PJ Library’s Military Parent Connector Program is busy building bonds

Proud to support Jewish military families, PJ Library is piloting a new Military Parent Connector program in partnership with the JWB – Jewish Chaplains Council and United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. 

 Although Parent Connectors have been in PJ Library communities for years to help make meaningful connections and create fulfilling programing for parents and children, Military Parent Connectors specialize in creating a Jewish home for military families in just three areas throughout the U.S. Tidewater is one of those areas.

Acting as a concierge for families new to the area or those ready to establish connections with the local Jewish community, the program strives to connect families with established Jewish institutions, plan military-friendly events, and help families develop relationships with other PJ Library families stationed alongside them.

With more than 100 Jewish military families in Tidewater, programming with the local community has included monthly Jewish-themed story time at Van Wyck Library in Ghent, a Havdalah experience, Baby & Me on select Fridays, an afternoon at Surge Adventure Park, women’s workout class at Ascend Bungee Fitness, a Jewish Family Brunch and Shooting Range with the men’s group, Nadiv, watercolor painting class, and a women’s class led by Amy Lefcoe. 

 Ongoing experiences include select Friday Baby & Me’s at the Simon Family JCC with special guest speakers, weekly Parsha class on Tuesdays with Amy Lefcoe, and monthly Jewish themed story times at Van Wyck Norfolk Library. 

 Next year, plans include building off of Ohef Sholom Temple’s Wiggles and Giggles program for children up to four years old on a rotating monthly Sunday at various venues, as well as considering a Jewish-themed book club for middle schoolers, among other potential programs. 

Jewish Military families who are interested in connecting should email Arielle Ross at PJTidewater@gmail.com and join the local Facebook group.

Arielle Ross serves as the Tidewater Military Parent Connector.