Three-tiered expansion announced, including the addition of communities and books as well as plans to raise the program's graduation age.
PJ LIBRARY, the acclaimed national Jewish children's book gifting program, is proud to announce its multi-faceted expansion in celebration of its Third Anniversary and Jewish Book Month (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22).
PJ Library was created and is funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership with local philanthropists and organizations in each community. It was selected by Slingshot 08/09 as one of the 50 most innovative Jewish programs in North America.
Since December 2005, PJ Library has been mailing free-of-charge, monthly Jewish books and music CDs to families with young children, encouraging them to explore Jewish culture together. Each PJ Library community has a professional who puts on book-related family outreach events such as holiday parties and story readings at Borders or Barnes & Noble.
The three-tiered expansion includes:
- Operating in over 100 communities across America with plans to launch in Canada in 2009. Current communities list is at www.pjlibrary.org/communities.
- Increasing the potential upper-age for participating children to age eight. Each PJ Library "community" decides its own age-range.
- Over 30 new books added, including five brought back from being out-of-print.
All the books were chosen for their potential to inspire parent-child moments and memories. They span the emotions, from the humorous No Matzah for Me! to the poignant The Always Prayer Shawl, winner of multiple book awards.
One book chosen for the eight-year-olds, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, can be used to spark discussions about differing faiths and cultures in a way that children can understand. The book is jointly authored by Blu Greenberg, a leading American Jewish thought-leader, and Reverend Linda Tarry, an African American Minister at the famous Riverside Church in New York.
"After a massive book search, we are delighted to add this treasure trove of diverse books," commented Natalie Blitt, head of PJ Library Book Selection Committee. "They will make it an increasingly stimulating and enjoyable experience for parents to read with their children and create great Jewish family memories."