Meet the Poger Cheskes Family of San Francisco

PJ Library® Family of the Month

Silvia Cheskes and Brian Poger live with their daughters Daniela (11) and Adriana (7) in San Francisco. Silvia grew up in Mexico City and Brian was raised in St. Louis. The family now calls San Francisco home and enjoys diverse options to engage in Jewish life. They embrace outdoor and nature-based Jewish programming and have created a vibrant community with other families. Silvia applauds the plethora of quality community infrastructure and programs where her family feels both welcomed and a sense of belonging.

Daniela, Brian, Silvia, and Adriana

Over the years the Poger Cheskes family have regularly attended services and holiday gatherings at Congregation Emanu-El, and family events at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, Urban Adamah in Berkeley, and Chabad of Noe Valley. During the pandemic, they naturally moved to virtual participation. They have embraced “doing Jewish” at home during Shabbat dinner each week where everyone in the family shares what they are grateful for that week. Over the past year, the Poger Cheskes have attended Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and a brit milah over Zoom.

Although there have been many moments of joy throughout last year, the family eagerly awaits being able to gather in person again soon with their family, friends, and community. Silvia grew up celebrating the festival of Sukkot by decorating her sukkah with fruits, flowers, and construction paper. Silvia and Brian have loved hosting friends and community members in their home for Shabbat and Jewish holidays over the years. Such informal gatherings, in Silvia’s view, are a beautiful way to build relationships and create Jewish community. She is excited to create paper garlands with her girls and their friends in person this Sukkot.

Daniela and Adriana both started receiving PJ Library books when they were six months old, so the family’s connection to PJ Library Bay Area started soon after PJ Library launched here. Silvia says it is beautiful that her daughters “still look forward to their monthly surprise after all these years!” Daniela has been a PJ Our Way subscriber for the past two years and told us she loves selecting her book each month, opening it in the mail, and reading it immediately... and often twice. Daniela enjoyed reading The Length of a String and Lucky Broken Girl, as both these titles uncover the many aspects of our personal identity.

Brian and Silvia also read PJ Our Way titles that make an impression on Daniela to converse with their daughter about topics and themes. The Doughnut Fix and Looking for Me explore how it feels for children to grow older, more independent, and seek to find their place in the world. Both parents have been impressed with the quality of the PJ Our Way book selections and how they serve as vehicles for starting conversations and exploring Judaism in new ways.

Adriana is already excited to turn nine (in two years) so she can start receiving her own PJ Our Way books! In the meantime, she enjoys reading PJ Library titles each month. Her current favorite title is Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup. In this book, the main character Sophie has two grandmothers and examines how we can be both different and the same. This book is also much loved because it features matzoh ball soup – one of the family’s favorite Jewish foods, closely followed by charoset, and Brian’s brisket!

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


April 05, 2021