Meet the Barnes Family of Mendocino County

PJ Library® Family of the Month

Allie, Pat, and Bowie-Mae (9 months) from Mendocino County,* our September Family of the Month, have been getting involved with the Bay Area Jewish community through PJ Library Bay Area’s virtual offerings. “There is a special little coastal Jewish community here,” said Allie, “but I miss the Jewish life options that were available when I lived closer to San Francisco. Right now, we are really focused on connecting with Judaism through online communities and resources.”

Pat, Allie, and Bowie-Mae Barnes

Allie loves how Pat, who is not Jewish, participates in and helps celebrate Jewish holidays, life-cycle moments, and other fun Jewish traditions at home. She enjoys teaching him about these things and documenting her own Jewish life, motherhood, and lifestyle on Instagram and on her YouTube channel, Allie’s Best. A recent episode features Allie, Bowie-Mae, and Allie’s mom preparing for Shabbat. Allie baked Challah with her mom, made matzah ball soup, watched Camp Tawonga’s virtual song session with Isaac Zones, and ‘dressed’ the table especially for Shabbat. During this episode, Bowie-Mae even ate her first-ever matzah ball!

The song sessions with Isaac Zones throughout the summer were a ritual for the Barnes family, and Allie is already looking forward to attending Camp Tawonga's Family Camp sometime in the future with Bowie-Mae. Next week, leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Barnes family will also be tuning in for PJ Library Bay Area’s Apple and Honey Days programming, culminating in Camp Tawonga’s Virtual Erev Rosh Hashanah Celebration.

Connecting with PJ Library Bay Area

Allie is a member of the Santa Rosa / Sonoma County PJ Library Connections Facebook group, one of several organized by our PJ Parent Connectors across the Bay Area, and says that this group keeps her “in the loop about amazing online options for connecting, learning, and entertaining Bowie-Mae.”

Bowie-Mae has been receiving PJ Library books for nearly six months, and Allie appreciates Jewish books that show People of Color celebrating Jewish life. Earlier this year, Kveller featured a list of diverse Jewish books, several of which are PJ Library and PJ Our Way titles.

PJ Library books reignite fond childhood memories for Allie. Reading Nosh, Schlep, Schluff reminds Allie of all the Yiddish phrases her own Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) used to say and is a wonderful book for her own mother to read with Bowie-Mae. Intergenerational bonding while reading PJ Library books brings joy to the Barnes family and so many others which is the heart of the PJ Library program.

*The Barnes family is currently safe from the fires in Mendocino County. A huge thank you to Pat, a firefighter, who is working hard to battle the fires in the area!

Categories: Kids & Families


September 10, 2020