In the coming weeks I am going to be putting together a couple posts on struggling with religion in the foreign service, especially Judaism. Though common around the world, we have served in back to back posts without active Jewish communities.  When my son was born, my mother-in-law turned me onto to PJ Library.  She knew I was worried about raising a Jewish son without resources.

PJ Library is a Jewish Family Engagement program throughout North America that mails free, high-quality Jewish children's literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis. Each PJ Library book, which are FREE and we mail to the Pouch address teach a lesson or align with a holiday.

Some PJ Library books tell Torah stories, some talk about Holidays and some (which I have to admit are our favorites) discuss the importance of living the values behind Judaism (charity, kindness and appreciating others).

We have a sizable amount of PJ Library books that go into our rotation with Dr. Seuss, Corduroy, Llama Llama, Fancy Nancy and all of his other favorites.  The most recent book got a lot of attention in our house.

First of all for LJ, IT HAD ANIMALS ON  THE COVER.  For my son Animals are the COOLEST THING EVER.  However, our nanny was also excited to see it.  She is very religions (Christian) and the book incited us to discuss Judaism and its relation to Christianity more. With LJ we discussed Noah and the story of the Ark and with the nanny we chatted about how the beginning of her Bible is ours.

I have to recommend if you are Jewish overseas and have access to Pouch, take advantage of the free books from PJ Library.  I am constantly impressed.

Overall out of 10 I give them a 9 on quality, 11 on cost (FREE!), 8 on appropriate for LJ (he's advanced reading wise for his age) and 8 on fun as it gets the religious conversation started.


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