A new party game wants to take away your “Jewish card”


(JTA) – Excommunicating someone from the Jewish community is no laughing matter.

Unless you grab their latest “Jewish Card” because of their opinions on sugar cinnamon bagels or the movie “Wet Hot American Summer”. So you could just play a game of Jewish card revoked.

Inspired by the popular games “Black Card Revoked” and “Latino Card Revoked”, the new game attempts to unite Jews from almost all walks of life around a skill most of them appreciate: the ability to make fun of. ‘themselves.

The game consists of printed cards each with a multiple choice question and four answers. Players vote on their preferred answer to each question, after which a representative from each answer explains why their choice was best in 45 seconds or less.

Players start the game with 10 points each and lose one point each time they disagree with the majority. But Molly Zeff, founder of the game’s production company, Flying Leap Games, says the points don’t really matter.

“If you hit zero, your ‘Jewish card’ is revoked,” Zeff said. “But nobody would really care, it’s a board game, you’re just having fun.”

One of the biggest challenges in creating a Jewish board game that truly appeals to a wide range of Jews is ensuring that the questions are engaging and fun for people from different backgrounds and communities. To do this, Zeff composed the questions with four other writers and two editors from various backgrounds, including a Gay Jewish actor and Puerto Rican-Cuban Sephardic Jew. Zeff describes herself as a “traditional, egalitarian Jewish hippie who attends many types of services.”

“Any game that creates a light and fun approach to cultural humor, and any game more broadly, will benefit and be immeasurably better to be created by a diverse team within this group,” Zeff said.

Zeff, 37, grew up playing board games with friends on weekends and even remembers skipping her prom afterparty to play games with friends. This love of games turned into a career in 2017 when she and childhood friend Jonathan Cannon released their first game, Wing It, in which players were to tell a story about how they would escape. of a situation with a set of resources. printed on cards. Zeff and Cannon formed Flying Leap Games after Wing It turned out to be a success.

“I thought I could be weird for a living and really use my skills,” Zeff said.

In the years that followed, the company released two more games, including a sequel to Wing It and another called Million Dollar Doodle. Jewish Card Revoked is the company’s first Jewish-themed game.

Although it covers a wide range of Jewish backgrounds and experiences, many of the game’s questions resemble those of baseball. Answers to a question about what poses the greatest threat to Jews in the 2020s include “patriarchy,” “the cost of Jewish education,” “taking the Pew report too seriously” and “the chummus in the world. chocolate [sic]. “

Perhaps this is why the game, although originally intended for secular Jews, has become a hit among the Orthodox community. When Zeff recruited Orthodox women to test the game, she was overwhelmed with the response, scheduling 17 test games in 11 days.

“I realized that Orthodox Jews really liked the game,” she said. “And so it turns out that our main audiences were from very diverse specters, like mostly secular and mostly Orthodox Jews.”

Yet even with an audience of very engaged Jews, some topics of Jewish interest did not translate well into the board game format.

Zeff had written a question about “which anti-Semitic stereotype or which duck would improve your life the most if it were true”, with responses referring to Jews controlling the banks or Hollywood. When she posted about it on her Facebook page asking her friends for advice, the responses surprised her.

“This has unfortunately somehow led to anti-Semitic statements from Jews saying to themselves, well, isn’t this one true or like here is data on Jews and banks,” he said. she declared.

Further, Zeff added: “No one wants to think about anti-Semitism during a game.”

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