Gratitude and Giving for Families with Young Children

Gratitude and Giving

Gratitude and Giving with PJ Library and Federation!

Even in a pandemic, we can continue to show gratitude and cultivate a tradition of giving back with our families. We can focus on what we are preserving or what we are adding this year. The Jewish value behind this is hakarat hatov (focusing on the good).

These activities and programs in November and December provide a perfect way to give back to our community as a family while respecting physical distancing. Check out the Social Action Opportunities, Holiday Programs, and Resources to get involved and give back!

two hands holding a red heart

Social Action Opportunities

Include your whole family in the spirit of gratitude and giving with these hands-on opportunities to good mitzvot (good deeds).

Military Mitzvah Chanukah Card Project
Now through November 23Military Mitzvah Chanukah

PJ Library and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington are partnering to have families send Chanukah cards to American Jewish military stationed in Alaska, Spain, and around the world! Cards can be store-bought or homemade and should be mailed by Monday, November 23rd to arrive in time to distribute to services members.  Learn more and sign up.

Jam the J-Trolley
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30 PM

Weekly collection of non-perishable food and personal care items  at the Pozez JCC. Food for Others especially needs evaporated milk, beans, pasta, pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, canned vegetables, and canned fruit.

Everything But the Turkey graphicEverything But the Turkey
Sunday, November 22, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Drop off your items at the EDCJCC, 1529 16th Street NW, Washington, DC

Drop off bags of dried goods you packaged on your own by following careful instructions from the EDCJCC. Registration required. (Best for ages 4 and up) This project is in partnership with PJ Library.

Food, Race, and Culinary Justice with Michael Twitty
Monday November 23, 7:00 PM

Join a conversation with Michael W. Twitty, a Black Jewish culinary historian, educator, living history interpreter, and award-winning author. Registration required. Part of Everything But The Turkey, an EDCJCC program. (Best for adults)

Take the Pledge: End Hunger in America
Thursday, November 26 and throughout the week

Help end food insecurity by completing a short advocacy activity with MAZON, the Jewish Response to Hunger, around your Thanksgiving table. An EDCJCC cosponsored program. (Good for all ages)

hand-painted tzedakah boxesTzedakah: Giving as a Family and Repairing the World Workshop
Friday, November 27, 10:00 AM

Join the EDCJCC and PJ Library for a workshop that will take your family through an exploration of your own values, what Judaism says about giving, and choosing an organization you’ll donate to as a family. (Best for kids ages 5 and up)

Be the Light: Helping Others on Chanukkah
Sunday, December 13, 11:00 AM – Noon and 4:00–5:30 PM

Drop off donations at Temple Shalom: 8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase, MD
Bake-along is virtual

Encourage your child to dedicate one night of Chanukkah as a Tzedakah (righteousness or charity) Night, purchasing items for others instead of receiving a gift. Bring a donation for DC Diaper Bank (see wish list) in the morning. Later that day, join us on Zoom for a bake-along with Paula Shoyer! We will make blue-and-white cookies, ending with lighting the menorah together at 5:30 PM. (Best for ages 3 and up) This is a J Pop-Ups program, funded by the Phyllis Margolius Family Foundation.

Blood Drives
Thursdays, December 24 and 31, 9:00 AM-2:30 PM

Pozez JCC, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA

The Pozez JCC is hosting several blood drives to help the American Red Cross replenish its critically low supply. Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. (Minimum age to donate is 16 (with parent permission))
Find more ways for your family to Volunteer In and Around Washington, DC from Beltway Bambinos.

Thanksgiving PJ blog post

Holiday Programs

Celebrate Thanksgiving and Chanukah–and the Jewish values behind them–with these programs from our PJ Community Partners!  Get the full list and details on our Chanukah page!

All events are virtual unless otherwise stated.

Make Room for Latkes: Sunday, December 6, 10:00 am (EDCJCC, Milton, Love and Religion)

Chanukah Grandfriend Cooking Together: Tuesday, December 8, 4:00 pm (Federation and all three JCCs)

Bim Bom Bag (Chanukah):  Explore Jewish Themes & Holidays with the Bender JCC: Thursday, December 10, 4:00 PM

8 Nights of Lights: Thursday–Friday, December 10–17, 5:30 PM

Author Talk: Happy Llamakah with Laura Gehl: Friday, December 11, 11:00 AM

Tot Shabbat Chanukah edition: Friday, December 11, 4:00 PM

Chanukah Havdalah in Pajamas: Saturday, December 12, 6:00 PM (Berman and Kehilat Pardes)

Be the Light: Helping Others on Chanukkah: Sunday, December 13, 11:00 AM–Noon and 4:00–5:30 PM

IN PERSON Chanukah Candle Lighting Celebration at the Bender JCC: Sunday, December 13, 4:30 PM

Cooking with the Kagins Chanukah Edition: Monday, December 14, 4:30 PM

Bite Size Fun: Chanukah Edition: Tuesday, December 15, Noon

Author Talk: The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica Perl: Wednesday, December 16, 4:00 PM

Afternoon Sillies Chanukah Edition: Thursday, December 17, 4:00 PM

Family-Friendly Events Cosponsored by PJ Library in Greater Washington

Tot Shabbat at TBS!

Friday, January 22, 2021 | 7:00 pm - 7:45 pm

4th Fridays Together

Friday, January 22, 2021 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This event has been canceled.

Bim Bom Bag (Tu BiShvat)

Monday, January 25, 2021 | 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Holiday Story Time Series: Tu Bishvat

Monday, January 25, 2021 | 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Tu B’Shevat Grandfriend Program

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Baby Lap Time

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Pajamuary graphic

Pajamuary Tot Shabbat

Friday, January 29, 2021 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Pajamuary graphic

Pajamuary Havdalah

Saturday, January 30, 2021 | 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm