In my role as a PJ Library professional I spend a lot of time developing relationships with parents, families, Jewish educators, and community leaders. To me, PJ Library is built on the foundation that relationships are the core of everything, from family networks to community connections. My background in the field of community mental health and my professional expertise as a psychotherapist allow me to approach the work that we do with a unique perspective. I often ask myself: How can I make the most of my time and invest in the relationships that feed and fuel my community?
Here’s where I start:
At a recent PJ Library playdate, I was struck by an example of how relationships are at the core of PJ Library. Two mothers were in attendance, both of whom had lost their fathers in unusually sudden and traumatic ways. I knew about one woman’s grief and loss because she had posted on Facebook, and I followed up with a date at the park while we chased her toddler and she shared her experiences. I know how powerful it is to connect with those going through a similar experience, so I introduced the women to one another with the framework that they might have some connections, particularly since they are both grieving. By the end of the event, the women had exchanged numbers, wiped their tears, and discovered that they grew up within a few towns of each other on the opposite side of the country from where we currently live. My relationship with them helped build their relationship with one another. And that is what it’s all about.
LIORA BROSBE is a trained marriage and family therapist and has a small private psychotherapy practice where she sees adults. As part of her work with Sprout: Helping Jewish Families Grow Together, she manages the PJ Library and PJ Our Way programs in the East Bay. Liora lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay area.