Meet the McDonough Family from Alameda

PJ Library® Family of the Month

Sadaya and Dan McDonough and their daughters, Molly (4.5) and Eliza (nearly 1) live in Alameda. Both Sadaya and Dan are originally from the East Coast – Philadelphia and Boston respectively – and met in the Bay Area after Sadaya moved here twelve years ago. The McDonough’s love raising their daughters on “the beautiful Island” of Alameda. They are so glad that Sadaya’s parents relocated across the country to live a block away and now have a particularly close relationship with their granddaughters.

Dan, Eliza, Molly, and Sadaya McDonough

Sadaya says that one of the things her family enjoys about Jewish life in the Bay Area is the diversity within their community. “We love that it paints a fuller, richer picture of Jewish life for us and our kids.” The McDonough’s are proud of their interfaith home, and in addition to celebrating Jewish holidays and exploring the meaning of religious practices together, the family also marks these occasions with cultural traditions. Baking Sadaya's savta’s (grandma) apple cake recipe for Rosh Hashanah and watching Fiddler on the Roof have become new family traditions.

During the last several months of sheltering in place, the McDonough family has developed a joyful Shabbat routine. They gather to join Tot Shabbats hosted by Jen Altman from Jewish Baby Network (JBN) in the East Bay and enjoy participating in virtual events put on by PJ Library Bay Area, JBN, and other community organizations. Sadaya says that "Jen’s puppets and songs are fun and uplifting and help Shabbat feel special when other days of the week can blend together."

Molly, who is almost five, started receiving PJ Library books when she was a baby. Molly can recognize her name and is thrilled when she finds “special mail for her” from PJ Library in the mailbox each month. She enjoys many of the books, including Oh No, George! about a curious dog who teaches us the value of second chances. Each time a new PJ Library book arrives Molly reads them with Sadaya’s parents, her Savta and Saba. Their younger daughter, Eliza, already has favorite PJ Library books. She sits on her parents’ laps and reads many books including her current favorite Todah. This book serves as a wonderful reminder that blessings are all around us when we stop and notice them.

Music is a universal language that connects us all and is always playing in the McDonough home. They listen to Jewish music on PJ Radio, and Sadaya laughingly shares that “Molly sings Chanukah songs in July, and one of her favorite toys is a children's shofar.” Her uncle even gave Molly shofar blowing lessons over Zoom during the High Holidays.

Sadaya is our new PJ Library Parent Connector in Alameda!

As the new PJ Parent Connector in Alameda, Sadaya is building a community for families with kids from 0-3 years old. She looks forward to celebrating holidays and forming friendships with other families with young children. Sadaya would love to get to know you and your family, so feel free to reach out to her and join her PJ Library Connections: Alameda Facebook group.

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


October 26, 2020