 communities gathered in the camp-like atmosphere of the Pearstone Conference and Retreat Center in Baltimore, MD.
With attendees from Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, Singapore, and North America, this year's conference can truly be called the Seventh Annual PJ Library International Conference.
New at this year's conference was the Engagement Strategy Showcase, where 17 teams of veteran PJ Library professionals presented their successful engagement strategies to their peers. What a joy to see and hear the expertise and wisdom of the folks who make PJ Library come alive from families in each community.
View snapshots from this year's PJ Library Conference using the Flickr slideshow below:
Don't just take our word for it that the 2015 PJ Library Conference was a successful; here are just some of the comments share by attendees:
"I was beyond impressed by the professionalism and the caliber of the conference. It should be the gold standard - Rabbi Elana Kanter, Director, Women's Jewish Learning Center, Phoenix, AZ
"The PJ Conference has revolutionized how I will approach my role at PJL in the future. I have made vital connections with other PJ Professionals who have communities similar to mine and this is going to be central to how we grow our community in the future." - Justine Saidman, Director of PJ Library, New South Wales, Australia
"What an exceptional conference. It was transformative for me personally, deeply nurturing and powerful. I learned a great deal about the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and PJ Library's incredible reach. It was deeply inspiring to understand the world-wide influence of this program, and how it is educating millions of Jewish children, an entire generation. I felt part of a global kehilah kedoshah. Truly, we are able to be one people with the help of PJ Library. " - Sara Koplik, Director of Community Outreach, Jewish Federation of New Mexico
"There is nothing like the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with like-minded people. Watching Harold and Diane enjoy their time spent with us was inspiring! It's one thing to support a cause and even deeper and more meaningful to BE with the people that make the cause come to life! -Alyse Eisenberg, PJ Coordinator, Dallas, and President, National Jewish Early Childhood Network
"I always leave the PJ Conference inspired to go back to my own community and do better. It is an incredibly collaborative environment and I love reconnecting with other professionals in the field and the HGF staff. Such a blessing that this is so generously provided us to support our work. Thank you." - Debbi Cooper, Assistant Vice President, Young Family Engagement, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
"The conference made me realize just how much more impact PJ Library can have on my community. It inspired me to increase enrollment and not be satisfied with the job that I am currently doing. It made me want to improve myself and my impact on my community." - Jennifer Tuvlin, PJ Library Director, Louisville, KY
"This was my first PJ Library Conference and although it was only 2.5 days, I am taking away a lot more than I could have imagined after such a short amount of time. I made a lot of new friends, learned a lot of new information and left the conference truly INSPIRED! I came back to the office excited and ready to implement new ideas and try new things! I'm looking forward to utilizing a lot of these ideas in the coming months and I now have new friends to bounce ideas off of... Thank you so much!" - Lara Epstein, Director of Community Outreach and Engagement, Jewish Federation of Rockland County
"This was my second year at the PJ conference and once again I am amazed by my colleagues and all of the amazing things they have created. I walked away from the conference re-energized with ideas of how to connect and engage families. Many of the ideas are so simple I can't believe I didn't think of them myself. Thank you PJ for taking the time to educate and inspire us so that we can in turn can go out and educate and inspire in our own communities." - Lissa Weinberger, Manager of Jewish Education and Identity Initiatives, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver
"I have attended many educators' conferences in my career as a Jewish professional and this one was one of the most inspirational, productive and energizing. I think this is due in large part to the amazing organizers but also because of the presence of Harold Grinspoon whose enthusiasm and passion and dedication to the mission of PJ Library infuses the conference." - Debby Singer, PJ Coordinator, Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys
"I drank the Kool Aid! What an amazing conference. I learned so much about the program and the amazing outreach and engagement tools that are being offered in communities around the world. Kol HaKavod!" - Heather Wolfson, Senior Director of Community Partnerships, Jewish Federation of San Diego County