Kaplan Chosen for PJ Our Way Design Team

David Kaplan

David Kaplan

David Kaplan, 10, of Louisville was selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) in partnership with The J, to join the national PJ Our Way Design Team.

Currently in its 4th year, the PJ Our Way program is the next chapter of the highly successful Jewish outreach program, PJ Library. PJ Our Way offers 9-11 year olds a choice of Jewish themed books and a safe website to upload reviews, videos and blogs.

David and nine other team members from across America have early access to books, and create content including videos and reviews. Together the team interviews authors, participates in workshops and leads the conversation amongst their peers.

“We are thrilled to have David on our team” said Saskia Swenson Moss, who directs the Design Team. “Team members are great role models for tweens who want to connect to Judaism in fun and engaging ways.”

“I am so glad about making the Design Team,” David said. “I feel like I am the luckiest person in the country right now. It means so much to me. I am looking forward to the team to accomplish many goals.

“First, I would like to learn and improve the reading and reviewing skills that I already have or will need for the future. Second, I like the opportunity to be the first to read and review pre-chosen Jewish Heritage books and encourage many people to read them by our team’s reviews. Third, I would like to get people to expand their choice of reading and encourage them to read more often. Fourth, I would like to meet kids around the country who share my interests. Fifth, I would like to learn how to make persuasive videos to get people to read many different books.”

David is a fifth grader at Louisville Collegiate School. He attends Religious School and Hebrew School at The Temple, and was one of the students selected to help lead Erev Yom Kippur children’s services this year.

He is a good student, who was selected for the advanced learning program and has a wide variety of interests. He is a member of his school’s Math Busters and Quick Recall teams, is active in the Lego Robotics and Coding Clubs and takes piano lessons. He is interested in science and enjoys focusing on DNA and genetic research. He enjoys gymnastics and lacrosse and is a member of the swim team.

In addition, he likes Minecraft, movie making, horseback riding and theater productions. And most importantly, David loves to read.

David isn’t exactly sure when he was enrolled in the PJ Library program, but he thinks he was only 3 years old or maybe younger. “The books are very interesting,” he said. “Sometimes I even read my sister’s books and I enjoy them very much.”

He particularly enjoys the Jewish aspects of the books because he values his Jewish heritage.

“I would like to thank my mom for encouraging me to apply for the team and helping me by filling out the forms with me and videotaping my book review,” David said. “Thank you!”

David’s parents are Vadim and Faina Kaplan.

The PJ Our Way program is supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation based in Agawam, MA. Sign-up at www.pjourway.org.

PJ Library is an award-winning Jewish family engagement program designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish families and their relationship to local Jewish community. Created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library started in 2005 by providing free, high-quality Jewish books and music each month to 200 families. Now, more than 140,000 children between the ages of six months and eight years receive the books in 200 communities in the United States and Canada.

For more information, visit www.jewishlouisville.org/pjlibrary or www.pjlibrary.org.

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