By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Since the PJ Library® came to our community over 10 years ago, the wonderful books that the program sends free to homes have given thousands of families with young children a window into all the beauty and richness of Jewish life.
Your Federation built on that foundation through Neighborhood Song & Story Time, which, beginning in 2014, offered families opportunities to get together, hear stories, sing songs, play games, and build community from the ground up.
Lately, we have been bringing PJ Library engagement even closer to home. We understand that families are juggling busy schedules and we heard when you told us that you preferred having opportunities to come together on weekends. In response, we introduced Bim Bam Baby! in the summer of 2019. This program created a space for parents and their little ones to gather at the home of one of our PJ Connectors on Shabbat mornings for music, stories, and bring-your-own picnics.
When COVID upended our community, Bim Bam Baby! transitioned to virtual experiences, continuing the fun with Shabbat morning gatherings and adding virtual HavdALMOST celebrations with our partner Rabbi Callie Schulman at Temple De Hirsch Sinai.
We’ve seen so many families embrace this form of gathering, and seeing communities of families take shape through this experience has been a heartening validation of our expanded PJ Library engagement.
Story Corner, which we introduced just a few weeks ago, is the next step in bringing PJ programming closer to home. Story Corner is a virtual bedtime experience, when kids can get into their PJs (the “PJ” in PJ Library stands for pajamas!), snuggle with their parents, listen to a story read by our very own Lisa the Librarian, and sing a few fun songs before going to sleep. PJ Library is a spark of Jewish celebration, learning, and discovery that enriches lives and strengthens community. Story Corner brings a bit of that spark right into homes!
We didn’t know how this would turn out, since we have not tried something like this before. I am proud to share that, like the virtual Bim Bam Baby! gatherings, Story Corner has proved to be just as exciting a draw for families seeking Jewish connections during these times.
Through Bim Bam Baby! and Story Corner, your Federation is helping families with young children connect with Jewish life by meeting them where they are. As Jewish Puget Sound grows and as the world changes around us in unexpected ways, a key to keeping Jewish life strong is meeting people where they are—going with the flow by welcoming diversity in how people think about Jewish life and helping them embrace Judaism in ways that meet their needs and fit their lives.
Generous donors like you have brought the PJ Library magic to our community. Thank you! We’ll see you at the next Bim Bam Baby! and Story Corner gatherings!