Story-ideas-1011172

PJ Library encourages kids to explore their Jewish identity

  • CommunityKDLLibrary
Sharing books that enable Jewish children and parents to explore their identity and values through storytelling is at the core of a unique new nationwide reading programme called PJ Library.
by GABY COHEN | Mar 29, 2018

The SA Board of Jewish Education, together with the King David Schools’ Foundation and the Herzlia Foundation, are launching it in April.

Through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organisations, PJ Library – already operating around the world – sends Jewish books to more than 540 000 children in over 140 cities every month.

So, in partnering with schools across Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, about 3 000 pupils between the ages of three and eight will receive 10 books over the course of a year. The books are carefully selected by early-childhood educators and children's literature experts. The aim is to make exploring Jewish identity and values a joyful experience for parents and children.

Rabbi Mark Friedman, the head of Jewish Education and Jewish Life at King David Schools, explains: “Every year, Jewish families sit down at the Seder and tell the story of our exodus from Egypt. As People of the Book, storytelling has always been an important tool in capturing our children’s attention and imagination.

“As parents, we should remember that we are vital components in the transmission of Jewish identity to our children. Besides the obvious goal of providing high quality readers to Jewish families, the goal of this project is to create opportunities for parents to speak to their children about Jewish values that are meaningful and relevant.

“We are excited to provide these wonderful books to enhance reading, bring Jewish conversations into the home and use the books to contribute to school activities for the students and families.”

PJ Library is open to all Jewish schools and Jewish children around South Africa who would like to participate. 

·         For more information, or to get involved in the PJ Library, email Lorrin Pimstein on pimsteinl@sabje.co.za

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