PJ Library Presents: Beyond The Bookcase

Deep in the basement of congregation Sofer Shalom, there’s a dusty library that’s really the home of a magical portal to another world. Join siblings Miri and Micah as they explore a mysterious land, where stories come to life! Enjoy fairytales with unexpected twists and Jewish lessons as Miri, Micah, and their friends, encounter golems, book worms, giants and even talking animals! For full credits and accompanying activities, visit pjlibrary.org/podcast.


  • Bonus: The Shavuot Playlist

    May 09 2023

    Shavuot is coming up! Learn more about this important -- and super kid-friendly holiday -- with a playlist of episodes about Shavuot from across our network. Visit pjlibrary.org/shavuot for book lists, recipes, and more to help you celebrate your first Shavuot. 

  • Bonus: 2023 Passover Playlist

    Apr 04 2023

    Miri, Micah, and all of their friends will be back for Season 3 this fall. In the meantime, enjoy a playlist full of Passover-themed episodes from across our network of shows. Set the seder table with Kiddo and Mimi, cook up a feast with Humpty Dumpty, search for the afikomen with a pirate, and more!  Learn more at pjlibrary.org/passover -- and don't forget, you can download a free Haggadah too!

  • Mending Mashal: The Season Finale

    Feb 21 2023

    It's the Season 2 finale! Wild creatures are running all over the place. What WAS on Serach's farm? And what's the deal with that goat? All will be revealed in the stunning conclusion.

  • Wishful Wings: The Greatest and Most Amazing

    Feb 07 2023

    It's the second to last episode of Season 2! Myrtle the turtle is ready to FLY! But is it the right thing to do, both morally and … aerodynamically? Blue uses their new superpower to teach Myrtle about respecting differences.  To learn more about the Jewish value of kavod, respect, visit pjlibrary.org/values.

  • Drop the Beat: No, Seriously, Please Drop It

    Jan 24 2023

    The Mashal musicians are in disarray and making a lot of noise, and not the cool alternative music kind of noise. It's too loud, it's cacophonous, it's downright unpleasant! Can the kids help?

  • Reunited: Peter, Peter Needs a Pie?

    Jan 10 2023

    The kids find someone they’ve been searching for. But there’s no time to sit and swap travel tales – something is still not right in Mashal. Does the mysterious Serach know what's up?

  • Chelm’s Order: A Slice of Heaven and Some Powdered Eggs

    Dec 27 2022

    Chelm seems to be returning to not-normal, which is great. The kids just need to help one wanderer home from a long trip to nowhere. And, there's one thing missing: Dafi Saifair's brilliant Mumu!

  • Bonus: Hanukkah Playlist

    Dec 15 2022

    Chag Sameach! Enjoy a Hanukkah gift from PJ Library: a curated playlist of stories just for you. Whether you enjoy these on the way to a gathering with friends or snuggled up enjoying the light of the candles, we wish all of our listeners a wonderful Hanukkah.

  • Major Renovation: Bring in the Borscht Barrels!

    Dec 13 2022

    The shul doors are, once again, broken. And the kids are ready to fix more of Chelm. And by “fix,” we mean totally mess everything up. Put on your unicycle helmet and enjoy.

  • Welcome to Chelm: Wait, What is This Place?

    Nov 29 2022

    The kids discover Chelm, a very grey part of Mashal that’s both confusing and confused, if that makes any sense, which it wouldn’t in Chelm. And … Mr. Saifair has a brother?!?

  • Behold: Beauty In the Eye of the Ugly Duckling

    Nov 15 2022

    A very handsome swan is in distress - and who is nearby? Why it's Golem! Can the kids help their friend return to his lovely clay self?

  • Thank Goodness: Princesses and Perspective

    Nov 01 2022

    Cinderella and Rapunzel welcome the kids to stay for the night in their tiny cabin. Cinderella clears the air about her bonus mom, Rapunzel gets a new ’do, and everyone learns about the Jewish value of Hakarat Hatov – recognizing the good.

  • Fancy This: Three Lost Kittens and a Season Premiere

    Oct 18 2022

    The kids and Mr. Saifair come up with a plan to save Mashal and rescue Golem from his destructive path. On that path, our friends find three particularly posh kittens whose unprotected paws have left them stranded in the woods. Learn all about the Jewish value of returning lost objects in the season 2 premiere episode of Beyond the Bookcase.

  • Season 1 Finale!

