Videos Teach Non-Jewish Kids about Jewish Holidays

September 2, 2013

3 min read

Jerusalem

“Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isaiah 56:7)

Jerusalem
Israel365 has launched a new YouTube program, Israel365 Kids, aimed at educating Jewish and Non-Jewish children alike about Jewish history, culture and the Land of Israel. (Photo: Israel365)

Although it is the homeland of the Jewish people, Israel — and especially Jerusalem — are considered in Jewish tradition to be special to all peoples of the world.  But how does one impart that message to one’s children?  Rabbi David and Kerry Bar-Cohn, and their new series of children’s videos entitled “Jumpin’ Jerusalem!”, do just that.  Partnering with Israel365, the Bar-Cohns have begun producing videos to entertain and educate children about Israel and the Jewish holidays.

The new video series “Jumpin’ Jerusalem!” lets viewers and their kids “jump in” to learn about Israel, the Biblical holidays, traditional Jewish life, and even some words of Hebrew. Each video is “bite-sized”, usually less than five minutes each, packed with info and good values, and full of joy.

Jumpin’ Jerusalem! is hosted by Rabbi David and Kerry Bar-Cohn. Both originally from the U.S., Rabbi David and Kerry are Orthodox Jews who immigrated to Israel and produce educational videos and music for Jewish children, under the title “Rebbetzin Tap”. (“Rebbetzin” is the title of a rabbi’s wife, and “Tap” because Kerry is also a tap-dancer!) The two have developed a devoted following among Jewish children and are very excited to join Israel365 and spread their positive energy out to many Christian children as well.

“In speaking with so many Christian Zionists, one of their main concerns is how to share their love and engage the next generation and how to teach their children and grandchildren about Israel and the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Tuly Weisz, founder of Israel365 and publisher of Breaking Israel News. “The Bar-Cohns are rock stars for Jewish kids, and so I approached them about teaching non-Jewish children, as well. I am so appreciative that they agreed whole-heartedly in the importance of reaching out and teaching all children about the beauty of Judaism and the Land of Israel. We have started a new website, Israel365 Kids, which will have all kinds of fun and free resources for children who want to connect with Israel. Many people are already downloading a free Jewish holiday coloring book available at www.Israel365.com/kids.”

Israel365 is a non profit organization aimed at teaching Jews and Christians about the physical beauty and Biblical significance of the Land of Israel. In addition to having 40,000 email subscribers and 40,000 Facebook fans, Israel365 also produces Hebrew music videos and has a very popular YouTube channel with over 300,000 video views.

The Bar-Cohns are no strangers to the entertainment industry.  Rabbi David said, “We came at it from two different sides.”  He has a background in film and music production.  His wife, Rebbetzin Kerry, was a childhood performer.  She studied at the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan, made famous by the movie Fame, and now teaches and choreographs dance in their neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh just outside of Jerusalem.

When asked how they came to produce Jewish children’s music and educational entertainment, Kerry explained that after performing in several productions for Jewish women in Israel, she realized the need for religious Jewish children’s music “to celebrate the joy of religious life.”  They have been in the field for about five years now.

“We’re touched to know there are Christians who have a love for Israel and the Jewish people. The message of Israel and the Bible is universal – it represents the hope for a better future for everyone. And we feel privileged and delighted to be able to spread that positive message to Jewish and Christian children alike. We’re brothers and sisters, in this world together,” says Rabbi David.

“One of the religious values too often overlooked is living life with joy. That’s something we try to get across in each of our videos.

“To get kids excited about religious values, including a love for Israel, we need to model that excitement and joy ourselves.

Christians and Jews share the universal Biblical values of ‘love your neighbor’, kindness, gratitude and celebrating life. We’re excited to teach these positive messages to all our children together.”

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