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Discovering Jewish Values Through PJ Library
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles recognizes that a child’s early development is essential to his or her future adult identity. The PJ Library® program in Los Angeles provides children ages six months through eight years with free Jewish-content books and music every month and additional enrichment experiences such as Family Camp. The PJ Library in Los Angeles team ensures the greatest impact to our Los Angeles community. To date, there are over 11,500 families that make up our local PJ Library community.
We recently interviewed David Miller, parent and PJ Library subscriber, about the program’s impact on his family. Read more below!
Why did you decide to participate in PJ Library? How did you first hear about it?
We first heard about PJ Library from my mother, who felt it was important to expose our five-year-old son Samuel to Jewish culture as soon as he was at an age where he could absorb the information, particularly because his father is Jewish, and his mother is Asian (half Korean, half Japanese). Though it’s important to us that he understands both sides of himself, we agreed to raise him Jewish, and he went through the conversion process when he was three years old. However, since my wife has very little background in the Jewish way of life and all of its rituals, it’s a little more challenging because the responsibility of sharing those things falls completely on me. And it’s not always easy to find the best path.
So, knowing how much he loved books from an early age, my mom decided to sign him up for a free subscription to PJ Library, thinking it would be a fun and interesting way to give him access to Judaism.
What is your/his favorite part of PJ Library?
My favorite part of PJ Library is seeing Samuel’s expression when a new book arrives in the mail. He gets so much pride from getting his own mail and can’t wait to dig into the book as soon as possible. Personally, I love showing him what Jewish culture is all about and making the personal connection. He is literally discovering who he is as he reads the books!
What has been your son’s favorite book?
Noah’s Ark (and Too Many Cooks: A Passover Parable).
Has PJ Library impacted your family’s Jewish identity? If so, how?
Definitely, because it’s allowed our son to learn about his culture and background in a way that excites him. It’s also given my wife access to Jewish learning. She gets to make the same discoveries as my son, at the same time, so it’s a shared experience that brings all of us together.
For more information about PJ Library or upcoming PJ Library Family Camps, contact Risa Goldstein at RGoldstein@JewishLA.org.