ergo media  Jewish Video Catalog - 2001

  The Jewish Video E-MavenTM

Of Mice and Mitzvahs-A Blast into the Past on DVD

Teaneck, NJ—Ergo Media at, continuing its tradition of combining the two big “E”s, Education with Entertainment, to form “Edutainment”, announces the release of a Jewish Holiday DVD for kids that is both educational and entertaining, just in time for Hannukah. Entitled The Alef... Bet…Blast-Off Jewish Holiday DVD, the four part program focuses on the four major Jewish holidays: Hannukah, Purim, Passover and Rosh Hashanah. The kid-friendly DVD uses puppets, live actors, music, as well as a Hebrew Alphabet Theater to teach Jewish holidays, customs, values and songs, with a smattering of the Hebrew Alphabet as well.

What would you get if you took Barney or Big Bird, shrank them down in size and gave them a Jewish orientation? True to the tradition of the diminutive King David battling the giant Goliath, you might get an adorable little mouse, Mitzvah Mouse by name, who, with a sprinkle of his magical dust (matzah meal, that is), transports puppets Rachel and David back into Jewish history to meet major historical figures. Judah Maccabee, Queen Esther, Pharaoh of Egypt, and Jonah in the belly of the whale shed much light on the actual background of each of the featured holidays. Moreover, much to the delight of adults who might be watching alongside their kids, these personalities are played by Hollywood stars of stage and screen and supply hefty doses of comic relief. Dom DeLuise, for example, as Pharaoh in the Passover episode, is a far cry from the biblical tyrant we’ve grown accustomed to. Erin Simms, Don Diamont, and Avery Schreiber all add to the fun. In addition, each episode features its own holiday-related story line, as well as Shir (song) Power and the Alef Bet Theater which features letters from the Hebrew alphabet.

Executive Producer Jay Sanderson, who is also the Executive Director of the Jewish Television Productions in Los Angeles, said he “felt that young Jewish children in America lack quality Jewish-themed programming.”  His dedicated team of collaborators, including puppeteer Len Levitt, composer Phil Baron, and writer Michelle Baron, all agree. Michelle, for example, grew up in a home where there was little understanding or appreciation of Jewish tradition. She wanted her own children to be able to explore and celebrate their own Judaism, and it is programs like Alef…Bet…Blast-Off, that enable them to do so. This DVD is so much fun; kids will never realize how much information they are really absorbing about Jewish holidays and customs.

So thanks, Jay, Len, Michelle, Phil and of course Mitzvah, for providing Jewish kids with a DVD they can call their own.

The Alef... Bet…Blast-Off Jewish Holiday DVD sells for $39.95 + Shipping/handling. DVD only.

©2010, Ergo Media Inc. All Rights Reserved