Shalom Sesame Volume 3: Shabbat Shalom, Grover
Mmmmm…challah. Here in Appalachia, I’ve yet to discover a source for this delicious bread, but Grover and his friends have plenty to spare in Shabbat Shalom, Grover. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest, starting Friday at sundown and lasting until the stars come out on Saturday. This new DVD teaches children, ages 3-8, about Shabbat observances and customs.
Shabbat Shalom, Grover takes viewers to a marketplace in Israel where the shopkeepers are closing down in time for Shabbat. Children share their feelings about Shabbat and speak about their Shabbat observances. A close-up on a kindergarten Shabbat explains traditions and features challah-making (hmmm…I never considered making it myself…). Cedric the Entertainer introduces challah with a riddle, and a video of a commercial bakery preparing challah illustrates mass production.
Grover, like many of us, is unfamiliar with the celebration of Shabbat and in helping his friend Shoshanna prepare for dinner, he generates more tasks than he accomplishes. Seven dancing chickens help the Count introduce the number seven which is further illustrated in a short animation.
Other bits on Shabbat Shalom, Grover are the creation of the world, interpreted in a video featuring collage and origami art; a profile of two families’ Shabbat observances; and Elmo and Big Bird singing about the importance of taking a break. Finally, Grover introduces viewers to another city in Israel. It’s amazing how much can be squeezed into a half-hour.
DVD extras include sneak peeks, a trailer, and “Grover’s Video Player,” which introduces the Hebrew months of the Jewish calendar and bread-making, from planting the wheat to baking and eating. Visit ShalomSesame.org for games, activities, and more videos. Both the DVDs and the website offer a worthwhile view of a culture with which many children are not familiar, and helps those that are develop a deeper appreciation and understanding. And who doesn't love Grover?