When you’re the daughter of a rabbi, falling in love and marrying a Gentile isn’t exactly in the script. It called for some big conversations, and I’m very lucky that Mike enthusiastically converted to Judaism and that together we’ve built a Jewish family life. Before having kids, we were active in the MJCCA’s young adult group, and we knew one day we’d send our kids to Gesher L’Torah’s preschool, but I wondered, how would we both transmit the Jewish values and traditions that were still new to Mike?
Somewhere along the way I heard about PJ Library, where every month your child receives a free Jewish book or CD. Each book comes with notes about how to share the story with your child, plus activities related to the story. It means the world to me that Mike is sharing PJ Library with our three girls.
It fills me up to see Mike and Maya, who’s now five, both get excited when a PJ Library book arrives. One of their favorites is Dear Tree, about the holiday Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Mike thinks it’s incredible that there’s an entire holiday devoted to taking care of the earth and thanking G-d for shade and fruit. These values really resonate with him.
Our non-Jewish friends are a little envious that Federation has this program that helps kids feel great about their heritage. And they’re totally blown away that PJ Library offers Book it to Shabbat — a weekend retreat for families at Camp Ramah Darom. We’ve gone twice with my parents, my sister, and our cousins. Our girls absolutely love it. Mike and I have yet to take them to Disneyland, but honestly, Book it to Shabbat is our Jewish magic kingdom!
The Stinsons Leah, Michael, Maya, Ariella, and Jaina
Get the latest news and involvement opportunities delivered straight to your inbox.