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PJ Library: Creating Community All Around Town

Posted by JCC Pittsburgh on January 6, 2016

How many books does it take to grow a community?

PJ Library, a Jewish family engagement program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in partnership with the JCC, seems to have come up with the formula.

In December, PJ Library reached a huge milestone: 1,000 children in the Greater Pittsburgh area are now active subscribers. The milestone caps a growth of 38% in the past year.

Expansion has not only occurred in the number of children receiving books in their homes; the number of programs and events offered by PJ Library throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area has increased by 200%, which means that the number of families engaging in the Jewish community has more than doubled as well.

The expansion occurred largely thanks to the Jewish Federation PJ Library Ambassadors, who were reached affiliated and unaffiliated Jewish families in the East End, Fox Chapel, the North Hills and the South Hills. The Jewish Federation PJ Library Ambassadors were funded by a grant from the Jewish Federation.

“I’m beyond thrilled that the program is having a positive effect on families, and that more families than ever are engaging in Jewish community because of us, said Lauren Bartholomae, Family Life Director at the JCC and PJ Library Program Coordinator. “For many of these families, PJ Library is their only link to Judaism and the Jewish community, and I’m honored to be able to provide an open and inclusive environment for them.”

PJ Library provides children with the opportunity to explore the timeless core values of Judaism through free books and music sent to their homes each month. PJ Library also goes “beyond the books” through monthly story times and learning experiences all across the Greater Pittsburgh area as well as with several large community events every year.

PJ Library programs and events are offered at the JCCs in Squirrel Hill and the South Hills, as well as through the regional ambassadors in homes and in public spaces such as Barnes and Noble and The Learning Express stores.

PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership locally with the Jewish Federation and the JCC. To sign up, click HERE

For more information about Pittsburgh area PJ Library programs and events, contact Lauren Bartholomae, 412-339-5417

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