AS: You’ve been in chinuch for decades, as a rebbe and a menahel, as well as in teacher training. Did you use some of your chinuch techniques in The Jaffa Family Edition: The Weekly Parashah?
RNZ: Many, many techniques. The books are written for “kid appeal” — easy and engaging reading, exciting graphics, and great illustrations. The many sidebars are designed to stimulate the child’s interest. What’s a child’s attention span today? Tiny! Long pages of text bore them. Here, the parashah is divided into “bite sizes pieces” that are fun to read. And, very important: Each volume shows how the parashah’s lessons are relevant to their lives now. Every aspect of the series has one goal: to connect kids emotionally to Torah, to give them a love of Torah. That’s the job of every rebbe or morah, and that’s our job in this series as well.
AS: How can parents make the most effective use of the series?
RNZ: At the Shabbos table, children or parents can ask the Q & A or share the Fascinating Facts. They can discuss the “Torah in Our Lives” section. On Shabbos or for quality time during the week, parents can just sit cozily with their kids, with everyone taking turns reading the narrative and enjoying the beautiful illustrations.
AS: Tell us a little about the team that made The Weekly Parashah such a stunning and successful series.
RNZ: For the text, I’ve drawn on my many years of chinuch experience. The illustrations are created by a gifted and experienced artist. The graphic designer makes every page a delight for children and adults. Both the artwork and the text are reviewed by a group of talmidei chachamim and educators to ensure that every word accurately reflects our mesorah and that the sources (hundreds of them, listed in the back of the book for parents and educators) are all correct. ArtScroll’s fantastic editorial staff makes sure the language is perfect for the age level. What can I say — it’s a dream team!
AS: Sefer Bereishis, Shemos, and Bamidbar are currently available. What’s the plan for the future?
RNZ: B’ezras Hashem, Sefer Vayikra and Sefer Devarim will be published in time for this year’s Torah reading, completing the set.