Here’s the Story – The PJ Library in Greater Washington Blog

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Happy Chanukah graphic greeting

8 Ways to Brighten Your Chanukah

Chanukah is a celebration of courage, Jewish pride, and kindling new light in dark times. It is also provides a multitude of opportunities for families to celebrate together. Throughout the month, your family can celebrate these values in eight different ways: Read books about Jewish heroes: PJ Library offers many biographical picture books of Jews […]

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Because We Were Strangers graphic with three people holding hands under a heart

Because We Were Strangers

In 37 places in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), we are reminded to love strangers because we were once strangers in a strange land. In fact, the phrase כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם (ki-gerim hayitem, “Because you were strangers”) appears in the Torah more frequently than any other. By reminding the Jewish people […]

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Using Sukkot to Teach Hospitality

It seems hard to believe, but we are only halfway through the fall holidays! Up next is Sukkot (festival of booths). Beginning on Sunday night, many Jewish families will enjoy meals, and even sleepovers, outdoors in temporary homes called sukkot (the singular is a sukkah), inviting others to join them. The practice of inviting others […]

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How Do You Measure a Year?

It’s the start of a new year — both a new school year and a Jewish new year! We hope the transition from summer fun to fall routines has been smooth for you. We typically spend the month of August preparing both mentally and physically for a new school year by adjusting bedtimes, finishing required […]

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Resilience image with a violet growing in a sidewalk crack

How Two Jewish Holidays Teach Resilience

Resilience is a key predictor of adult success, but it is an elusive concept to explain, especially to children. There are examples of it when you encourage your child to dust themselves off and get back on their bike, or when the birthday party plans were rained out and you had to switch to Option […]

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Family of four laughing together

Finding Joy in Simple Summer Pleasures

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”   –Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel  Kids understand “radical amazement” instinctively. They […]

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Pride and Solidarity

At a time when our world feels more fractured than ever, I remember that there is support and allyship in our community. The ways in which our world needs repairing and healing seem overwhelming, but you are not alone. Nor are you solely responsible for mending what is broken — that’s an obligation we each […]

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adult and child watching a sunrise with text "celebrating moments as well as holidays"

Celebrating Moments As Well As Holidays

I recently joined a gathering of PJ Library professionals where we delved into the Shehecheyanu — a blessing for reaching a special occasion or experiencing something for the first time ever or the first time that year (see below). Especially resonant to me was the discussion about the prayer’s focus on appreciating a moment in […]

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Passover Seder Plate

Bringing Intention to Your Passover Planning

If the walls of matzah boxes at the supermarket are any indication, Passover is coming up very soon! In between the menu or travel planning and spring cleaning, taking the time now to bring intention to your seder (the ritual meal) and planning to create a fun and interactive experience that will make it accessible […]

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At a Passover and Easter Impasse? Ideas for Interfaith Families

This year, the start of Passover and Easter both fall on the same weekend, which creates challenges, but also opportunities, for interfaith families. Both holidays are important for their respective religions and can thereby create tension. Here are some tips to help you navigate these two holidays with forethought and intention: Communicate with Your Partner […]

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