Free books available for area Jewish kids |

Free books available for area Jewish kids

The PJ Library debuted in the Roaring Fork Valley this week thanks to United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation of Massachusetts. The program provides free books of Jewish content to children ages 6 months to 8 years. Jewish children in this age group, from Aspen to Silt, can receive the books. It is a “book-of-the-month-club” promoting reading, Jewish literacy, identification and connection to Jewish heritage.

“There is no catch, the books are absolutely free,” said Julie Puchkoff, United Jewish Appeal board member and director of the PJ Library in the valley. “These are wonderful books that will enhance the life of any young family; full of beautiful illustrations about Jewish holidays, values and folk tales.

“Aspen Valley is the latest among hundreds of other communities across North America to bring this exciting educational program to families.”

The Grinspoon Foundation’s mission is to help local communities provide free books for Jewish families and to enhance their connection to Jewish tradition and faith. Families do not have to be members of a synagogue to get PJ Library books. Anyone can sign up, members, nonmembers, children of Jewish parents or of inter-faith couples.

A part-time Aspen resident and avid skier and hiker, Grinspoon, through his foundation, reaches more than 60,000 children with books each month in more than 130 communities in the United States and Canada. Through his many philanthropic causes, Grinspoon is dedicated to strengthening the cultural identity of Jews everywhere.

The books are selected by a committee of librarians and educators, and Grinspoon himself gives his opinion on each choice. In order to provide free books for every child who enrolls, the Grinspoon Foundation pays $60 per child and the United Jewish Appeal Aspen Valley will pay $40. The United Jewish Appeal is raising money locally to support this project.

For more information, or to sign up online, go to Click on enroll. For questions, call the United Jewish Appeal office, (970) 704-1827, or e-mail Julie Puchkoff,

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