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Exciting News from PJ Library!

May 12, 2014

By Rabbi Shari Shamah, Jewish Family Specialist and PJ Library Coordinator

PJ Library has exciting news…

But before I tell you what it is, I want to tell you more about PJ Library.

PJ Library is an amazing Jewish literacy program funded in part by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.  Each month, children in Milwaukee who are between the ages of 6 months through 6 years of age receive high quality Jewish books and CDs for free! 

Hundreds of communities around North America, Israel and Europe are lucky enough to be a partner in this effort.  And it really is a partnership… The Harold Grinspoon Foundation covers a portion of the book cost, while local implementing communities provide funding for the rest.

The goal of the program is to bring Jewish holidays, values and concepts to life and into homes through literature.  Jewish books arriving each month elicit conversation among families and stronger participation in Jewish life.  For lots of different families – families who aren’t connected to the Jewish community, families who might have one parent who isn’t Jewish, families across all spectrums of Jewish life.  In fact, the 2013 PJ Library Impact study shows that 75% of families discuss Jewish related concepts and values more often since receiving PJ Library materials. Click here for more of the study findings.

In Milwaukee and for many of the PJ Library communities, PJ Library is much more than just the books!  Each month we offer amazing programming for families.  With events planned by an incredible parent committee, events like Lego Dreidel making, Family Yoga, Sukkot Apple Picking and more (click here to see images), this is a portal for families to connect with one another and with the community.  We also send a newsletter each month for families that contain community events, book resources and links for parent education.

Intrigued?  You should be. 

Here are some other interesting facts about PJ Library in Milwaukee:

      • 403 – the total number of children we have enrolled in the program
      • 1010 – The total who have received books from PJ Library since we began the program in Milwaukee in 2007! 
      • 41% - the percentage of age eligible children in the Milwaukee Jewish Community who receive these books each month
      • 45% - the percentage of people who open our newsletter each month.  (BTW that’s a high percentage!)
      • $40 – the amount per child that the JCC pays for 12 books/CDs a year
      • $60 – the amount that the Harold Grinspoon Foundation covers per child.
      • $33,360 – The generous grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation each year
      • $16,000 + Programming and Staff that the JCC covers each year

Now are you ready for the news???

Because of the amazing efforts from our Parent committee and all of you who have spread the word about PJ Library and come to events each month, the Grinspoon Foundation has chosen to recognize us.  They have offered us a generous matching grant so that we can expand PJ Library in Milwaukee.  That’s right. They want to help us reach our capacity and extend our program to age 8!  Potentially, we can re-enroll and attract 300 more children to this program next year.  There are children who have aged out of PJ Library and would love to receive books again.  This matching grant will help PJ library impact even more families in Milwaukee

Want to help make this exciting news a reality?  Help support PJ Library’s growth by contributing to our matching grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Click here to donate (and don't forget to click PJ Library Matching Grant.)

At our Spring Fling fundraiser we raised $4500 of the needed $7,500!  We are so close and need your help. Help us so that we can increase to age 8 and 700 enrollees. 

Need more convincing…

Click here or on the image below to watch our amazing video about the impact PJ Library has on our Milwaukee families, or, better yet, ask one of the 400 children who love their books.

For more information on how you can be a part of our PJ Library family click here to email me or call me at 414-967-8229.  Also, keep up with all we are doing by "liking" us on Facebook!



Enjoy some pictures from past PJ Library programs below!

Lego Dreidel making

Family Yoga

Sukkot Apple Picking

Fun Night with Lenny

Program at Sarah Chudnow