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PJ Library expands age range for Southern Arizona kids

Tucsonan Nora Sevy enjoys PJ Library books (Courtesy Libby Quinn)
Tucsonan Nora Sevy enjoys PJ Library books (Courtesy Libby Quinn)

The PJ Library program in Southern Arizona is expanding and will now be available for all families raising Jewish children through 8 years of age. When the program launched in Southern Arizona in 2009 it was available for families raising Jewish children from 6 months through 6 years of age. Several years later it was expanded through age 7.

“We are so excited to expand the program through the generosity of the Marilyn Einstein-Steven Sim Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona,” says Mary Ellen Loebl, the local PJ Library coordinator. “The books for older kids are even more interesting and spark even deeper conversations between parents and children.”

Children who previously “aged-out” after age 7 but have not yet reached their 9th birthday can re-enroll to enjoy their free monthly Jewish book or music CD. PJ Library® is a national program founded by the Harold Grinspoon foundation in Massachusetts and run in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Coalition for Jewish Education together with local donors, the Leibson and Rosenzweig families, and the Marilyn Einstein-Steven Sim Donor Advised Fund along with a grant from JFSA and JCF.

“‘PJ,’ which stands for pajamas, turn snuggly bedtime moments into Jewish moments with age appropriate books and music,” says Sharon Glassberg, director of the CJE. The books come with reading guides to help facilitate discussion, and activities to further explore the themes found in the books. “There’s no catch, no hidden agenda; the books are free and fun,” says Glassberg. “These are beautiful books that will enhance the Jewish life of any family raising Jewish children.”

More than 500 children in Southern Arizona receive PJ Library books or CDs in the mail each month. “We hope to grow our PJ enrollment by 20 percent,” says Loebl. For more information or to sign up for the program, contact her at 577-9393, ext. 138 or