We at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation are excited to announce that we have awarded more than $110,000 in grants to expand and deepen engagement opportunities for families raising Jewish children in the New York Metro region.
Ranging in size from $3,000-$20,000, the nine selected initiatives emphasize building social connections over time among families raising Jewish children as well as connecting families to local opportunities to engage in Jewish life, programming, or learning.
These grants are part of a five-year strategy to extend Jewish engagement in North America through the support of the newly-formed PJ Library Alliance. Our partners in the Alliance are the William Davidson Foundation; the Jim Joseph Foundation; the William and Audrey Farber Philanthropic Fund; Diane & Guilford Glazer/Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles; the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation; Walter, Arnee, Sarah and Aaron Winshall; the Susser Family Trust; and an anonymous partner.
This year’s selected New York Metro region initiatives, listed below, are divided into three categories; each category will serve as a community of practice, offering ongoing peer support and collective learning.
We look forward to working with these partners and seeing all of their exciting initiatives come to life.
On-Going Neighborhood Programming
- PJ Play!, 14th Street Y, East Village, Manhattan
PJ Library inspired events will take place at the Y on Shabbat (Saturday) afternoon and in public spaces to reach those not yet connected. A dedicated community catalyst will build relationships among participants and educate families about Jewish ritual and tradition.
- PJ Challah for Hunger, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Upper West Side, Manhattan
A tikkun olam project supported by PJ parent ambassadors designed to build a warm tight-knit community of families raising Jewish children. A public space Challah tasting and monthly family challah baking and social action projects are enriched with follow up play dates organized by the parent ambassadors.
- Bringing Jewish Home, JWOW, Suffolk County, Long Island
JWOW will target western Suffolk County with three innovative programs: Shabbat in a Box, JWOW Kids Co-Op and JWOW Story Time, with the goals of increasing Jewish behaviors at home and building friendships among Jewish parents and children.
- Cooking with PJ Library!, YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood, Washington Heights
Monthly Jewish cooking classes for families lead up to two environmental-oriented overnight family trips.
Brooklyn Collaborative Programming
- Home Away from Home with PJ Library, Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn
Open play events on Sunday afternoons in a large comfortable indoor space where kids who live in small Brooklyn apartments can play, with the added bonus of a PJ Library storytime. Enriched by a community-wide Kabbalat Shabbat picnic.
- It’s Time for Shabbat, Park Slope Jewish Center, Brooklyn
A weekday series of two six-week classes for children under 3 and their caregivers, enriched by a community-wide Kabbalat Shabbat picnic.
- It’s Time for Shabbat, Union Temple, Brooklyn
Shabbat morning program with pizza lunch for families with children ages 4-6, enriched by a community-wide Kabbalat Shabbat picnic.
Theatre Oriented Programming
- Sammy Spider Project, 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side, Manhattan
The 92nd Street Y will transform “Sammy Spider’s First Mitzvah” into a community play. A series of child-centered activities built around Sammy Spider and the concept of performing mitzvot will lead up to the play.
- MJH Kids – Theatre, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park City, Manhattan
Staged productions, inspired by PJ Library books and performed by professional arts educators, are preceded by hands-on family workshops related to the themes of that day’s play.