By Lara Epstein, Director of PJ Library in Rockland County
PJ Library in Rockland County is an engagement program of the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Rockland that provides free Jewish books and music on a monthly basis to local families. This autumn we were very excited to be selected as one of the ten pilot communities across the United States to be part of a PJ Library Get Together Microgrant. This $150 grant was awarded directly to PJ Library families in Rockland County who wanted to get together to create a Jewish experience for themselves and at least two other PJ Library families.
Rockland County, with just over 20 approved submissions, had some very interesting and creative Jewish get together ideas. Some of the experiences included family Shabbat dinners, apple picking at a local orchard, a neighborhood Rosh Hashanah carnival, Painting and Pizza in the Sukkah, a Girls-Only Chanukah at the Nail Salon, and a Jewish Game Night and Challah Baking at the Challah Fairy.
Bryna Pelsinger’s family decided to create beautiful sukkah artwork with four other local families during Sukkot. Each child painted the palms of their hands and created their individual hand prints as a work of art on the Sukkah wall, in addition to writing their name and age. After all of the children’s hard work, they enjoyed a delicious pizza party in the newly-decorated sukkah.
Jacklyn Goldberg’s family decided to host a kid-friendly Shabbat dinner. They recited the Shabbat blessings over the challah and grape juice and enjoyed a delicious meal with old and new friends in the community.
Jenny Javer and Erica Berg wanted their young children to learn to bake challah as well as learn about some of the intricacies of keeping kosher (top photo). The children baked and decorated their individual challahs with Chanalee Fischer of the Challah Fairy in New City, NY. In addition, the children received a tour of the kitchen and enjoyed a delicious dairy lunch while their challahs were baking!
For more photos of PJ family get-togethers and other PJ Library news and events, please visit our Facebook page.