At a time when many Jewish families are worried about their children having a connection to their Jewish identity and heritage, the students of Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center are leaping to the rescue.
Launched in November, just in time for Jewish Book Month, the new Emek Kosher Comics book is packed with action, fun, and adventure. There’s a bank robbery and a kidnapping. Will Super Rabbi be able to save the day with his Jewish superpowers? Who will win the Shabbat Angels’ contest? And what is a mitzvah, anyway?
Emek Kosher Comics is a fun way to learn about one’s Jewish superpowers and the power of mitzvahs. The origin of the book was simple. It came to the attention of Emek’s librarian, Rae Shagalov, author of, The Secret Art of Talking to God, and publisher of holysparks.com. Shagalov knew there were virtually no Jewish comics available for kids on Amazon, the largest online bookseller in the world, especially for Kindle. She saw this as a perfect opportunity to integrate Torah learning with 21st century education, project-based learning.
“Students at a Jewish school are very fortunate, but it’s not every Jewish child who is lucky enough to learn about Judaism, Torah and mitzvahs,” said Shagalov. She challenged Emek students to create a Jewish comic book that all Jewish children would enjoy, even if they didn’t know much about Judaism. Shagalov’s students picked up the challenge in the library-based Extra Challenge program.
Soon they were researching and writing stories, creating props and sets, and acting out the stories in vignettes that they photographed. The students use two apps to bring the stories to life;Toon Camera, which turns ordinary photos into comic-like pictures and Comic Life, which formats the comics.
Emek’s students are asking readers to buy their comic for Kindle on Amazon and to write a review. It’s on sale for $1.99 during the month of November. The challenge is on for students at other Jewish schools to enter their comics, stories, and ideas for the next edition of Emek Kosher Comics. “We want other kids to enjoy Jewish storytelling,” said Mendel Solomon, author of the first story in the book, Super Rabbi. Now, the goal is to attain the rating of #1 bestseller status on Amazon. That requires 50 positive reviews.
To order Emek Kosher Comics visit http://bit.ly/koshercomic