Susan Henderson-Utis and Andrey Utis with their kids Yulia, 8 and Mark, 5.

We spoke to Susan Henderson-Utis and Andrey Utis​ ​about their favorite Jewish activities, their connection to Jewish community, and the ways jkidphilly has impacted their family.

What do you enjoy about jkidphilly?

We really enjoy all of the wonderful books from PJ Library, as well as the great family programs and the emphasis on service and giving back (MLK Day of Service, the Tzedakah box and suggested activities, etc.). Plus, as a family we are trying to learn more about Judaism in general, and the staff at jkidphilly and the website are all super resources.

What kind of Jewish activities do you enjoy at home?

We like to read the PJ books, watch Jewish holiday specials, and, of course, prepare for and celebrate the various holidays. (The kids especially like trying to cook the various foods.)

What are your favorite PJ Library books?

The favorite is “Meet the Latkes” by Alan Silberberg. The kids think the Grandpa Latke is absolutely hilarious and, thanks to this silly story, they now remember the real story behind Hanukkah.

What do you think other parents should know about jkidphilly?

It’s a friendly, welcoming organization that really helps you! We are an interfaith family and are total beginners in Judaism. (I am looking into converting to Judaism, and my husband is Jewish but never practiced as child.) So, if you want to learn more about Judaism, or to get more involved in the Jewish community, jkidphilly is there for you.