A million downloads for award-winning PJ Library podcast

Three-year-old podcast network celebrates with new Passover episodes and new kids' podcast in Russian and Ukrainian.

PJ Library Presents has over a million downloads. Credit: Courtesy of PJ Library.
PJ Library Presents has over a million downloads. Credit: Courtesy of PJ Library.

This month, PJ Library Presents, the award-winning podcast network for kids, crossed the one-million-download milestone. Started three years ago as an audio extension of the family-oriented, Jewish nonprofit—one of the largest free book programs in the world—the network has captured awards, accolades and ears with their kid-oriented podcasts that connect families to Jewish traditions, culture, holidays and values.

“We’re thrilled to cross this incredible podcast benchmark with PJ Library Presents,” says Alex Zablotsky, executive director of PJ Library.  “We hear over and over how families love complementing their treasured print books with audio stories, and the PJ Library Presents podcasts give us another creative, screen-free way of connecting with kids and sharing stories that celebrate Jewish values and culture. We’re excited for the future of PJ Library Presents.”

Produced by a PJ Library creative team headed by PJ Library director of digital content Alli Thresher, PJ Library Presents, the only Jewish storytelling-themed podcasts, celebrates their audio milestone by launching Passover episodes of their top two podcasts: the preschool focused “Afternoons With Mimi” and “Beyond the Bookcase,” featuring stories for older kids ages 6 to 12. 

Both winners of prestigious Parents Choice and NAPPA awards, the series have just wrapped their 10-episode third seasons, which included the “Beyond the Bookcase” episode “Chasing Joha Through Passover,” where kids learn about Passover traditions from around the world, and “Story for Another Time: Passover in Mashal,” which follows Auntie PJ and Elijah as they seder-hop through the enchanting and fictional land of Mashal. 

PJ Library podcasts now include Russian and Ukranian programming. Credit: Courtesy of PJ Library.

“Afternoons With Mimi” will soon launch a Passover-themed playlist full of stories for young children, including a re-airing of the original tale, “The Passover Pirate.”

PJ Library Presents has also recently launched “Radio Chitaika,” a new series featuring classic Jewish stories presented in Russian and Ukrainian. Featuring actors such as Gera Sandler, Masha Pruss, PJ Library’s Jane Tuv, Zhenya Ponomarenko and others, the series brings to life captivating tales in Russian with bonus episodes in Ukrainian. Titles include the picture book-based “The Suitcase,” “The Fabulous Tale of Fish and Chips,” “The Sabbath Lion” and “Until the Blueberries Grow,” and adapted and translated folk tales “The Miracle Bread,” “The Lost Chickens” and more. With over one million people in the United States speaking Russian and Ukrainian, Radio Chitaika seeks to serve families speaking their native languages at home.

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PJ Library, a global program available in 40 countries, provides Jewish families with free high-quality children’s books and other resources that foster a deeper connection with Jewish life. Over 18 years, PJ Library has provided 50 million books to kids ages 0-12 worldwide. It is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation who partners with local Jewish organizations to fund PJ Library and make it available in their community. Learn more and sign up at pjlibrary.org.
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