DVD Review: Shalom Sesame “Chanukah: The Missing Menorah” & “Welcome to Israel” (& Giveaway Ends 11/1)

Released:  October 5, 2010
Run Time:  28 Minutes each
Middle East meets West with some very special – and occasionally furry – guests in Shalom Sesame, an “edu-taining” new series from the creators of Sesame Street featuring American and Israeli celebrities Debra Messing, Achinoam Nini, Mira Awad, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Applegate, Greg Kinnear, Debi Mazar, and other top name talent arriving on DVD October 5, 2010 from SISU Home Entertainment.
Join lovable, furry Grover and celebrity host Anneliese van der Pol (That’s So Raven, Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast) as they travel to Israel to meet new people and learn new things in this 12-part DVD series co-produced by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, and Israel’s Channel HOP!  Designed to help bring the vitality of Jewish culture and tradition as well as the diversity of Israeli life to American children and their families, each 30-minute, live-action and animated DVD will focus on storylines drawn from Jewish cultural traditions, highlighting lessons on Hebrew letters and words, unique sites in Israel, and Jewish values.
Future titles will be released beginning January 2011 and, through familiar and new Sesame Street characters, celebrities and stories, viewers will learn about Jewish traditions, culture and holidays.  Aspects of Jewish life such as celebrating Shabbat, exploring Jewish values and mitzvot, and the Hebrew alphabet will be introduced, along with holidays such as Purim, Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
As with all Sesame Workshop series, Shalom Sesame is not just for television.  This multimedia project will also have a free website tailored for use at home and in school launching along with the DVD series.  The website www.ShalomSesame.org will feature content from the new Shalom Sesame in the form of activities and games, videos, caregiver tips and activity suggestions for educators. Additionally Shalom Sesame-themed community outreach events will take place, bringing series content to families in Jewish communities across the country.
“Welcome to Israel” Synopsis:
Grover and Anneliese go to Israel! Join your favorite blue monster and his new pal as they begin to explore this beautiful land. It’s an adventure they’ll never forget – full of fun, friends and flying falafel!  Guest appearance by Christina Applegate.
“Chanukah: The Missing Menorah” Synopsis:
It’s time to celebrate Chanukah in Israel! Grover’s bringing the latkes and all is well until Anneliese gets caught in a game of tag with a chicken and loses her special menorah …just as Chanukah is about to begin! Can her friends find the missing menorah in time?  Guest appearance by Debi Mazar.
Bonus extras on each DVD include “Grover’s Monster Music Videos,” option for English sub-titles and sneak peeks at all 12 titles in the series.
Now first off I know nothing about Jewish culture or traditions so I actually learned from these DVDs.  I want my children to have an understanding of all cultures and religions and I love that this series uses Sesame Street to do it.  It makes it much easier for kids to relate to and adults to watch with them.  Each DVD is short, only about 30 minutes, but they are nice introductions to topics surrounding the Jewish culture.  They are fun but informative and even though I am not Jewish I thought they were interesting.
BUY IT: Shalom Sesame DVDs will be available for a suggested retail price of $14.95 each. To order, call 1-800-223-7478 or visit http://www.sisuent.com. Or check it out on Amazon.
WIN IT: (1) US winner will receive both Shalom Sesame DVDs “Welcome to Israel” and “Chanukah:  The Missing Menorah”  (Normally I would not give away used DVDs but I want to pass these DVDs on to another family so you will receive opened DVDs that I reviewed, still in original case.)

Check out our Giveaway Listing!

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