(San Francisco, California--September 2, 2016) Shaboom! – the innovative animated web series from non-profit BimBam
(formerly G-dcast) — is back with five all-new episodes, including one for the High Holidays about “Saying I’m Sorry (Slicha).” With contributors from Sesame Workshop, Amazon Studios, Electronic Arts et al, Disney, and Pixar, Shaboom! 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. The fall episodes for season 1 premiere online September 7. The theme of the first episode is Taking Care of Nature (Bal Taschit, in Hebrew).
Called "A ‘Little Einsteins,’ For Little Mensches" by The Jewish Week, Shaboom! is perfect for families with preschoolers, especially those looking for fun and accessible Jewish content around the High Holidays. Episodes feature the “magical sparks” Gabi & Rafael who work to fix the world, while focusing on that episode’s theme. Along with the episodes for kids (about 8 minutes each), additional videos for parents (2 minutes each; released later this fall) delve into the different Jewish values explaining “what’s Jewish” and giving parents the tools and confidence to model the values. Resource videos will teach crafts, songs and communications strategies for parents and caregivers.
Communities around the country are holding family events over the next weeks and months to watch the episodes together, including Fall premieres at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum and Chicago’s Highland Park Community House.
for more information on Shaboom! including the first five episodes, videos for parents, and related learning resources.
Shaboom! Release Schedule: Fall 2016
106. WASTE NOT - Taking Care of Nature/Bal Taschit - 9/7/16
107. HERO HEART - Courage of the Heart/Ometz Lev - 9/14/16
108. GET ALONG, GANG - Peace in the Home/Shalom Bayit - 9/21/16
109. FINDERS, RETURNERS - Returning Lost Objects/Hashavat Aveidah - 9/28/16
High Holiday Special/ Ep 110. REALLY, REALLY SORRY - Saying I'm Sorry/Slicha - 10/5/16
“Shaboom! combines the best of kids’ entertainment with Jewish learning in a way that parents can integrate easily into everyday hectic schedules,” says Sarah Lefton, Executive Director of BimBam. “It’s so great to be launching new episodes, especially at High Holiday time when parents are looking for meaningful ways to connect their kids to the themes of the New Year.”
One mother, Mel, watched many of the earlier episodes with her three-year old daughter Abbie. She adds, “Abbie watched the one on tzedakah and then wanted to go straight to our local children's hospital with a teddy bear, a book and her tzedakah box.”
Major partners from the Jewish world include the Union for Reform Judaism, (URJ) 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.
Shaboom! is written by kids’ TV veteran Robert Pincombe, directed by Jeremy Shuback and produced by creator (and BimBam founder) Sarah Lefton. 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. BimBam focuses on entry-level Jewish 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
, BimBam’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 for social/emotional growth, 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 the Peleh Fund, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the PJ Library Alliance, the Bernstein Family Foundation (DC), The Covenant Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and one anonymous foundation. The Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah made the creation of parent resources possible.
Forbes called G-dcast, as it was known previously, "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 BimBam, Lefton produced projects for The New York Times on the Web, the Village Voice, Princess Cruises, and several robotics companies; she also created the popular YO SEMITE tee shirt.