PJ Library Offers Families Everything for a Lively and Entertaining Hanukkah

As fall moves toward winter, Jewish families begin to look towards Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Celebrating the rededication of the Jewish temple after it was taken back from the Greeks in the 2nd century BCE, it’s a fun and festive holiday spanning eight days and is best known for menorahs, latkes and dreidels. This year, families are invited to turn to PJ Library for a treasure trove of free resources created to ensure Hanukkah 2022 is a memorable one; included is an updated Hanukkah Hub featuring printable recipes and activity ideas, book lists, a new story-based podcast and so much more!


 PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation which delivers more than 680,000 free Jewish story books to kids around the world each month. Now in its 17th year, the program hit a milestone in 2022 by shipping its 50 millionth book. Jewish families of all backgrounds at all levels of Jewish knowledge and observance – including interfaith households – may subscribe every child in their home to receive a new, age-appropriate book each month. PJ Library’s team of experts and educators curate the book list to provide the very best children’s stories that celebrate Jewish values, traditions, and culture to engage all Jewish families. And what could be a better Hanukkah gift than to receive a beautifully illustrated book arriving in the mailbox each month? This year, for example, younger readers (ages 3-5) will receive Varda Livney’s delightful picture book Hanukkah at Monica’s, a new and original release from PJ Publishing, the program’s in-house imprint.


Beyond the books, PJ Library will update their resource-packed Hanukkah Hub, which offers child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story along with numerous unique craft ideas, delectable holiday recipes, and printable activities. One new offering is a lively Hanukkah-themed lava lamp activity, where children will test the density of different types of oil while creating calming faux “lava lamps” with recycled materials. This funky craft is a great addition to a night of enjoying foods fried in oil while embracing the Jewish values of curiosity and learning. In addition, families can turn to Hub activities and resources such as The Ultimate List of Books about Hanukkah offering up the very best in holiday page turners, as well as 10 Easy (and Kid-Approved) Hanukkah Recipes, or The Easy Hanukkah Guide: Recipes, Gifts and Activities For Each Night. And, on the award-winning podcast front, a new Afternoons with Mimi episode arrives on November 22 – just in time for the holiday! Perfect for children ages 2-5, “Kiddo Lights the Hanukkah Candles” has wise Grandma Mimi detailing the all-important lighting of the menorah, what it means and how to do it.


The new picture book, Hanukkah at Monica’s, is now on the PJ Library Amazon store https://www.amazon.com/pjlibrary. The colorfully illustrated new picture book is written and illustrated by Varda Livney. Synopsis: No one loves Hanukkah more than Monica. and celebrating the Festival of Lights — lighting candles, singing blessings, eating delicious fried foods and playing dreidel — is even more fun with friends. Luckily, Monica has lots of friends, including a robot, a pirate, even a jellyfish! Who’s going to arrive at her party next?


Long a valuable resource for interfaith families, PJ Library also offers guidance this year, including their list of Hanukkah Books for Interfaith Families. Interfaith families who choose to celebrate Hanukkah can turn to Jessica Keith’s helpful blog post No, We Don’t Celebrate Both.


Finally, for those seeking creative gift-giving options, PJ Library has set up shop at amazon.com/pjlibrary. There, families can find colorful aprons for cooking and crafting and books from the PJ Library imprint, PJ Publishing, including recent additions My Hands Make the World, Havdalah Sky and Laila Tov, Moon. The PJ Library Amazon store also offers a perpetual Jewish calendar kit, making it simple for families to personalize and track Jewish holidays month after month.