BimBam's Ground-Breaking Jewish Video Content is Coming to ReformJudaism.org

Inside Leadership

BimBam's Ground-Breaking Jewish Video Content is Coming to ReformJudaism.org

Bright and airy desktop with a laptop screen open to an animated Shaboom Shabbat video

You might’ve already seen the news: After 11 years of creating groundbreaking Jewish content online, BimBam (founded as G-dcast) announced today that it will cease active operations this spring. For more than a decade, BimBam has used vibrant digital storytelling to spark connections to Judaism for learners of all ages.

This is, of course, a loss to our community, as BimBam’s lively digital content – from parashiyot to holiday videos and everything in between – is truly innovative, creative, and invaluable to Jewish educators and parents alike.

But there’s good news, too. We at the Union for Reform Judaism are honored to announce that BimBam’s library of more than 400 original videos will remain online and will soon be integrated onto our educational website, ReformJudaism.org.

A pioneer in the field of Jewish digital storytelling, BimBam has always practiced radical generosity, sharing their content widely through partners within the Jewish community to help maximize their reach. We at the URJ are dedicated to retaining and continuing BimBam’s vibrant legacy, and we feel deeply honored to serve as the gatekeepers of their award-winning content – ensuring that their work continues to spark connections to Judaism and to inspire the next generation of Jewish digital storytellers.

Founded in 2008, BimBam was inspired by creator Sarah Lefton’s self-education journey as an adult who grew up with a frustratingly minimal Jewish literacy. With a background in media production, Sarah decided to share her Jewish learning experiences through short animated videos that featured teachers, rabbis, and artists. BimBam’s groundbreaking content, featuring animation and live-action storytelling, won numerous awards from philanthropy and community organizations.

Truly, BimBam’s accomplishments are staggering, including:

  • Creating more than 400 original videos, totaling 11 million YouTube views and more than 22 million minutes of watch time (adding up to a cumulative 42 years).
  • Creating the original cartoon series Shaboom!, designed for kids ages 4–7 and their parents, to teach everyday Jewish values such as welcoming guests, expressing gratitude, and visiting the sick. These videos already live on ReformJudaism.org.
  • The building of a library of “Judaism 101” content to help young adults access the world of Judaism – including rituals, prayers, and texts – in ways that are easy to both consume and understand
  • Animation of the entire Torah, with at least one video for every Torah portion, plus huge swaths of the Hebrew Bible and a new King David series

In a press release announcing this news, URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs said:

“The BimBam library is rich, entertaining, and welcoming to everyone who wants to learn more about Judaism, and we’re honored that ReformJudaism.org will continue to keep the content available to the most people. Many Reform educators, clergy, and creative artists contributed to these superb videos which are powerful tools and conversation-starters for all audiences including individuals of all ages and backgrounds, families with young children, and the Reform movement’s network of educators and youth professionals to share with their students.”

BimBam’s outgoing Executive Director Jordan Gill summed up the transition:

“Jewish education is a core mission of our peoplehood. We sought to make digital storytelling accessible to Jews looking to learn more about who they were and their heritage. BimBam always pushed the envelope to try new ways to engage. We are pleased that the content will live on through ReformJudaism.org and inspire the next generation of Jewish digital storytellers.”

Learn more about this news via the URJ and BimBam’s joint press release, and stay tuned to ReformJudaism.org for content from BimBam

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Cathy Rolland is the Union for Reform Judaism 's director of engaging families with young children, where she oversees all of the Reform Movement’s initiatives that focus on early childhood education and young family engagement. She and her team develop innovative approaches for communities to meet the needs of today’s families with young children based on research and shifting landscapes. Cathy is also the inaugural president of the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ), an affiliate of the URJ, and serves as the URJ’s liaison to ECE-RJ. Cathy recently earned a master of arts in religious education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and she also holds a certification in Jewish early childhood leadership from Gratz College. Cathy and her husband recently moved to Denver, CO, to be near their three adult sons and to enjoy the Rocky Mountains.

 

Cathy Rolland
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