Each month, Jewish children across the globe snuggle up and end their day with a good book. A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible in Dayton through a generous donor and the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton. The free gift of a monthly book impacts community members like the Atkin family.

Parents Julie and Josh love being able to read stories with their children Stella (age four), Avi (age two) and Aaro (age two months). What’s even more fun? Watching Stella and Avi’s faces light up each month when their books come in the mail.

The books cover a variety of topics, including Jewish holidays. “Our favorite story to read as a family is Hanukkah Bear,” says Julie. “Avi and Stella think the story is hilarious. Every time Bubbe mistakes the bear’s hair for the Rabbi’s beard they laugh hysterically.”

The family also enjoys receiving books about Israel. “Josh and I visited Israel about six years ago and love sharing our stories and experiences with Stella, Avi and now with Aaro,” shares Julie. The books also encourage dialogue. Julie says “Stella and Avi ask questions and learn about their Jewish religion and culture.”

Julie sums up her family’s experience by saying “PJ Library is a wonderful program for the entire family.”

For more information on PJ Library or PJ Our Way, please contact Rachel Gilbert, PJ Library & PJ Our Way Coordinator at
(937) 401-1550 or rgilbert@jfgd.net.

We asked, Stella answered

(L to R) Avi, Stella, and Aaro photo courtesy of the Atkin family

The best part about PJ Library is the impact it has on children. We asked Stella Atkin to share some of her thoughts about getting PJ Library books. Here is what she had to say:

How long have you been getting PJ Library books at home? Since my brother, Avi was born. I love getting them out of the mailbox.

How many books do you think you’ve gotten from PJ Library? I don’t know. Let me look in our PJ Library basket and count. Thirty-two!!

How many times do you like to read each PJ Library book? So many! I like to read them a lot of times.

What’s your favorite PJ Library book? Why? I like ALL of my PJ library books. Shalom Everybodee is my favorite. I want to go to Israel someday. I want to pick flowers and challah and cookies at a market. Climb up (Masada) like Grover. I want to float in the Dead Sea. It’s so muddy! I want to put the mud all over my face and my nose, legs, feet, arms, forehead, and head. I’d really like to visit Israel when I’m six. Avi’s favorite book is Baby Be Kind because babies share crackers, help babies up, push dogs in wagons, and babies hold hands and hug.

Who reads PJ Library books to you? My mommy, daddy, and cousin Mimi read to me.

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