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PJ Library Goes to JCC Day Camp!

West Orange, NJ—JCC MetroWest’s Early Childhood Camp and Camp Deeny Riback will be receiving 25 books from PJ Library, a program within the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for the summer of 2015. More than 50 camps are receiving these books this summer for use by campers ages 4 through 8 to enhance Jewish literacy in JCC day camps. This partnership between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) and JCC Association reinforces the importance of Jewish literacy at a young age through day camp programs.

Through this partnership, JCC Day Camps throughout North America will enhance their programs by using PJ Library books in their daily programming. These 25 books filled with stories of Jewish values and assorted holidays will help infuse Jewish literacy throughout the summer.

This partnership and program is part of JCC Association’s Day Camp Initiative—a continental effort to raise the programming and profile of Jewish day camp.

“We’re delighted that PJ Library and HGF are continuing to partner with us by adding the richness of PJ Library books to the resources that our day camp staff will have available to bring Jewish learning to life,” said Stephen Hazan Arnoff, President and CEO of JCC Association.

“JCC day camps are the entry point into Jewish life for over 65,000 children each summer. We believe by providing valuable tools to enhance summer learning and programs connect, we campers to a life of Jewish engagement.” said Shara Perlman, assistant director of camping and youth engagement at JCC Association. “There’s also incredible potential to reach the 12,000 young adults who work at JCC day camps each summer,” Perlman added, noting that for most day camp staff, working at camp is not only their first real job, but their first exposure to Jewish communal work.

“We are thrilled to be receiving these books from PJ Library. We will use these books to further reinforce the Jewish values that are infused throughout our camps on a daily and weekly basis” says Alan Feldman, CEO JCC MetroWest.

JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Camps open the world of camping to your child while building independence, confidence, and self-esteem. Camp Deeny Riback, located on 35 acres in Flanders, NJ, serves children ages 3 ½ to 15 in a traditional summer day camp program. Jewish themes and values are woven throughout our program areas and weekly special events.

This grant is another example of the broad-based support received from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), both for JCCA and for local JCCs throughout the country. HGF currently provides fundraising incentives and consulting mentors to 24 JCC day camps and 24 JCC residential camps throughout the United States. In addition to marrying Harold Grinspoon’s two passions (Jewish camp and Jewish books) the PJ Library® grant for day camps helps unite two great arms of our local JCC partners.

“We are delighted to partner with JCC Association to offer this wonderful opportunity to day camps across the country,” said Mark Gold, executive director of HGF’s JCamp180. “Many JCCs are partnering with their local PJ Library programs to provide another way for the community to impact families raising young children. Since PJ Library sends the gift of Jewish books and music to children through age eight, this is one of many opportunities for mutual marketing support and joint program development.”

“We’re excited that PJ Library is providing another connection point between local PJ program directors and their JCC day camps,” said Beth Grafman, program officer at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. “These are two great resources for young families with opportunities for them to connect to the larger Jewish community all year long.”

PJ Library started as a small project sending books to 200 children in Western Massachusetts in 2005. Now it delivers more than 144,000 Jewish books per month to children throughout North America with more than 14 million PJ Library books have been delivered globally in four languages since the program’s inception. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation also invests over $2.2 million annually in Jewish summer camps, much of which is leveraged by those camps to provide $155 million in total impact. For more information visit www.hgf.org.

By JCC MetroWest

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