The Covenant Grants

Shari’s Passover Surprise (1995)

Organization: KCET Public Television, Los Angeles, CA

Grant Year: 1995

Project Director: Ms. Shari Lewis

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $30,000 (2 years)


Arts and Culture
Early Childhood Education
Family Education

The initial grant in 1995 was to support the production of a one-hour Passover special for national broadcast – Shari’s Passover Surprise – starring Shari Lewis. The special is a musical comedy intended to build bridges of understanding by sharing Jewish culture, history, traditions, and values with the multi-ethnic PBS family. In the film, Shari, her puppets, and special guests Dom De Luise, Alan Thicke, Robert Guillaume, and the comedian Sinbad share a seder together at Shari’s home. In the course of the program, viewers learn Passover traditions as they watch the characters clean the house for Passover, prepare for the seder, and tell the story of the Exodus.

Another grant was issued in 1996 to support the development of educational outreach materials to accompany Shari Lewis’ video. These materials detail the history of Passover and the seder. It includes games and puppets to help children understand the Passover traditions.

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