Families Invited to HUGE 3rd Birthday Party for PJ LIBRARY in West Boca on April 17

With so many reasons to celebrate, PJ Library® in South Palm Beach County is ordering a gigantic birthday cake for their third birthday party. Everyone is invited for tons of free family fun, and more than 1,000 guests are expected on April 17, between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. at the Sunset Pavilion in South County Regional Park, Boca Raton.

Children of all ages will be treated to a whirlwind of free activities including Petting Zoo, Singing with Miss Susan, a photo booth, sports, crafts, face painting, PJ Library stories and much more. Guest story readers from local synagogues will include Rabbi Marci Bloch of Congregation B’nai Israel, Rabbi Dan Levin of Temple Beth El and Karen Deerwester from Family Time at B’nai Torah. Each PJ Library Partner organization will have its own interactive booth with engaging hands-on activities as well. Kosher snacks will be available for purchase.

“We are excited for this opportunity to bring so many families together to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of PJ Library’s first three years in South Palm Beach County,” said Ilene Wohlgemuth, who co-chairs the local initiative with Joanna Drowos. “As part of this internationally renowned program, more than 1,600 local families raising Jewish children ages six months to eight years are receiving free high-quality age-appropriate books and music that foster Jewish enrichment and engagement - right in their mailboxes each month.”

“We’ve been thrilled to recently expand our programming to include nine to eleven-year-olds through PJ Our Way, a new pilot program just rolled out in South Palm Beach County and among select communities nationwide,” added Elana Ostroff, local PJ Library Director “These readers can make their own monthly book selection and participate in learning and reviewing activities on a safe, moderated website. We’ll have a special tent and activity for tween readers ages 8-12 at the Birthday Bash.

“In addition, PJ Library has been having so much fun through activities and learning together all around South Palm Beach County! Every month, more new families are coming on board, continued Ostroff. “This year alone, more than 5,000 children, parents and grandparents have gathered at events large and small, at local synagogues, libraries, parks, performances, shops, gyms and far more. From across the Jewish community, they’ve been getting together to hear PJ stories read by clergy, educators and local personalities, learn about holidays, and enjoy, learn, nosh, do arts & crafts and engage in mitzvot, hands-on helping activities.”

“Opportunities to help others through mitzvot as a family are built into PJ Library’s schedule of activities, from packing food for the Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS to making holiday crafts for hospitalized children to decorating cards for soldiers and more,” said local Co-Chair Drowos. “And the values of caring for each other are included in the PJ books. While there is no charge to enjoy PJ’s third birthday bash, we are asking everyone to bring a new pair of PJ’s (pajamas) to be donated to Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Services for those in need.”

“My daughter Eliana got her first PJ book when she was two years old,” recalled Alina Stanciu of Boca Raton. “Since then, every single month for the last two years, she looks forward to ‘her mail’ from PJ Library, knowing that the next book will bring a wonderful story that we can read and enjoy together while learning about our holidays, challah, mitzvot and our Jewish life. The books, the beautiful events, the monthly calendar of events all over the city - everything that PJ Library does for the Jewish community makes us feel connected to our tradition. We are so grateful to PJ Library for their amazing dedication and for all the meaningful events that they organize.”

The PJ Library South Palm Beach County Partnership is made possible by generous support from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, as well as generous local donors. The PJ Our Way program is a gift from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and PJ Alliance Partners, with support from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.

Families are invited to attend PJ’s Third Birthday Party at no charge, but advance registration is available at jewishboca.org/birthdaybash; families who pre-register will receive two free raffle tickets for an iPad Mini. To learn more about the event or about PJ Library, contact Elana Ostroff, PJ Library Director, at PJLibrary@bocafed.org or 561.852.6080.

Families living in South Palm Beach County who are raising Jewish children ages 6 months to 8 years are invited to sign up for PJ Library’s free monthly gift of books and music, at jewishboca.org/pjlibrary, and those with children ages 9 to eleven are encouraged to sign up for PJ our Way at pjourway.org.