Today is December 15, 2019 -

Mazel tov Miss Amy

I have been touting the PJ Library program as (in my opinion) the greatest outreach and engagement tool developed for the Jewish community in decades.

In our local Jewish community, under the professional leadership of Federation’s Director of Special Programming, Amy Drucker, whom the kids affectionately refer to as “Miss Amy,” we take full advantage of the genius and generosity of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), founders and primary funders of the PJ Library program.

  • We have nearly 700 children (ages 0-8) each receiving a Jewish-themed book monthly.
  • We piloted for HGF its new PJ Our Way program that expanded the original program up to age 11, allowing the older children to pick their own Jewish-themed books every month.
  • Miss Amy runs at least one PJ Library program every day of the work-week and many weekends somewhere in the Capital District.  She is in our day schools, nursery schools, Hebrew schools, summer camps, synagogues, JCCs, etc.
  • We have special PJ Library programming throughout the year – details coming soon:
    • PJ Tashlich for Rosh Hashanah
    • PJ Sukkah stroll
    • Workshop with writer and artist of Jewish comic books – Dov Smiley

HGF recognized our amazing accomplishments, and we were honored to have HGF’s CEO, Winnie Grinspoon, as the keynote speaker at our annual meeting this year.

It is my pleasure and privilege to share with you that Amy has now caught the eye of JPRO Network, a national non-profit organization that “connects, educates, inspires, and empowers professionals working in the Jewish community sector.”  JPRO has selected Amy as one of its 2016 Bernard Rodkin Professional Development Israel Fellows.  As part of the award, JPRO will be sending Amy to Europe and Israel next summer.  (Please see below for more award details.)

Approximately 30 people have won this prestigious award since its inception in 2003.  Amy now joins her colleague KB Goodkin, Federation’s Director of Community Engagement and Advancement, a 2013 award recipient, as part of this elite and esteemed group.  Our community is so fortunate to have them.

The Bernard Rodkin Professional Development Israel Fellowship:

The Bernard Rodkin Professional Development Israel Fellowship provides an opportunity to increase one’s knowledge and understanding of Israeli society and its social welfare system, and to enhance community organization skills and career development. The award provides a 10-day educational seminar to Europe and Israel. Bernard Rodkin, z”l, led a very private and simple life. As an adult he earned college degrees after serving in WWII and had a deep love for Israel. He had amassed a significant sum of savings and without any beneficiaries, he sought guidance on how he could make a meaningful contribution. Guided and assisted by Herman Markowitz, then CEO of the United Israel Appeal, Mr. Rodkin established a fund for professionals to experience an Israel seminar to enrich their knowledge and careers. Travel for the seminar will take place during June, 2017.


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