Meet the Guevara Family of Vallejo

PJ Library® Family of the Month

Gabe, Julie, Shoshana ‘Shoshi’ Ofelia (18 months), and Naomi Devora (1 month) from Vallejo are our January PJ Library Family of the Month. Welcoming baby Naomi during Chanukah, they shared, was “a perfect “Chanukah present” for Julie, Gabe, and Julie’s grandmother who lives with them.

Gabe, Shoshi, Julie, and Naomi Guevara

Prior to this period of staying at home, the Guevara’s regularly commuted to neighboring Contra Costa County, where Gabe grew up, to participate in Jewish life. Gabe is a high school music teacher and has taught religious school at several East Bay congregations for many years. For Julie, technology has been a silver lining during the pandemic. As Shoshana has grown from a baby to a fast-moving toddler, the family has enjoyed participating in virtual story times, puppet shows, birth classes, and music events with Urban Adamah. They have also virtually celebrated Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. “We would never be able to participate in so many events without considerable travel and toddler meltdowns,” says Julie, and “saving money on bridge toll is another benefit,” she adds.

In December, Naomi had her baby naming with B’nai Shalom Congregation over Zoom. Julie was delighted to get out of bed ten minutes before the event and know that their relatives and friends could safely join the celebration. Both girls were given middle names in honor of their great-great-grandmothers.

The Guevara’s love living in Solano county and actively participate in events hosted by Chabad of Solano County. Gabe is a trained classical saxophonist and enjoys a wide variety of musical styles from around the world. A talented Klezmer musician, he was invited to play at the community Chanukah celebration hosted at the Jelly Belly factory in 2019, along with numerous other Jewish community events. He is also enamored with the Yiddish language and regularly browses Klez California to learn about virtual education opportunities and Yiddish events.

Before the pandemic, one of the Jewish experiences the family enjoyed was visiting the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco. Julie and Shoshi love to eat Jewish foods and really appreciate the increased availability of delivery! Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen at the CJM is one of their favorites.

PJ Library has been central to the Guevara’s family storytimes. Shoshi has received PJ library books since she was six months old, and she loves Nosh, Schlep, Schluff: BabYiddish, and Happy, Happy. Pointing out the yummy food in books is one of her favorite activities. Her face lights up when she sees her special mail from PJ Library each month. Families can now sign their newborns up for PJ Library, so baby Naomi will soon be receiving her very own PJ Library books!

PJ Library® sends free Jewish books monthly to children through 8 years of age throughout the Bay Area. Learn More

If you would like to be featured as our Family of the Month, simply fill out this form and we will be in touch!

Categories: Kids & Families


December 31, 2020