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To Infinity and Beyond

    Seventeen years ago, Harold Grinspoon’s vision of PJ Library began to take hold and today over 670 thousand children in thirty-six countries are the recipients of his forward-thinking desire to strengthen the bonds of Judaism in families one book at a time. A visionary and a philanthropist, Grinspoon at the age of ninety plus, is still a hands-on participant in the work of PJ Library and his daughter-in-law Winnie Sandler Grinspoon sits at the President’s desk.
    We were very fortunate to have had a visit from Winnie to our community a few weeks ago. Her enthusiasm and deep commitment to PJ Library run parallel to Harold’s and her desire to build on PJ’s successes are boundless and in fact extend far beyond the limits of earth and have now been launched into outer space! The very first Storytime in Space featured a PJ Library Book courtesy of the program’s counterpart in Israel called Sifriyat Pijama and the Ramon Foundation. The second Israeli in space, read the book A Beautiful World in Hebrew from the International Space Station to school children all across Israel. You can click here to hear this beautiful story read in Hebrew with English captions.
    And right here on planet earth PJ Library’s amazing story continues. From the Ukraine,to Mentone California families connect with their Judaism by reading stories together. Almost 2800 families in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and more are reading PJ Library books in their own language. To date some 50 million books have been distributed by PJ Library.
        In the world of uncertainty, we now inhabit, PJ Library’s newly modified mission is to be on the forefront of combatting anti-semitism while strengthening the bonds of pride in being Jewish for families world-wide. On a local level we strive to accomplish these goals by providing our families with barrier free ways to engage with other families and by providing them with the tools and knowledge to create a Jewish environment for their children. The books which are delivered monthly without fail, are just the start. They tell the stories of our people, our values, our history, our families, our culture and much more. They help us frame the stories of our own lives. Sharing these stories, our stories, is what brings us together as a community and makes us stronger. Our hope is that in the coming months we will have the opportunity to meet more of our families, in person, to learn and play together and to share the stories of our lives.

Debby Singer is a PJ Library Program Director  and a contributing writer to Kiddish magazine.

 

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