PJ Library targets Russian–speaking Jewish families

With an increasing population of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants making Montreal home, PJ Library® hopes to help their children explore the timeless core values of Judaism through books and music.

PJ Library® has begun an outreach program targeting the Russian-speaking Jews who are increasingly making Montreal their home.  In addition to the 2,000 families already receiving free books and education, PJ Library hopes to expand to include 200 students from Russian-speaking families this year.

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PJ Library is a Jewish family engagement program implemented on a local level throughout North America. PJ Library mails free, high-quality Jewish children’s literature and music to families across the continent. In Montreal, PJ Library sends books to up to 2,000 children every month, with over 64,000 books delivered since this program was brought to Montreal in 2009.

“We live in a pretty small town outside Montreal that doesn’t have a synagogue and have found it really hard to teach our kids about being Jewish (religion and culture) without a community in which to do so”, explained PJ Library member Elena.  “It always seems that when I’m feeling that lack most strongly, a new PJ Library book comes in the mail, and with it the chance to talk with the kids. This month, we got out maps, found Israel, looked at pictures of it, talked about wanting to visit someday ourselves. For this family, the PJ Library is having a huge impact and we really appreciate it!”

A Russian-speaking child learns about Israel – and practices the English language – with their PJ book delivery.

A Russian-speaking child learns about Israel and practices the English language – with their PJ book delivery.

PJ Library- is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, made possible through partnerships with local Jewish Federations across the United States and Canada. Montreal has been selected to pilot this outreach initiative, and was chosen in part because of the large number of Russian-speaking Jewish families – statistics suggest between 5,000 and 7,000 – who now call Quebec home.

PJ Library in Montreal is implemented as a one-book-per-child program where each book chosen is age appropriate and predetermined by a committee of people dedicated to bringing quality books to Jewish homes. All families raising Jewish children in Montreal (and surrounding areas) from age six months through six years are welcome to sign up here.

For more information contact Oxana Pasternak, PJ Library Program Coordinator.

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