Harold Grinspoon Delivers the 500,000th PJ Library Book

The Hoffenberg family of Granby, Mass. receives the honored benchmark book.

GRANBY, MASS.---APRIL 7, 2009---Harold Grinspoon delivered the 500,000th PJ Library book to seven year old Molly Hoffenberg of Granby on Tuesday, April 7, 2009. The Hoffenberg family has been a part of The PJ Library® for three years. The PJ Library sends out high quality, age appropriate Jewish children's books every month to participating families in communities across North America. By providing these books, The PJ Library's goal is to help families explore the timeless core values of Judaism and to transmit these values to a new generation.

The PJ Library is the brainchild of Harold Grinspoon, a highly innovative philanthropist from Springfield, Massachusetts, who found his inspiration in country singer Dolly Parton. "More than four years ago I brought Dolly's Imagination Library, which distributes books to inner-city children, to Western Massachusetts," Grinspoon explained. "Then it occurred to me---this is the ideal project to adapt to the Jewish community." Grinspoon knew that reading stories and listening to music are among the most powerful childhood learning experiences. Parents and children have warm memories of that special time right before bed, Grinspoon explains, where they snuggled together at the end the day with a book. In Winter 2005, Grinspoon decided to turn these special moments into "Jewish moments."

The program was named the library "PJ" (short for "pajamas") with the notion that books and music add to the magic of bedtime. The PJ Library, an award-winning program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), currently operates in over 100 Jewish communities across North America, reaching the families of more than 48,000 children, ages six months to eight years. The communities find The PJ Library to be a powerful tool for introducing unengaged families to the joys of Jewish life and traditions. This in turn, builds a stronger Jewish community.

Molly's mom, Nancy Hoffenberg reflects, "The PJ Library books began to come. As I shared the stories with the children I began to feel a change in me. I decided that I should work a little harder at raising our children Jewish. I started learning and I had a lot of questions that were answered by the books. As I read the books, I realized that I [wanted] to get the family connected to a spiritual home. The PJ Library has helped me bring my entire family to Judaism. You will never now how much that has meant to us."

To bring The PJ Library to a community, a local philanthropist or foundation, often through a Jewish Federation or JCC, partners with the HGF. The HGF highly subsidizes the cost of the books in addition to underwriting all overhead expenses. HGF welcomes new partner philanthropists to get involved. For more information, visit www.pjlibrary.org or email pjlibrary@hgf.org.

About the Harold Grinspoon Foundation

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation's mission is to enhance the vibrancy of Jewish life through education and experiences that impart the knowledge and values of our heritage and the joys of being Jewish. The Foundation funds institutions and programs that directly transmit Jewish learning to young people, adults, and families.