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Spring 2014


Dear Friends,

We are pleased as always to send you the latest news from Sifriyat Pijama. 

We wish you and your dear ones a happy Pesach.


Galina Vromen

Executive Director, Keren Grinspoon Israel

  New Program in Arabic

After five years in Jewish communities throughout Israel, Sifriyat Pijama has leveraged its experience and close partnership with the Ministry of Education to create a sister program in the Arab community - Maktabat al-Fanoos (Lantern Library). Like Sifriyat PijamaMaktabat al-Fanoos promotes a love of books by gifting high-quality picture books monthly through the school year to children and their families. The program has been culturally adapted and provides books that stimulate conversation on universal human values at home and in school. 

We are pleased that in addition to the Ministry of Education, we are partnering in this program with the California-based Price Family Charitable Fund, which has long funded and operated Bidayat early childhood centers and teacher training programs in Arab communities. The Arabic language program launched in January with 48,000 preschoolers throughout Israel and attracted significant media attention in Jewish WeekJTA syndicates and The Jerusalem Post among others. With our partners, we hope to expand the program to ALL Arab preschools next year!


 Sifriyat Pijama Graduates to 1st and 2nd Grade

In addition to reaching more than 200,000 preschool children and their families each year, Sifriyat Pijama has “graduated” to 1st and 2nd grade with a pilot program for 3,000 children. Funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the pilot encourages parents to keep reading to their children as they acquire the skills to read themselves, and continue the family conversations on values that Sifriyat Pijama books stimulate. Experts stress the importance of reading aloud to children in early primary grades when their vocabulary and comprehension outstrip their independent reading skills. The 23 schools in the pilot have enthusiastically embraced the program, integrating the books in the classroom and holding events with parents.We hope the Ministry of Education will partner with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to expand the 1st and 2nd grade program in the future.



  Twinning Project with PJ Library in America


Thirty Sifriyat Pijama and PJ Library preschools in Israel and North America have embarked on an innovative classroom twinning initiative, inspired by one of this year's Sifriyat Pijama titles: A Taste of the Holidays, which includes holiday recipes and stories. Each preschool was assigned a "twin" kindergarten class, in Israel or America. The teachers create their own plan for sharing experiences by exchanging photos, Skype calls and/or emailing. Throughout the year, teachers, children and families on both sides of the ocean share holiday recipes, family customs and stories, and school experiences. At the end of the year, participating classes will together create a collection of holiday recipes, family customs and stories - similar to the book Taste of the Holidays. 

We believe that the partnerships between the communities will generate professional idea-sharing among educators, encourage a more meaningful connection between the families, and help promote the concept of "K’lal Israel" for children, parents and educators. Be'teavon!

Anne Diamond from Striar Hebrew Academy in Sharon, Massachusetts visits Tally Buksdorf's Lotem Preschool in Gan Yavneh


  Sifriyat Pijama Creates 8 New Books This Year

Sifriyat Pijama, in cooperation with Israeli publishers, continues to develop a trove of rich Jewish literature for children and revive Israeli classics. A sampling of this year's new titles includes: A Taste of the Holiday (used in twinning project above), two books of rhymes by famed Israeli poet Leah Goldberg, the traditional Midrashic tale of the Fox in the Vineyard, Concert in the Dunes - an adventure tale surrounding the first concert of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in the dunes of Tel Aviv, and Sweet Letters - a story based on the traditional practice of sweetening children’s introduction to the Hebrew alphabet by eating Hebrew letter cookies dipped in honey. The latter, written by Jacky Levy, garnered media attention on Educational TV’s Oseem Seder and on Channel 10 news.


 Evaluation Shows 100% Active Classroom Use

Sifriyat Pijama annually surveys all teachers in the program to gauge satisfaction and program impact. The results for the 2012-2013 school year (with 56% reply rate) were gratifying: 100% of the teachers reported they read each book to the class at least once, with 82% reading the books two times or more. The vast majority also led additional book-related activities.  Satisfaction with the quality of the books was also high (82% rated the books overall excellent or good). Two thirds of the teachers in the program for more than 2 years said they find implementing the program into the classroom becomes easier from year to year, and a similar portion said their enthusiasm for the books and their use in the classroom remains high over time.  In general, teachers noted a rise in the “Jewish vocabulary” in the children’s preschool conversations, said values raised by the books found expression in the classroom, and reported that the teacher-parent relationship was strengthened by the program.


  We Have Moved to New Offices in Ramat Gan!

We have outgrown our offices. As of April 6, we are located in new quarters in the Diamond Exchange District of Ramat Gan with easy access by train.
Our new address: Betzalel 10 St., Ramat Gan 5252110. Telephone number remain the same.


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Siriyat Pijama  |  Keren Grinspoon Israel LTD  |  Chalat"z 514480888

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