Welcome packs and support for community

"The power of seeing yourself represented in a book can't be underestimated..."

Siblings enjoying their PJ library books.
Siblings enjoying their PJ library books.

Shalom and PJ Library are delivering welcome packs to newly arrived community members from Israel and have compiled content to help parents navigate difficult conversations about conflict with their children.

A recent talk to parents by Jaimie Bloch and Lexi Cohen of MindMovers Psychology was facilitated to support parents and provide frameworks to talk through the distressing events with their children.

“By coming together and supporting one another, PJ Library, together with all communal organisations, help build a community that is more resilient in the face of challenges,” said PJ Library.

“Initiatives like these nurture the bonds that hold a community together. When people know that they are not alone in their struggles, it fosters a sense of belonging, reduces feelings of isolation, and helps improve overall wellbeing. As we struggle both personally and communally, these initiatives are a tribute to our communal resilience.”

PJ Library sends free books to Jewish families around the world. It also reaches hundreds of thousands of Israeli children and their families each month through its Hebrew-language counterpart, Sifriyat Pijama, and Arabic-language companion program, Maktabat al-Fanoos.

While Jewish families that are predominantly located in the eastern suburbs and north shore in Sydney have access to wide communal support, there are many Jews living throughout Sydney and in more rural regions of NSW and ACT.

Director of PJ Library NSW/ACT Wendy Dolowitz said, “These families may not enjoy or have the same access to support and therefore may be feeling even more isolated and scared. We can help, even if it’s providing connection through books.

“The power of seeing yourself represented in a book can’t be underestimated. By sending free books to Jewish families we are able to empower those families – from the unaffiliated to the deeply involved – to engage and celebrate Jewish life in a way that works for them.”

One mother, Claudia, said her two daughters are so excited to receive their PJ library books each month.

“My husband is not Jewish and reading the books as a family (and with my in-laws) helps us all to learn and grow together,” she said.

“I read the books at our preschool in Arncliffe to share about Jewish holidays, and it gives my daughters pride in their Jewish identity as they love sharing our traditions with their friends, who may not know any other Jewish people.”

Links and resources to navigate difficult conversations are available on pjlibrary.org.au or via Instagram (@pjlibrary_nsw).

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