Still Summer’s Hottest Ticket: PJ Library® Ice Cream Socials
Children and families are invited by PJ Library® in South Palm Beach County to drop in between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. at frozen yogurt shops around town for sweet treats on hot summer Wednesday nights - and enjoy story time with local rabbis as well as arts & crafts.
For a third year, Conservative, Orthodox and Reform synagogues are partnering with PJ Library for a “Sweet Summer Series.” Each Wednesday night through August 9, a rabbi from one of seven partner synagogues will read PJ Library stories. (schedule below)
This year’s series builds on the success of the last two summers, when PJ Library in South Palm Beach County introduced the innovative project to the community, explained Elana Ostroff, local Director of PJ Library, based at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
"We are so glad to once again provide unaffiliated young Jewish families the in our community with these opportunities to connect to the different synagogues,” said Ostroff. “They are able to meet clergy and synagogue members as well as other young families in a relaxed, informal environment. It's a great way for them to see what the community has to offer, enjoy the stories, crafts and ice cream - and also sign up for our PJ Library program!”
Rabbis and parents agree that the Sweet Summer Series continues to be a seasonal hit for all.
Deena Sturm of Boca Raton, a PJ Library parent, said, “The series is a great way to learn about the different synagogues in the area — as well as to support one’s own synagogue and meet new friends. My kids love the stories and crafts and, of course, the ice cream. I love how they listen to the rabbis and feel comfortable being proudly Jewish in a public place."
“This was a great opportunity to get together informally in the summer to meet new families, enjoy some delicious ice cream and reinforce for our children the importance of reading and Jewish values, said Rabbi Philip Moskowitz of the Orthodox Boca Raton Synagogue, after this year’s first Sweet Summer event, at Menchies Frozen Yogurt in the Garden Shops at Boca. “It was so meaningful to watch the diverse mix of children from different backgrounds and different communities have a good time with each other as both they and their parents met new friends. We’re so blessed to partner together with PJ Library and PJ Our Way in providing for these types of opportunities and social programs.”
“I'm so excited for this year's PJ Library Summer Ice Cream series!” said Rabbi Greg Weisman of the Reform Temple Beth El of Boca Raton. “Every summer I get to take an evening to spend with children and parents from our school and our community and connect with them over a few stories and a delicious treat. Our families look forward to this event each year, and we are so grateful to PJ Library for this opportunity.”
“I always look forward to our summers in Boca Raton with PJ Library!” said Rabbi David Baum of the Conservative Congregation Shaarei Kodesh. “I love spending time reading and spending time with our families. Reading these incredible books over the summer is a great way for parents and children to connect in greater ways.”
Rabbi Yaakov Gibber of the Orthodox Boca Jewish Center/ Shaaray Tefilla concurred, after his recent evening at Yogurt Rendezvous in Del Mar Shopping Center in Boca Raton, "We are so thankful for the opportunity to participate in PJ Library's fantastic programming which successfully brings warmth and inspiration to its young listeners as well as unites our community by bringing new families together for a shared and common purpose."
PJ Library in South Palm Beach County provides high-quality Jewish books and music free of charge through monthly mailings to local families raising Jewish children aged 6 months through 8 years old. Part of an innovative international Jewish outreach program spearheaded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, it is based locally at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. The program’s second chapter, PJ Our WayTM, provides self-chosen monthly books and online activities for tweens ages 9-11. PJ also holds family events large and small throughout the year.
“The Sweet Summer Series is only one component of the PJ Library events held throughout the local community that draw over 5,500 children, parents and grandchildren each year,” said Joanna Drowos, local PJ Library Chair, who enjoys attending the events with her children. Together, we enjoy stories, crafts, concerts and fairs; learn about holidays and mitzvot; pack food for those in need; make hamentashen; visit a farm, bookstores, synagogues and so much more. PJ Library brings Jewish life into local homes and brings the young Jewish community together.”
For more information about the Sweet Summer Series, visit jewishboca.org/sweetsummer, and to learn more about or sign up for the PJ Library program, visit jewishboca.org/pjlibrary, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ostroff at 561.852.6080. To sign up for PJ Our Way for children 9-11, visit pjourway.org.
*Under ORB Supervision