By Yakir Havin This year’s CKids Retreat at the Bushkill…
This Pesach, popular Lego superhero FreedoMan will lead thousands of young Chabad House-goers to victory over Pharaoh in the brand-new CKids Tzivos Hashem Freedom Challenge.
“Pesach is one of the most observed holidays on the Jewish calendar,” explains CKids director Rabbi Zalman Loewenthal. “Yet families can sometimes lose focus of the most important aspects of the holiday.”
That’s why CKids—a joint project of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch’s Suite 302 and Tzivos Hashem—is launching the Freedom Challenge, a global mission to creatively engage Jewish children and their families in the core activities and message of Pesach.
Nominated by the mission’s resolute spokesman and leader, CKids’ very own Lego superhero, FreedoMan, Jewish children around the world will be challenged to fulfill Pesach’s mitzvos, from shopping for Pesach staples, to eating matzah and maror at the seder.
Global missions were a basic component of Tzivos Hashem for decades. The Freedom Challenge successfully builds on that model, but adds a cutting-edge twist.
“Many people will recognize the list of missions because of how similar that is to the original Tzivos Hashem missions,” says Loewenthal. “But the CKids Freedom Challenge is not just about nostalgia. It is a very fresh program which kicks off with an innovative multimedia game show, and touches on everything from cleaning their rooms, to an exciting Freedometer game to be played by the entire family at the seder itself.”
FreedoMan himself will lead model matzah bakeries, appear at Hebrew schools, and wherever else Chabad Houses will be offering Pesach programming. As the challenge progresses, children will head out to supermarkets armed with a colorful shopping list, where they will be joined by FreedoMan, who will help them do their Pesach shopping.
On Facebook and Twitter, FreedoMan will also be actively tweeting, posting, and tagging, encouraging participating children around the world to learn more and get involved.
“We wanted the Freedom Challenge to be relevant, so what FreedoMan does is help children to understand that today we’re each battling our own Pharaoh,” Loewenthal adds. “Everybody has their own boundaries that they need to break through, FreedoMan and the Freedom Challenge addresses that head-on.”
Everyone’s a winner since each child will automatically receive a CKids Rubik’s cube keychain; they will also be entered into a raffle to win one of many other fabulous prizes.
“This program teaches the Rebbe’s core message of what Paraoh means today, and what Mitzrayim means today to each and every one of us,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, the vice chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. “We are very proud that in this unique, world-wide campaign, we have been able to communicate the true meaning of Pesach, as the Rebbe taught us.”
Behind the Rebbe’s vision for Tzivos Hashem was the idea of harnessing the power of Jewish children. This remains as the driving goal of the CKids-Tzivos Hashem partnership today.
“The Freedom Challenge has found a way to make the seder meaningful and authentic to both children and their parents,” says Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem. “There is nothing Jewish children cannot accomplish together, whether it is breaking through their own personal galus, or the collective one we find ourselves in. Today we are using the most modern tools to help make this goal a reality.”
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