(See photo gallery at end of article)
PJ Library celebrated providing Louisville’s Jewish children with free books and CDs with a birthday party, concert and book reading on Sunday, January 26. More than 150 children and their families came to the JCC, which had just reopened after a frozen pipe burst, closing the building. This was truly a special community event, as both the LBSY (Louisville Beit Sefer Yachad/The Louisville Hebrew School) and The Temple Religious School arranged for their students to participate and families from all synagogues in Louisville attended.
Rick Recht, a nationally recognized Jewish singer, performed for the PJ Library crew. Recht is the national celebrity spokesperson for PJ Library. He has 13 hit Jewish music albums including two children’s albums and has also published a book based upon his hit song, Kobi’s Lullaby. Rick had the children up on stage dancing and singing and no one sat still.
“I was so impressed with how he was able to reach the youngest kids while still being ‘cool’ enough for the older kids. One 7-year-old remarked to me afterwards that at first she thought the music was going to be “for babies” but when she actually saw him, she realized that he was “cool” and “rock and roll.” He used a lot of humor…silly voices, movements, etc…and got the kids to imitate them,” said Cantor Sharon Hordes.
Marsha Roth, co-chair of the PJ Library, kicked off the event with her reading of Something From Nothing, the first PJ Library book ever sent.
After the concert, the children had cake and made a video thanking Harold Grinspoon, founder of PJ Library, for his support of the Louisville Jewish community. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation has provided over $100,000 for Louisville’s PJ Library.
PJ Library Louisville would like to thank the entire community for five years of support. It would especially like to thank Stephen and Sandra Linker for their past support, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Beth Grafman from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation who flew in to attend the celebration and Marsha Roth and Becky Ruby Swansburg, co-chairs of this important program. See the article on Grinspoon Foundation celebration.
Swansburg enjoyed the concert with her twin 2 ½ year-old children, Robert and Molly.
“PJ Library is obviously about books, but songs and books go hand-in-hand and some of my kids’ favorite songs are songs of Rick’s,” she said, adding that music and stories are tremendous tools for introducing Judaism to children.
“One of the reasons I wanted to be chair of the program is because it does so much to teach my kids about Judaism, to bring Jewish ideas into our home in a way they love,” she said.
If you know of any Jewish children, aged 6 months through seven years, who is not already receiving PJ Library books, please register them at www.pjlibrary.org.
Rick Recht Concert 2014 – Photo Gallery