PJ Library to Welcome Emerging Writers to Summer Camp at the Highlights Foundation and Bring More Jewish Picture Books to Children

Jun 7, 2022 | Highlights Foundation News, Jewish Voices


Honesdale, PA – PJ Library has selected 20 emerging writers to attend a Picture Book Summer Camp at the Highlights Foundation this summer.  The program will offer inspiration, mentorship, and community to these writers, with the goal of bringing more Jewish voices and authentic Jewish stories to children and their families.

“While PJ Library is dedicated to mailing high-quality picture books to families all over the world, we’re also dedicated to bringing children the types of stories that will engage and spark new conversations and discoveries.  That starts with the people telling the stories,” said Catriella Freedman, Director of Author and Illustrator Stewardship.

“We’ve enjoyed a productive partnership with the Highlights Foundation and have sponsored Jewish writers and illustrators to attend a number of different workshops and events.  But this is the first time we’ve developed an entire program specifically for emerging picture book writers designed to bring new voices into this space,” continued Freedman.

PJ Library and the Highlights Foundation invited Jewish picture book writers with drafted manuscripts (but no more than one published book) to apply for the program. More than 100 storytellers applied.

The 20 people selected for the program include Sara Ackerman, Claire Freeland, Rachel Fremmer, Karyn Friedman-Everham, Abby Gatenby, Menahem Halberstadt, Jennifer Killam, Barbara Kimmel, Elizabeth Kleinrock, Melissa Lasher, Rebecca Gardyn Levington, Cindy Marshall, Doreen Robinson, Sarah Sassoon, Arlene Schenker, Joyce Schriebman, Jan Schwaid, Karen Shakman, Lisa Trank, and Danna Zeiger.

They will join faculty Chris Barash, Tasha Flagg, Lesléa Newman, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, and Lorian Tu on campus at the Highlights Foundation in August to participate in the Summer Camp and make progress on their projects.

“We’re excited to welcome these writers to our campus, and offer a program that will amplify their voices and help bring their stories to kids,” said George Brown, Executive Director of the Highlights Foundation.  “PJ Library’s goals are just so well aligned with our mission, and we’re honored to do this work alongside them.”

Each month, PJ Library sends more than 670,000 Jewish storybooks to families across the globe. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation created this free program to make it fun and easy to add Jewish connections to reading time. The books, activities, and many other free resources offered by PJ Library are helping families celebrate more Jewish culture, values, and traditions at home and in their communities.

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.

For more information about PJ Library or to sign up kids ages 0-12, visit https://pjlibrary.org. For more information about the Highlights Foundation, visit https://www.highlightsfoundation.org/.

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George Brown, Executive Director, Highlights Foundation George.Brown@highlightsfoundation.org

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.