PJ Library Educational Resources For Families

July 20, 2021

About What Would You Bring?

Through the stories highlighted hereWhat Would You Bring? invites you to imagine what it might feel like to be in the shoes of a refugee if you were forced to flee your home. Experiencing the journeys of dolls, teacups, teddy bears through the and more allows us to understand that we all have far more in common than we might have thought.

Pack Your Suitcase – What Would You Bring?

Every family has a story. What are the objects that tell yours?

Step One: Get Inspired

To get the conversation started with your family, read or watch PJ Library selection The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Then you can explore the What Would You Bring?  videos and the objects featured in them. Parents, these videos are best for tweens or older, but as always, you should preview the videos to ensure the imagery and experiences described are appropriate for your children. 

Step Two: Hands On

Children’s author, illustrator, and cartoonist Lisa Brown has created an empty suitcase for you to fill with images, photographs, and words to describe what your family has carried on their journeys – and to help you to imagine what you might bring with you if you had to leave your home and resettle in a new place.

Brown’s family brought diamonds in the soles of their shoes when they travelled from Europe to the USA. She has filled in her suitcase below as an example. Let her story inspire you as you pack your suitcase.

Artist Lisa Brown illustrated a suitcase packed with shoes with diamonds in the heels, an embroidered cloth, a pocket watch, and family photos

Lisa Brown, 2021

Click the image to download your empty suitcase.

Here are some questions to discuss as a family to help you decide what you will pack in your suitcase. 

  • How did your family come to live where you live now? 
  • Does your family have an heirloom that has been passed down for generations? What is the story of that object?
  • If you were told to leave your house in 15 minutes, what would you put into your bag?
  • What is the most unique thing you own?
  • What items are special to you, and why?

You can write down the answers to these questions or find pictures of the objects and pictures that remind you of them. Consider interviewing grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends to hear more stories about the journeys they may have taken. 

Share your suitcase with us at or post on social media with the hashtag #whatwouldyoubring, and we will share a selection of your stories.

Step Three: Help Refugees

What your family can do:

Check out refugee organizations where you may be able to volunteer or donate.

What you can read:

  • The HIAS website has numerous resources to help you learn more and take action at

Help Reboot tell more stories by donating to the project.

Why Share These Stories?

The experience of wandering and displacement sits at the heart of the Jewish narrative. As our sages wrote long ago, “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt…” There is no more basic commandment than this.

About Reboot

Reboot is an arts and culture non-profit that reimagines and reinforces Jewish thought and traditions. As a premier R&D platform for the Jewish world, we catalyze our Reboot Network of preeminent creators, artists, entrepreneurs and activists to produce experiences and products that evolve the Jewish conversation and transform society. For 20 years, Reboot has been gathering and catalyzing some of the best and brightest change-agents for off-the-record conversations about Jewish identity and meaning, and has seen first-hand the power of imagination and uncensored dialogue to translate and transform the big issues of our time. As the stakes rise, we are amplifying these vital ideas and bringing in wider perspectives to identify and carve new pathways for wandering Jews and the world we live in. 

What Would You Bring? is a Reboot production created and produced by Juliet Simmons with Noam Dromi. Reboot CEO David Katznelson is Executive Producer.


Special Thanks

  • Lisa Brown
  • Chris Noxon
  • Rebecca Odes
  • Gina Oppenheim
  • Kendell Pinkney

What Would You Bring? is supported by a generous grant from the Covenant Foundation