A New Generation Says Shalom to Sesame Street

Originally published on

If you’re around my age, you might remember a series of specials that brought our favorite Sesame Street Muppets and a bunch of Jewish celebrities that probably meant nothing to you as a pre-schooler (Itzhak Perlman?!?) visiting their Israeli counterparts on Rechov Sumsum in a mash-up known as Shalom Sesame. Depending on when you encountered these videos and how good your memory is, you might either feel warm nostalgia or faint embarrassment for the attempt to teach American Jewish kids Hebrew language and Israeli culture through the quick-cuts and funny bits Sesame Street is known for the world over.

Looking back on those shows as an adult… at best they have a quaint datedness to them.  At worst, you end up with unfortunate (and unforeseen) double entendres like in this clip, where Big Bird builds a security wall down the middle of Sesame Street:

Luckily, our kids won’t have to travel back in time to discover a Sesame Street that speaks to them in both English and Hebrew.  Sesame Workshop has produced a new Shalom Sesame for a new generation.  New episodes are available now on DVD, with additional interactive activities premiering online in December.  (If you’re looking for some previews, make sure you become a fan of Shalom Sesame on Facebook. They’ve been offering up great video clips to their fans for several weeks now.)  Continue reading