PJ Library aims to entertain children, strengthen families
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PJ Library aims to entertain children, strengthen families

Fair Lawn resident Nancy Bach, the mother of
4 1/2 year old triplets, heard about the PJ Library though her synagogue, the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Cong. B’nai Israel. So far, she said, her boys have received “Chicken Man,” “Mendel’s Accordion,” and “The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen.”

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Eve Kohut reads to her children, Leonard, at left, and Livia.

“I think all kids love getting something new in the mail, so they get a kick out of it every time the books have arrived,” she said. “As soon as their dad gets home, they show him the new book and ask him to read it to them.”

Bach said she and her husband, Larry, have always read to their children. “They enjoy the library and can’t get enough of story time before bed. These books have definitely added a little bit of a different type of book than we usually read to them, which I think is terrific. They spark a conversation that we can relate back to our Jewish upbringing.

“We can’t wait to try out the cookbook that we got this past month,” she added. “It is a very clever book that includes the children in the cooking process.”

Not only will she recommend the library to others, she said, but “we signed up a friend of [the children’s] as a surprise. She loved it, too.”

Eve Kohut heard about the program from her shul, Gesher Shalom in Fort Lee.

She receives books for both her children, ages 3 and 5, and said the children are very excited about them.

Noting that the books are “beautiful and good quality,” she said that “the kids really love a few books in particular. Their favorite is ‘The Kugel Valley Klezmer Band’ – they ask to read it over and over. They also love ‘Shira Imagined’ and ‘Snow in Jerusalem.'”

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The Bach family reads “Mendel’s Accordion,” by Heidi Smith Hyde. Shown here with their parents are Aaron (sitting on his mother’s lap), Joshua (sitting on his father’s lap), and Kevin.

She has already recommended the program to neighbors and believes that all Jewish children can benefit from the PJ Library.

Vicky Katzman, a member of the Glen Rock Jewish Center, receives books for her children, ages 2 and 6.

“They allow us to connect what we’re reading to our Jewish home life,” she said. “I can point out some things in the illustrations that we use in our own home; Shabbos candles, menorahs, etc…. I love the program because it’s filling my home with Jewish books that I might not otherwise have sought out or seen displayed on the shelves of the library or bookstore.”

Katzman said she knows many people who would be interested in being a part of “this wonderfully generous program.”

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