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Judaism Lessons from Puppets


Brooklyn, NY — Dovid Taub has learned a lot since hand-sewing his first puppet four years ago to entertain a bunch of young summer campers.

“It looked very bad. It was five feet tall and cumbersome to use,” Taub, now 25, recalled.

Today, the Brooklyn rabbinical student makes 30-inch puppets that are featured in a video program he produces for www.chabad.org, the Web site of the international Chabad Lubavitch Movement headquartered in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section.

UPDATE: Newspaper clipping in the Extended Article!

Those who tune in to the Itche Kadozzy Show are treated to puppet characters such as a gray-bearded rabbi by that name; a student named Jonathan; and Gefilte Fish, the delicacy topped by a slice of carrot. It’s a video series that Taub uses to educate and entertain while conveying basic concepts of Judaism.

Every week, a portion of the Torah is presented on the show. Segments also cover topics from the five books of Moses to the production of kosher food.

“The puppets act out the situations and ideas that we learn from the stories,” said Taub, who joined Chabad.org in 2004. He is currently producing episodes for Passover and other Jewish holy days for the show.

“Jews from all walks of life internationally are just now through the Web site discovering what Judaism is about,” said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, director of Chabad.org.

The scripts for the video series are a collaborative effort between Taub and Jonathan Goorvich, a childhood friend from Taub’s hometown of Chicago who works for a Hollywood studio. They shared an interest in writing, drawing, animation and video production. The Jonathan character is based on Goorvich.

“We try to bring out messages that we think are universally Jewish,” Taub said. “That’s very important to me, because I think all Jews, no matter what background they’re from, are still Jewish, and every Jew can identify with the universal truths of Judaism.”

A sketch the friends prepared for Passover two years ago shows its effectiveness as a teaching tool: Rabbi Kadozzy explains that Passover celebrates the historical freedom of the Jews from slavery in Egypt, to which Gefilte Fish remarks, “If I remember my eighth-grade history, the Jews declared their freedom from Great Britain,” and the rabbi responds, “I think you’re mixing things up.”

To get inspiration for his work, at least once a month, Taub, who is married and the father of a 6-month-old, travels from his home in Crown Heights to the Cambria Heights gravesite of Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, who was the spiritual and organizational leader of the Lubavitch Movement.

“Before the rebbe’s passing, when anybody did a project for the Chabad Movement, it would go through him,” Taub said. “He was the one who wanted these types of projects to exist, who cared about Jewish education. I’m doing this for the rebbe and the causes he cared so much about.”

Taub also does animation, illustration and interactive features for the Web site, “but a large part of my job is continuing this puppet series for children and parents,” he said.

Jessica Klein of Los Angeles, an award-winning television writer and producer and former associate producer for “Sesame Street,” calls the show cutting-edge.

“It’s rare to see an educational show for kids that’s hip and also faith-based,” she said. “The messages it’s putting forth are for anybody.”

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18 Comments To "Judaism Lessons from Puppets"

#1 Comment By California Fans On January 14, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

Our children wait each week with baited breath for the weeks show to be put on line. This is in deed a cutting edge program we should all be proud of! Thank you to all of you who put you heart, soul and life into this Jewish Educational Masterpiece!!

#2 Comment By A Montrealer On January 15, 2007 @ 12:57 am

I second the notion! My son waits each week– he loves the show
and the jokes –it’s right up his alley
We all wish it continues! HATZLACHA!

#3 Comment By anon On January 15, 2007 @ 1:17 am

Itche Kadoozy is the best! Keep them coming! We wait anxiously to get the email letting us know that a new show is available. Thanks for an amazing show!

#4 Comment By moshe On January 15, 2007 @ 11:10 am

“Jessica Klein of Los Angeles, an award-winning television writer and producer and former associate producer for “Sesame Street,” calls the show cutting-edge”

dovid you rock!

#5 Comment By curious On January 15, 2007 @ 11:14 am

where was this peice written??

#6 Comment By Parents of an addicted Kadoozy Fan!! On January 15, 2007 @ 11:36 am

Our daugther, 19 months, wakes up each each morning and runs to the computer saying, ‘more, more, more ‘ono, ‘ono, doozy” (ono is for Jonathon). She sits in her chair and laughs the whole time. She loves it – especially the Jono’s Psychedelic Elephant Episode – that cartoon part is played over and over and over.
Thank you so much for giving us such an entertaining and loveable show, with so much variety.

Will you be coming out with DVDs????? That would be a blast!

#7 Comment By zalman On January 15, 2007 @ 10:02 am

Way to go Dovid!

A lesson we can all learn from Dovid is to go to the Ohel before we do anything. And addtionally, not to be ashamed of it in an interview.

#8 Comment By lauren On January 15, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

IK is so hilarious! Yasher koyach!

#9 Comment By Mishu On January 15, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

way to go dovid!!

Lets Mekarev Todd!!
(His 1st puppet

#10 Comment By Shet On January 15, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

Dovid you are a true psycedelic warrior!! Keep giving the Rebbe nachas!! Represent the wonderful hippie background you grew up with, being raised on an organic bok-choy farm is nothing to be ashamed of!! Moshiach Now!!

#11 Comment By Crown Heights Mom On January 15, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

We are big fans, too! Thanks so much for the entertaining, educational, and kosher program! Itche Kadoozi is a household name in our home.

#12 Comment By schneur h On January 15, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

Kol Hakavod dovid your doing a great job,

#13 Comment By jono and g-fish fan On January 15, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

the “jono rap star” show is absolutely hysterical…. you gotta see it to believe it! my entire family (age range 10 years to 55 years) loved it. Look under “Rapping the Sea” and prepare a box of tissues… you might cry from laughter!

#14 Comment By mir On January 15, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

Once I saw an Itche Kadoozy with Avram Fried behind the stage curtain. It was simply fabulous. soooo funny. Any way to click in to see that anywhere? Even tried apple 770, but to no avail.

#15 Comment By teen On January 16, 2007 @ 12:03 am

im a teen, and im still hooked on itchakadoozys-theyre the funniest corny humor yet!!!

#16 Comment By sooooooooooo funny On January 15, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

its so funny

i loved the chanukah one

#17 Comment By The Bochurim of My Yeshiva On January 16, 2007 @ 12:50 pm


#18 Comment By BORUCH On January 22, 2007 @ 4:46 pm