    May 31 2022

    In this season finale of Beyond the Bookcase, things go beyond berserk! The kids arrive at the library but it’s eerily quiet and Auntie PJ is NOWHERE to be found. They discover they can now enter the land of Mashal at will. But when they arrive, it’s no longer just a quest to find Auntie PJ, but a mission to save the Golem and ALL their fairytale friends too. Thanks for coming along on this season’s adventure! Stay tuned for new episodes this fall. 

  • It’s No Rules Day!

    May 08 2022

    It’s Shavuot and the kids have arrived in the mystical land of Mashal to find things in chaos! It seems Zev and several of his fairytale friends have introduced the idea of a day with NO RULES. The kids already have their hands full helping to get things back in order, and then Mr. Saifair takes drastic measures, aiming to get Mashal under control ... with no children allowed ever again! Learn more about the holiday of Shavuot at pjlibrary.org/shavuot.

  • Humpty Dumpty and the Passover Feast

    Mar 28 2022

    A tomato and dairy shortage is threatening to cancel the annual matzah pizza cookoff, and Auntie PJ is freaking out! The kids are whisked away to the land of Mashal where Humpty Dumpty is about to crack under the pressure of hosting his first seder. The kids get help from all their fairytale friends (and even Mr. Saifair) to pick up the Passover pieces and help Humpty keep it together.

  • The Big Bad Wolf and the Purimspiel

    Mar 07 2022

    It’s time for the purimspiel, the annual performance telling the story of Purim. The kids are trying to decide which characters everyone will play but they can’t get Jacob to settle on a role. Once again transported to the land of Mashal, they meet Bubbe and a not-so-bad wolf named Zev. He’s having his own trouble finding his role in Mashal’s Purim carnival. They’ll all have to work together to help both Zev and Jacob pick the perfect part.

  • Chicken Little’s Havdalah Walk

    Feb 07 2022

    The kids come to the library for a Pajama Havdalah event, but their upcoming move has Blue feeling more stressed than blessed. Whisked away to the fantastic land of Mashal, the kids run into Chicken Little, who can relate to Blue’s fear of change. She’s upset about Shabbat coming to an end. A Havdalah walk through Mashal is just what this group needs in order to learn that endings open the door for sweet new beginnings.

  • Goostav and the Beanstalk

    Jan 04 2022

    Auntie PJ is teaching the kids about hashavat aveidah, the Jewish commandment about returning lost objects to their rightful owners. Transported to the mystical land of Mashal, they find their fairy tale friend Jack. He’s recovering from a frisbee golf injury, so he needs the kids’ help doing some hashavat aveidah of his own. He has to return a certain golden goose, and its rightful owner is a pretty BIG deal in the land of Mashal. Featuring special guest voice Matt Gutman. 

  • Goldilocks and the Tzedakah Project

    Dec 13 2021

    A new friend named Jacob joins the kids to help Auntie PJ gather donations for people in need. But since this is no ordinary synagogue library, this tzedakah mission takes a detour to the mysterious land of Mashal. That’s where Goldilocks and Baby Bear happen to be working on some good deeds of their own! The kids end up on a tzedakah adventure, offering help to other fairy tale characters along the way.

  • Jack Be Nimble: A Hanukkah Story

    Nov 15 2021

    Miri, Micah, and their two friends thought they were headed to the synagogue library to help Auntie PJ prepare for Hanukkah. Instead, they’re swept into a surprise holiday journey, mystically transported to the land of Mashal. They arrive to discover the annual Festival of Lights is in jeopardy. Jack, the high-jumping star of the show, is too afraid to do his big Hanukkiah stunt. Jack may be nimble, but he’ll need serious help from the kids if he’s also going to be brave.

  • The Tortoise and the Hare: A Shabbat Story

    Oct 18 2021

    Welcome to Beyond the Bookcase - a new series from PJ Library! Siblings Miri and Micah are visiting the eccentric synagogue librarian, Auntie PJ, when they are suddenly whisked away to a magical world full of fairytale characters. What does the old story of the tortoise and the hare have to do with Shabbat? Are Golems made to announce sporting matches? Will anyone help Chicken Little with her socks? Find out during the premiere episode of Beyond the Bookcase. New episodes drop every month--su...more

  • Introducing Beyond the Bookcase

    Sep 29 2021

    Mysterious things are happening in Auntie PJ's library! Join siblings Miri and Micah as they journey to the land of Mashal, a magical place where stories come to life (with a Jewish twist).  Subscribe to Beyond the Bookcase to listen to new episodes each month. pjlibrary.org/podcast