It is almost time for Hanukkah, our festival of lights, and we wish you each a wonderful Hanukkah, and a happy end to 2022. We are delighted to include with this mailing a copy of the basic candle lighting prayers and a link to our website where one of our patrons/board member Bill Gross and his wife Cheryl Gross are chanting these same prayers and where you can find other information about Hanukkah.
We are also excited, in the spirit of this time of the year, to let you know about a wonderful new children’s book pilot initiative, done in concert with PJ Library. Families will be able to read books together, since the print version will have a braille transparency on each text page so that the book can be read sitting side by side. Just ask and we will send you a DTB and a print/braille book to enjoy for a month. A Braille only version is also available on demand. We are anxious to get your feedback on this new approach, and to hear how you and your loved ones enjoyed these wonderful books. We are very grateful to our anonymous Board member who made this possible. Our pilot selection includes:
The Peddler (ages 5-10): The poor peddler can’t afford to buy the baker’s fresh challah and can only sniff their wonderful aroma. The baker gets angry and wants money for that, too. The rabbi comes up with an ingenious verdict.
Hanukkah at Monica’s (ages 0-5): No one loves Hanukah more than Monica who celebrates with her friends, who keep coming to her Hanukkah party.
Until the Blueberries Grow (ages 5-10): Until the blueberries grow… until the snow falls… Ben tries to convince his great-grandfather to stay in his house a little longer to celebrate the Jewish holidays together.
Jeremy’s Dreidel (age 5-10): At a dreidel-making workshop, Jeremy makes a special dreidel for his father, who is blind. How will he make sure his friends appreciate this special dreidel with its “secret code.”
PJ Library sends free high-quality storybooks and activities to families with kids from birth through age 12. These stories spark conversation and inspire the whole family to engage with what is most meaningful to them about being Jewish. Created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the program is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. To learn more and sign up, visit pjlibrary.org.
Of course, we have also prepared a number of new adults DTBs for your reading pleasure, including:
Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick: A tale that captures the shifting meanings of the past and how our experience colors those meanings.
Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World by Iddo landau: In this warmly written book, rich with examples from the author's life, film, literature, and history, landau offers new theories and practical advice that awaken us to the meaning already present in our lives and demonstrates how we can enhance it.
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro: A memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test, a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love.
A Rich Brew by Shachar Pinsker: A fascinating glimpse into the world of the coffeehouse and its role in shaping modern Jewish culture.
We are busy brailling several new liturgical books including the CCAR Haggadah and the Lev Shalem Siddur. Stay tuned for more information about these projects, and others.
We hope you have been enjoying getting our newsletter, and please make sure to let us know whether you are willing to receive this and other communications by email. And of course, we want feedback about our pilot program with PJ Library. We hope you will consider signing up for our JBI Voices, a compendium of articles of interest and a special culture series. Please contact Arlene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-889-2525 or 800-433-1531 for more information.
We wish you a wonderful end to 2022, happy new year, and best wishes for the year to come.