Every afternoon after school, my son Micah and I walk down our long driveway to get the mail. Once a month, he opens the mailbox, sees the large white envelope with the blue sprinkled flap and says, “My book is here!” He is so excited to rip open that package and see what new book we will be reading every night for the next month.
Micah is just one of the over 130 Jewish kids in Savannah that receive the gift of PJ Library each month. PJ Library (short for pajamas because you always get in your pajamas before you read a bedtime book) provides families raising Jewish children from newborn–8 years old with a FREE treasury of Jewish books and music! Every month, families enrolled in PJ Library receive a high-quality, expertly-selected and kid-tested(!) Jewish book as a gift from the community.
PJ Library in Savannah is a gift from the Savannah Jewish Federation, Jane, Leon & Nancy Slotin, and the Ceceile Richman Fund. Your contributions to the Savannah Jewish Federation Annual Community Campaign allow us to send these books to families in our community and create special Jewish moments at home. And then (as soon as we can safely gather again), we will be bringing PJ Library families together for programs and personal connections.
Before I had kids, I thought the line “creating special Jewish moments” was just a great campaign pitch (that I use ALL the time!). How does a book coming to homes each month really create these moments?
And then it happened...
Every night we tell Micah to pick out a book to reach before bed. Almost every night, he chooses a PJ Library book. Last year, during lockdown (which I refer to as coronacation), we received the book “Todah.” (Todah means “thank you” in Hebrew).
Thank you for the wonder of a brand-new day - Todah
Thank you for Bunny who loves to sing and play – Todah
Thank you for Mommy who comes when I call – Todah
Thank you for Daddy who lifts me so tall – Todah
Micah picked this book EVERY night for weeks. I would read the words on one page – and he would respond with a very loud TODAH! One night, he looked over at me and said, “Mommy, what are you thankful for today?” And since that night, Micah chooses what order each of us gets to share whatwe are thankful for from our day. Mostly Micah says school and swimming but it has been a way for our family to connect each night.
We haven’t read “Todah” in a while (these days he is into “Goodnight Bubbalah” which has been teaching him a hilarious amount of Yiddish) – but the Todah tradition is now just a part of our bedtime routine. Our special Jewish moment was created! A special Jewish moment each night that came organically from my 3-year-old. And, it all came from reading a PJ Library book!
Director of Community Impact