PJ Library to Deliver Three Millionth Book to Livingston Family
PJ Library founder Harold Grinspoon will deliver their 3 millionth book to a Livingston family on May 30 as international literacy program’s growth soars
PJ Library celebrates a major milestone on Wednesday, May 30, when founder Harold Grinspoon delivers the organization’s 3 millionth Jewish children’s book to a Livingston family.
Harold Grinspoon is the Jewish philanthropist and benefactor who founded PJ Library in 2005 to gift award-winning children’s books to families all over North America, Israel, and the world. Inspired by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Grinspoon wanted to engage children and their families in Jewish traditions, holidays, and heritage through the beauty and power of high-quality children’s books.
On Wednesday at 4 p.m., Harold Grinspoon and PJ Library Director Marcie Greenfield Simons will visit PJ Library recipients Cindy and Neil Goldstein and their children, Jordana, 6, and Ryan, 8, in their Livingston home to deliver and read Noah’s Swim-a-thon by Ann Koffsky.
PJ Library now sends 100,000 free books and music to families each month — up from 200 a month in 2005. The program’s impact is felt throughout Jewish federations, community centers, synagogues, and other organizations that partner with PJ Library in making these books available to young children and their families. By purchasing and distributing 3 million books over the years, the publishing industry has also been positively impacted by PJ Library’s tremendous growth.
“While we are thrilled to be delivering the 3 millionth PJ Library book, we won’t rest until we know that every family with Jewish children who wants these wonderful Jewish books is able to receive them,” Grinspoon said. “It’s thanks to fabulous communities like MetroWest New Jersey who partner with us, that we’ve come as far as we have. We look forward to delivering the 4 millionth book and 5 millionth book and beyond — and knowing that all across North America and around the world, parents and children are snuggling around PJ Library books, and having special conversations in which parents are transmitting our heritage to the next generation.”
In MetroWest NJ, PJ Library operates through The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, a partner agency of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ (UJC MetroWest). The program launched in 2008 and now has 2,400 children receiving PJ Library books each month.
“PJ Library is a critical path to sustain Jewish continuity long into the future,” said Max Kleinman, UJC MetroWest’s Executive Vice President. “As a grandparent, I look forward to reading PJ Library books to my granddaugther and soon my grandson. I feel more bonded with them as they marvel about their Jewish heritage. And now we’re celebrating 3 million books which are helping to raise the next generation Jewishly. We need to have PJ Library endowed so that my grandchildren’s children and their peers will reap the benefits of what our generation offered.”
“If you think this is just a book, you’re missing the bigger picture. This is the 3 millionth touch. The 3 millionth meaningful connection not only between the Jewish community and families, but the 3 millionth opportunity for parents and their children to come together over meaningful and relevant Jewish content. That’s huge. The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life is proud to be the organization that provides this connection with our MetroWest federation. We build on that connection to ‘teach the child and reach the family.’ The PJ Library is the greatest catalyst we have to make that happen every month for thousands of MetroWest families,” said Robert Lichtman, executive director of The Partnership.
PJ books and music have been a real source of joy for the Goldstein family. Cindy Goldstein recalls a drive to school where a CD from PJ Library delighted their daughter. Not only does Jordana receive PJ Library books at home, but she also is exposed to them at her preschool, which participates in the “PJ Goes to School” initiative.
“We got through the first six songs on the way to school, and I was smiling all the way there,” Goldstein said. “It was such a wonderful moment, bringing together the PJ Library with our pre-school curriculum. Jordana sang ‘HaGeshem’ and ‘the rainbow song’ with a big smile on her face and in her voice. Her excitement about hearing the songs she sings at school in our car was so evident that it just was a ray of sunshine within our car. Thank you for coordinating your efforts with the local Jewish pre-schools. The efforts are well worth the payoffs.”