About a decade ago, a foundation started sending free books about Jewish ways to American families. PJ Library, the Massachusetts-based group, still plays “Hannukah Harry,” sending children ages 6 months to 8 years books about Jewish traditions, holidays and values, designed for specific age groups.
The sign-up at pjlibrary.org is free. PJ Library’s name implies books are geared toward kids ready to be tucked in at bedtime, but when they read or have books read to them is up to each family, of course. Each month, more than 4,000 books are shipped to Long Island children, more than 160,000 in North America, and more than half a million worldwide, the foundation says.
Recently, sister site PJ Our Way was devised for older kids, 9 to 11. Those children choose their own books, catered to their interests and reading level. The website, PJOurWay.org, has ratings, reviews and video created by member kids, plus polls, quizzes and blog posts.
PJ Library supports hundreds of local programs in temples and Jewish centers, including more than a dozen on Long Island. Some 900 families in the metropolitan area alone are on its rolls.
Thanks to donations and matching gifts of founder Harold Grinspoon, an entrepreneur who had little formal education, the group has shipped more than 9 million books in North America since its inception. PJ Library dishes music, too, and with Hanukkah about a month away, what better time to check out the site?
DESCRIPTION Sign up to get a free Jewish children’s book every month.
TARGET AUDIENCE Families who want Jewish values in their lives.
BOTTOM LINE You don’t have to be Jewish to love PJ Library.