Shaboom! Series on Everyday Jewish Values to Premiere April 6

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Shaboom! is a 10-part web series from G-dcast that combines the best of children’s TV and Jewish tradition to make learning fun

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The show was designed to showcase strategies for bringing the family closer together, and through using best practices from the secular parenting world about fostering the social and emotional learning that is key in early child development.

“Shaboom!,”an animated web series premiering this spring from non-profit G-dcast, combines the best elements of children’s television with wisdom from the Jewish tradition to teach everyday values to children through magic, comedy and silly songs. Each of the ten children’s episodes is accompanied by a separate video for parents that delves into the episode’s value, explaining “what’s Jewish” about it, and giving parents the knowledge and confidence to model the values for their children.

The 10x11 minute web series targeting the bridge market of children 4 to 7 launches April 6, 2016 on the theme of Welcoming Guests. Sarah Lefton, Executive Director of G-dcast, serves as Executive Producer on the project and is at the Kidscreen Summit in Miami this week promoting Shaboom! and meeting with distribution and creative partners.

“We are bringing what we love about great kids’ entertainment to Jewish education,” Lefton says. “I listened to so many parents tell me that they want a Judaism that goes beyond the holidays. I have a three-year-old, so I know—holidays are great, but what busy moms and dads care about is getting through the everyday and raising mensches—great people.”

The show was designed to showcase strategies for bringing the family closer together, and through using best practices from the secular parenting world about fostering the social and emotional learning that is key in early child development.

Each episode of Shaboom! features the “magical sparks” Gabi & Rafael who work to fix the world, while focusing on that episode’s theme. After episode one, other themes include Gratitude, Honor or Respect, Taking Care of Nature, and Courage of the Heart, among others.

Shaboom! additionally builds vocabulary for parents and children around the concepts, in both English and Hebrew. The producers formally tested this idea on target audience members and found that parents, regardless of their religious or cultural background, strongly favored a show that taught words from another language and that featured a diverse cast of characters.

The series was 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, G-dcast adviser and board member 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! 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.

Adds Lefton, “Shaboom! is as entertaining as something you’d see on Nick Jr or PBS Kids, and 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.”

About G-dcast
Since its founding, G-dcast has created over 200 animated videos and 10 mobile apps tailored to meet the interests of people curious about the basics of Judaism with support from leading philanthropists in education, media and Jewish life. Forbes called it "the Schoolhouse Rock for Jews,” and its approach and products have been featured on NPR, in the Wall Street Journal and CNN.

About Sarah Lefton
Creator Sarah Lefton is the founder of G-dcast. Before starting the org, she came up through digital media hotspots like NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, The New York Times on the Web, and several start-ups including KPE and UGOBE, creator of the Pleo robotic dinosaur. Sarah is a recipient of the Pomegranate Prize for exceptional educators, the Joshua Venture Group fellowship for Jewish social entrepreneurs, and was named one of the "Forward 50" most influential Jews by the Forward newspaper.

View the Shaboom! promo and a sample Shaboom! Parents Video

Click here for Shaboom! images


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Jason Edelstein
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