During the summer, while the children are out of school, the PJ Library communities in South Florida present activities.
The PJ Library, a national program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, sends Jewish children’s books and music to families free of charge.
Like every summer PJ Library in South Palm Beach County presents his “Sweet Summer Series”. This year, it’s partnering with the new initiative of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, 3049, for the series, which is open to Jewish families raising children.
The series features guest rabbis reading books at ice cream parlors in South Palm Beach. Handicrafts are also fun for the children.
Elana Ostroff, director of PJ Library in South Palm Beach, said, “This year we’re doing it a little bit differently.”
“We used to have seven different ice cream parlors for each synagogue,” Ostroff continues. “This year we’re hosting three larger community-wide events in larger spaces, and we’ve invited all of our local rabbis to come and be guest readers at the various ice cream parlors.”
The first Sweet Summer Series event of the year was held at Menchie’s in the Delray Marketplace. The other two events will be at Brendy’s Yogurt and Ice Cream in Boca Raton on July 20th and Uncle Louie G’s in Boca Raton on August 3rd. Both are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m
Ostroff said, “The goal of the ‘Sweet Summer Series’ is for families to meet each other, our rabbis, and our community.”
While the series took place virtually two years ago and was limited to outdoors last year due to the pandemic, this year it’s taking place in larger spaces.
“I think it makes a lot of sense for families to have the opportunity to connect personally and meet new people,” Ostroff said. “With the influx of new families coming to Boca, PJ Library is excited to offer families the opportunity to meet new friends in person.”
Visit facebook.com/PjLibrarySouthPalmBeach, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ostroff at 561-6080 for more information.
Broward County Jewish Federation PJ Library has teamed up with the LEV Children’s Museum to present the summer series Popsicles & Playtime.
The series of five late afternoon gatherings at various locations around Broward for children ages 2-7 and their families will include snacks, stories, crafts and LEV’s interactive Jewish Children’s Museum.
The first event of the series was held at Robbins Preserve in Davie.
Sarah Dewoskin, director and founder of the LEV Children’s Museum, which is supported by the Jewish Federation of Broward County, said the first event was wonderful.
“We had 20-25 families, probably over 40 kids,” Dewoskin said. “It was just a really nice afternoon of fellowship, play, exploration and a little bit of Judaism.”
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The other events in the series are July 14 at Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek in Tamarac, July 19 at B’nai Aviv in Weston, July 27 at Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs and August 4 at Temple instead of Bat Yam in Fort Lauderdale. All are scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m
Dewoskin said of the partnership with PJ Library in Broward, “Since LEV was formed, PJ and LEV have done a lot of different creative things together.”
“I think that’s mainly because our missions are very well aligned,” she continued. “We try to reach children and their families so that they can start or continue their Jewish journey.”
Dewoskin noted, “I would say the goals of both PJ and LEV are to reach out to families that maybe any of us haven’t met and get them to do some fun hands-on activities and show families that Judaism can be fun and very accessible, regardless of your learning style, your child’s age, or your background.”
Marney Tokar, director of the Jewish Federation of Broward County PJ Library, said, “We are both very committed to meaningful Jewish experiences for children and families.”
“The partnership is a wonderful mix of dedicated educators who want to involve our families in Jewish life and the Jewish community.”
Visit bit.ly/pjlevsummer to register for sessions or facebook.com/PJLibraryBroward for more information.