Saying Shalom to PJ Library Colleagues and a New Year

Rosh Hashanah is a time for renewal; this year, more than ever, we must seek ways to renew our spirits and, in many cases, our lives. The way to feeling more grounded these days is to be more in our hearts and bodies. I hope you will explore Jewish mindfulness for kids ( and, in particular, create or expand some new rituals around the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah offers us the chance to use the five senses to awaken our hearts and bodies. We hear—and perhaps touch—the shofar either online or in-person, taste and smell apples and honey, and see the colors of the new season as it arrives.

The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are also known as the Days of Awe. What can you and your family grow to be more in awe of during this time, particularly during these precarious and uncertain times?

As most of us know, our economy and local communities are suffering great setbacks, as are many of us personally, socially and perhaps financially. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven will be folding the PJ Library responsibilities for our local area into a full-time position to take our youth offerings to the next level of success for our community. I have the utmost faith in my wonderful friend and colleague, Kayla Bisbee.

So, at this juncture and time of renewal, I want to wish all of my PJ Library families and friends a heartfelt SHAL-OHM. This is a time to learn to accept change and become open to new things, as I too am in my life. I will miss you all and hope that as the world opens again to be outside and in public, I will see you out along the paths. May our paths cross again soon.

Stacey Battat, PJ Library Professional (2016-2020)


Meet Kayla Bisbee...

Dear Community,

As we prepare to begin yet another season of holidays under the restrictions of the pandemic, I hope you will join me in uniting together (though apart) as a team of young Jewish families navigating the unknown together. As Stacey wrote so eloquently, this is a time of uncertainty, change and renewal. I have had the privilege and honor to be a staff member of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven for five years in varied roles. While change can be difficult and stressful, I do believe this is a time when we can learn how to lean on each other for support like never before. 

While it is bittersweet for me as the mother of a two-year-old that has enjoyed Stacey as our PJ Library Professional, I look forward to taking what Stacey has developed with this beautiful community and utilizing all of your thoughts and opinions on how to best develop the PJ Community and grow to new heights.

Keep an eye out for a survey to help aid in planning upcoming events. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with your thoughts, ideas or just for a listening ear.

L’Chaim to a Sweet New Year!

Kayla Bisbee, Family Outreach & Administrative Coordinator


These are some of the books coming to you in September!

Written by Coleen Paratore,
Illustrated by Mike Reed

As you go through the alphabet, don’t forget the ABCs of mitzvot. Performing good deeds is something even the littlest among us can do.




Written by Barbara Goldin,
Illustrated by Laura Sucher

On a dark night full of noises, a young brother and sister decide to sleep in the family sukkah. They realize that the stars they see in the sky are the same as those that guided the ancient Israelites on their journey through the desert.



Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco

While preparing for the holiday of Sukkot, a flash fire in California leads neighbors to experience a modern miracle involving a little cat.


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