When I first heard the name Harold Grinspoon I had no idea who he was. Do you know who he is? It turns out he is a pretty amazing and endearing man and the brains behind the valuable reading and Jewish education effort called The PJ Library.
One day, while on a plane, Harold heard a little kid crying and saw the boy's father pull out a book and read it to his son out loud. Soon after, the child stopped crying, became very involved in the story and then fell asleep after the fun and calming experience.
Fast forward, after hearing about a reading program called Imagination Library on National Public Radio that Dolly Parton, the country music singer, got off the ground providing as many has half a million books to children in several countries, Harold got an idea to do something similar.
It was much later on at a Passover seder that Harold, after watching family and friends gather and realizing how the holidays are one of many examples of how Jewish tradition, rituals, and education are discussed and discovered, that the idea of The PJ Library came about.
The PJ Library values the importance of reading and singing songs with children and helping to engage them in learning about their religion and culture. And, since much of this activity happens when kids are in their pajamas getting ready for bed and in the morning at wake up time, the "PJ" in The PJ Library actually stands for pajamas.
How cool is that?
According to The PJ Library, "we believe when parents and children read together, it changes the world...we also know that high-quality Jewish books can be expensive and difficult to find."
Therefore, for my Jewish readers, you may be interested to know that The PJ Library has an offering you may be interested in, one that is free, and where you can to expose your children to Jewish culture and learning through books and song.
Harold's vision has become a reality with the support of numerous philanthropists and organizations as well as many parents and families around the country where they provide, at no cost, Jewish heritage and learning through books and music to children across the United States and Canada.
To learn more about The PJ Library program, and how you can join in the awesome journey of Jewish education for children, visit them online at http://www.pjlibrary.org/. They can also be reached at 413-439-1981.
Enjoy this great reading and learning opportunity. You can enroll online, renew an existing subscription and also sign up to donate subscriptions to families who are not in a PJ Library community to give back to this great case.
Happy reading in your jammies. Have fun!!!