NEW YORK – PJ Library is launching in Russian, beginning with a pilot program in Moscow, which will for the first time provide the gift of free, high-quality Jewish books in Russian to children and their families throughout the year. PJ Library in Russian will begin by serving Jewish children ages 4 through 8 and their families. As part of a Hanukkah campaign, the first books were distributed last month to more than 1,000 children in Moscow.
Through a partnership with Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), for the past five years, PJ Library has been actively engaging thousands of families with young children in Russian-speaking Jewish communities in North America. The launch in Moscow aims to reach up to 2,000 children and families by August 2016.
Created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in 2005, the PJ Library program offers families raising Jewish children a meaningful way to discover and advance their Jewish identities. Today, PJ Library sends more than 150,000 Jewish children’s books each month to Jewish children and families in North America. Globally, more than 400,000 Jewish children and families in eight countries receive PJ Library books each month through PJ Library and Sifriyat Pijama, a sister program in Israel. To date, more than 6,000 Russian-speaking Jewish families in North America have benefited from PJ Library’s Russian-speaking engagement efforts.
Ten times a year, the PJ Library program in Russia will deliver free, age-appropriate, Russian-language books on Jewish themes directly to the homes of participating children and families in Moscow. Beyond the books, partnerships with community organizations will engage families through local programming including holiday celebrations and gatherings that will incorporate Jewish values, as well as elements of Russian culture and literature. Funding from PJ Library Russia’s network of supporters, which also includes the JDC, Russian Jewish Congress, and individual donors, will support books as well as efforts to develop relevant and innovative programing experiences.
“We have seen huge demand for PJ Library among Russian-speaking Jewish families,” said Harold Grinspoon. “Parents from all Jewish backgrounds struggle with the question of how to raise a Jewish family. The high-quality books introduced into the home through PJ Library empower and equip Russian-speaking Jewish families – whether in the United States or Russia – to engage Jewishly.”
Interested families can register for PJ Library Russia at http://www.pjlibrary.ru. For more information, visit pjlibrary.org.
Photo Courtesy of PJ Library