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PJ Library Zoom Pals: Make a friend across the Bay

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PJ Library programs of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Tampa JCCs & Federation are partnering for their first ever Zoom Pals program.

While COVID-19 is a continuing battle, the programs are finding different ways to connect to families and friends who are near and a (little bit) far. Beginning in September and running through December, the program will match PJ Library participants from PJ Library Gulf Coast with kids from the PJ Library program in Tampa. Parents will get a survey to match children from different communities in order to set up “playdates” via Zoom.

PJ Library Zoom Pals has four sessions scheduled. They will be on Sep. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 18 and Dec. 13. Participants can jointly make the decision to Zoom more or less frequently. Each date will feature different themes. Families will receive additional information upon registering for the program.

“This ongoing program is a great opportunity for your child to make a new friend across the bay, while simultaneously practicing social distance, social skills, reading, writing, and most importantly staying safe,” said Alex Sembler, director of Community Programs and Family Engagement with Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Brandy Gold, Arts & Culture Director for the Tampa JCCs & Federation, added, “We have curated a creative and entertaining collection of virtual programs for all of our families to enjoy from the comfort of their homes.”

Both Tampa and Gulf Coast programs also have planned to partner on other PJ Library events for the remainder of 2020 as well as provide other programs such as Share-a-Shabbat, story times, jam music sessions and a parents’ only discussion with a children’s book author.

PJ Library is a free program for any family raising Jewish children – affiliated, unaffiliated, interfaith or non-traditional. Families with children ages 6 months through 8 years old can receive books that celebrate Jewish values and culture each month by registering via pjlibrary.org The national program was founded and receives major funding from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in partnership with local organizations

Families in Hillsborough County who are interested in learning more about PJ Library or participating in Zoom Pals can email marissa.rosenthal@jewishtampa.com or go to bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com/pjlibrary.

Those in the Gulf Coast service area should email asembler@jewishgulfcoast.org.

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