Couple offers $10K challenge grant for donors to PJ Library

Carl and Joann Bianco are challenging the community with a $10,000 grant. First time gifts to the PJ Library program by June 30, 2011 will be matched dollar for dollar by the Biancos. This will mean a $20,000 total donation to the very popular and highly successful Jewish Federation of St. Louis program, which connects families with children aged 6 months through 7 years, to their rich Jewish heritage through free monthly books and CDs.

To join PJ (as in pajamas) Library, all parents or grandparents have to do is sign up their children. Seven hundred St. Louis Jewish children currently receive free books and CDs each month.  

PJ Library Coordinator Jennifer Lotsoff said the number of new subscriptions has been capped at 20 a month because of limited funds, but the challenge grant will help accommodate the “hundreds of St. Louis kids who have already signed up and for those who want to join but currently are on a waiting list.”  

The PJ Library program was introduced in the St. Louis area in 2007. St. Louisans Michael and Leslie Litwack provided funding to launch the program. Funding has come also from Jewish Federation, the Kranzberg Family Foundation, The Trio Foundation of St. Louis with matching funds from Grinspoon. In addition, every kindergarten class in Yokneam, St. Louis’ sister-city in Israel, receives a PJ Library book monthly. It is funded by the Ministry of Education, which matches funding from the Grinspoon Foundation and other donors.

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For more information, call Jennifer Baer Lotsoff at 314-442-3867 or [email protected] To make a donation or to subscribe to the PJ Library Program, go to www.pjlibrary.org.