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

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Gratitude graphic with hands-in together

Gratitude for Our Community

Each November for the past ten years, I’ve written about gratitude in the November e-news message. It makes sense given the season but now, in light of the unfolding crisis in Israel and rising antisemitism, I feel especially grateful for our vibrant, generous, and resilient Jewish community and all the ways in which we are […]

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Finding Joy This Season graphic

Feeling Joy This Season

There are many times throughout the Jewish calendar when we are meant to be joyful and celebratory. This week is one of those times. Not only are we celebrating Sukkot (festival of booths), the harvest festival that is nicknamed “the time of our joy” (Z’man Simchateinu), but this weekend, we can look forward to Simchat […]

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Collage of images representing Jewish fall holidays

Start Here for a Sweet New Year

Fall is hands-down my favorite season. Perhaps it’s because autumn weather is so different from Miami (where I was born and raised). The crispness in the air, the changing leaves, getting apples and pumpkins from a field and not a Publix…these were all exotic and exciting to me as a kid, and they continue to […]

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Two people cleaning up a forest

Books That Inspire Lifelong Environmental Habits

Some books are forgotten within days of reading them. Others stay with me for years, sometimes decades. One book I read as a kid that changed my life was 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. It inspired me to start a campaign to get my family to use less water, turn […]

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kids on the beach graphic for July blog post

Hakarat Hatov: Recognizing the Good in Summer

Summer provides so many great opportunities for family adventures that it’s a perfect season for hakarat hatov, the Jewish value of “recognizing the good.” From celebrating freedom to enjoying the fruits of summer, from learning new skills at camp to visiting new places while on vacation, each moment presents the chance to feel thankful. Saying […]

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Shoes with arrows pointing in different directions

Marking the Next Steps on Your Journey

I’ve talked frequently in this space about the Shehechiyanu prayer — a way of pausing to mark the occasion of doing something for the first time ever or the first time in a given year. But as the school year ends and the summer season begins, I had to wonder if there is a blessing […]

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Share the Joy Refer-a-Friend graphic with a picture of a toddler holding a book.

Celebrating Growth and Sharing the Love of PJ

Earlier this week, I was at the PJ Library International Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. While western Massachusetts is where PJ Library began and where the PJ Library “home office” is, the influence of this program extends beyond the state’s borders to cover the globe. Not coincidentally, the theme of the PJ Conference was tz’michah (growth), […]

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two kids cutting apples

Let Your Children Help at Passover!

It’s bashert (meant to be) that celebrating Passover requires you to “tell it to your children” (a line in the haggadah — “the telling”) and is also designed to make it easy to do so! With sensory experiences, symbolic foods, and a handy guidebook in the haggadah, the whole holiday is meant to help children […]

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Purim square graphic with mask, hamantaschen and noisemakers

The Values of Purim

  I’m delighted to welcome a return to public celebrations of Purim. I hope you’ll join us for an event and carry the values of Purim throughout the month. There are many ways to celebrate the holiday, including observing the four Purim mitzvot (commandments), but I want to focus on two: hearing the story and […]

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Happy Tu B'Shevat greeting with tree background and PJ and Federation logos

Celebrating the Birthday of the Trees

February is filled with fun! We have Tu B’Shevat (“the birthday of the trees”) starting on Sunday night, and many fun events around the area throughout the month. Tu B’Shevat is a great holiday to celebrate with kids in a few different ways: Take the opportunity to introduce a new fruit, either something grown on […]

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