"Families are spending quality time together during the summer," said Nancy Messinger, ACAJE's director of educational resources. "It's a wonderful time to give attention to things that sort of get put aside for 'when I have the time.' "
All of the necessary materials to participate in the summer program are available online at ACAJE's Web site. There, families can download a pledge of how many books they expect to finish, a log to keep track of reading accomplishments and a suggested reading list.
According to Messinger, those books by Jewish authors, about a Jewish subject or about works that touch on Jewish values were all eligible for the list, which comprises award-winners and personal recommendations, as well as suggestions from various Jewish associations.
At the end of the summer – for the purposes of the project, Aug. 30 – families should mail in their pledges and their logs; in return, each family will receive an award of completion, as well as gift certificates for Rita's water ice.
ACAJE's list – broken down into books for toddlers, children, young adults and adults – provides something for all the readers in the family, regardless of age. For toddlers, parents can choose something in the "read-to-me" category, while they can pick more age-appropriate material for themselves, whether a novel by Philip Roth or a nonfiction work about Zionism.
"We have a wonderful, wonderful supply of Jewish books for adults and children," attested Messinger. "What better time – on a vacation, at the beach, at camp or out in a tent – to increase your pleasure from a Jewish book."