Schoolgirl. Shallow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression. 16 bit Adobe RGB color profile.
Schoolgirl. Shallow DOF. Developed from RAW; retouched with special care and attention; Small amount of grain added for best final impression. 16 bit Adobe RGB color profile.

CAN’T DO IT without Community Partners. It’s kind of a new phrase for an old concept, this Community Partner thing. PJ Library needs them to ensure there is buy in from the population we serve. Friends In Deed needs them to get the word out about the work it does for the underserved population. Besides my family, of course, these two organizations are the legs on which my foundation rests, at this point in time, and I have come to realize that neither one can be successful without the support of their respective communities.
It’s great that we have nearly 600 families enrolled in PJ Library from our far flung valleys and it’s amazing that as of March 1 we will have sent out some 13,000 books since launching in January of 2015! We are going to celebrate when that 15,000th book is delivered! Stay tuned. But, as I have said before it’s not just about the books. The vision of our founder and main funder Harold Grinspoon was to use books as a gateway, bringing Jewishness into the homes of children and as a way to encourage families to reach out and engage with others by participating in programs tailor made for them. We have a bi-monthly pre-Shabbat playgroup called Gan Katan which is geared to the infant-toddler set and their grownups. We have created space just for moms to have a night out with other moms. We have family holiday celebrations in both secular and religious spaces. We have meet-the-author events and parties in the park. And in the past several weeks, we have had three very diverse co-sponsored events with, wait for it…our Community Partners and I am so grateful to be able to share the energy created by the amazing Jewish Professionals in our area.
I had the privilege of participating in a special Tot Shabbat program with Rabbi Rick Schecter and Cantor Steve Hummel at Temple Sinai of Glendale, where the focus was the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. It was great to see families gather together on the bimah, sing Shabbat songs, close their eyes for the Shema, dance in a circle around the stuffed Torah scrolls that tumbled from the ark into the arms of waiting children. Rabbi Rick read a PJ Library book and after the brief service we planted parsley seeds in decorated pots. We also decorated special pots and filled them with flowers to be delivered to a nearby retirement home. The celebration of Tu B’Shevat continued with a trip to Descanso Gardens with the families of Temple Beth David. Education Director Gal Kessler-Rohs organized this event which also included the participation of PJ Library. Some seventy adults and kids trekked through the beautiful terrain in search of the seven species mentioned in the Torah. A Tu B’Shevat seder was a highlight of the day.
A moving Havdallah program under the stars completed the trio of Community Partner co-sponsored events PJ Library participated in recently. At Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, Pre-School Director Deborah Pruitt organized a spaghetti dinner for some 18 families with young children. Parents and kids alike created all the necessary accoutrements needed for Havdallah and after eating their supper and after plenty of time to socialize and after hearing a PJ Library story we all exited the social hall and lit our Havdallah candles and swayed to the music which ushered out Shabbat and welcomed the new week.
So thank you, Community Partners, for seeing the value in the mission of PJ Library and for helping us spread the word. I look forward to many more opportunities to celebrate and create together.


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