Shaboom! Online Jewish Values Series for Children Premiering

Ready to fix the world? The magic begins on April 6 with Shaboom! – the brand new Jewish kids’ series from G‑dcast that combines the best of children’s TV and Jewish tradition to make learning fun.

When magical “sparks” Gabi and Rafael discover the Plony family doing something silly, they slide down the rainbow to help out. Watch what happens when they try to use magic (Shaboom!) to make things right in this exciting new Jewish kids show complete with silly songs, new Hebrew words and great ideas for the family.

Shaboom! is a free, web-based Jewish kids show for 4-7 year olds and their parents learning about:

Mini-Season One: Spring 2016

  • Episode #01. Welcoming Guests (Hachnasat Orchim) Release 04/06/16
  • Episode #02. Gratitude (Hakarat Hatov) Release 04/13/16
  • Episode #03. Visiting the Sick (Bikur Cholim) Release 04/20/16
  • Episode #04. Giving (Tzedakah) Release 04/27/16
  • Episode #05. Honor or Respect (Kavod) Release 05/04/16

Mini-Season Two: Fall 2016

  • Episode #06. Taking Care of Nature (Bal Taschit) Release 09/07/16
  • Episode #07. Courage of the Heart (Ometz Lev) Release 09/14/16
  • Episode #08. Peace in the Home (Shalom Bayit) Release 09/21/16
  • Episode #09. Returning Lost Objects (Hashavat Aveidah) Release 09/28/16
  • Episode #10. Saying I’m Sorry (Slicha) Release 10/05/16

Each of episode is accompanied by a separate video for parents that delves into each episode’s value, explaining “what’s Jewish” and instilling in parents the knowledge and confidence to model the values for their children. The 10-part series launches April 6, 2016 with the theme of “Hachnasat Orchim” – Welcoming Guests.

“Shaboom! is a jolt of energy into Jewish family education, and it’s an especially major step forward for Jewish media content,” says Cathy Rolland, Director of Engaging Families with Young Children at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), which is helping to promote Shaboom! through its strong network of Early Childhood Professionals who will be sharing it across hundreds of ECE centers throughout North America. “This is a phenomenal vehicle to reach our youngest learners and their families and positively influence their behaviors and attitudes.”

Along with the URJ, other major partners from the Jewish world include the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), JCC Association, Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library Alliance, and InterfaithFamily, among many others. They are all helping to share and build upon the series. G-dcast also is working with Jewish organizations around the country to organize local screenings of Shaboom! episodes for families.

The videos for children and the matching clips for their parents were designed in consultation with individuals from leading children’s education and tech organizations and companies including Sesame Workshop, Amazon Studios, Electronic Arts et al, Pixar, and experts from the research and academic world who study learning and media.

Throughout a 40 year career at Sesame Street, Dr. Lewis Bernstein has led efforts to improve the intellectual, social, emotional, and moral lives of children through media. His approach has been to entertain children while educating them, so that their attention can be captured with joy.

“Shaboom! is doing the same,” Bernstein says, “making timeless Jewish values new again, engaging, and fun for children and their parents alike. Shaboom! is designed as a learning adventure for the entire family. There are imaginative episodes for kids and corresponding resources like videos, downloads and curated follow-up reading for parents. And when parents and children co-engage in learning, virtually and long after the screen dims, the impact is always greater.”

Shaboom! is written by kids’ TV veteran Robert Pincombe and directed by staffer Jeremy Shuback. It was inspired by impactful, research-backed shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Super WHY! and Sesame Street. The series was tested by children’s media evaluators Rockman Et Al to help shape the programming to most effectively achieve learning and engagement outcomes with families.

G-dcast recently began focusing on on entry-level materials for kids, families and adults. Shaboom! is the centerpiece for families, especially those raising Jewish children ages 0-8. Since its founding, the nonprofit has created over 200 animated videos and apps tailored to meet the interests of people curious about the basics of Judaism. Accessible for free on platforms like Youtube, iTunes and Facebook, G-dcast’s goal is to create a comprehensive free multimedia introduction to Judaism with zero barriers to entry.

Adds Lefton, “Shaboom! is as entertaining as something you’d see on Nick Jr or PBS Kids, but it’s packed with Jewish ideas rather than math or reading help. This is where our biggest impact is – bringing people in the door that they’re hanging out in front of anyway, aka, their smartphones.”

The Shaboom! early childhood initiative has been generously funded by leading Jewish philanthropists and foundations, including Peleh Fund, two anonymous foundations, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library Alliance, Bernstein Family Foundation (DC), and the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley. As part of this initiative, the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah is supporting the Shaboom! parent videos.

Forbes called G-dcast “the Schoolhouse Rock for Jews,” and its approach and products been featured on NPR, in the Wall Street Journal and CNN.com. The studio is a five-time-selected participant in Slingshot, an annual compilation resource guide to Jewish Innovation.

Lefton, who founded the organization in 2008, is a recipient of the Joshua Venture Group fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs. She was named a 2012 recipient of the Pomegranate Prize for exceptional young Jewish educators and was named one of the “Forward 50” most influential Jews by the Forward newspaper. Prior to founding G-dcast, Lefton produced projects for The New York Times on the Web, the Village Voice, Princess Cruises, and several robotics companies; she also started the brand JewishFashionConspiracy.com, best known for the YO SEMITE tee shirt.

View a sample parenting resource video:

Gratitude: A Jewish Value to Teach your Kids (Hakarat HaTov) from g-dcast on Vimeo.

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