'Shalom Sesame' videos find 'Street' crowd learning Jewish culture

November 29, 1991|By Kim Traverso

Finally, there are holiday videos for kids who don't celebrate Christmas.

The Children's Television Workshop, the makers of "Sesame Street," have created "Shalom Sesame." This 11-part video series chronicles the lovable "Sesame Street" gang's travels to Israel, where they share songs, games, matzah and menorahs with their Jewish counterparts.

Bet you didn't know that Oscar the Grouch had a cousin named Moishe Oofnik in Tel Aviv.

This grouchy gourmet cooks up some jellyfish donuts in "Chanukah," the fifth show of the series. Bert, Ernie, Grover, Elmo and the Cookie Monster aren't far behind -- they're playing Dreidel of Fortune with Lavana White.

"The 'Shalom' series is a way to combat the Christmas specials that bombard us during this time of the year," says Miriam Robbins, owner of Pern's Bookstore on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore.

Aside from "Chanukah," the video series tackles other aspects of Israel and Israeli culture in programs like "The Land of Israel," "Kibbutz," "Passover" and "Kids Sing Israel."

In "Aleph-Bet Telethon," the newest "Shalom" video, Kippi ben Kippod, Israel's peppiest porcupine, tries to raise the missing letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

And to interest adults and parents, actors such as Jerry Stiller, Joan Rivers, Nell Carter and Sarah Jessica Parker make guest appearances.

The videos are available at Pern's Bookstore for $19.99 each, or in special money-saving sets of three shows on a tape for $29.95. They may also be ordered directly through Commet International Inc. by calling (800) 822-1105, Operator 66.

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