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Who Stole Hanukkah?
It's up to you to solve the interactive mystery!
Age Level: 8-Adult
Media: CD-ROM

About - Who Stole Hanukkah?

In this entertaining "whodunit," users move through a series of Hanukkah-related activities collecting clues that lead to the missing miraculous jar of oil. The claymation figures captivate the audience while presenting historical information, rituals, songs, and blessings. The CD offers five language options English, Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish.

When Professor Croak's prize collector's item - the Maccabees' miraculous jar of oil -
is suddenly missing, you must team up with Nerli the Detective to identify which zany
animated character "did it". Who stole the jug of Oil?

As you're solving the case, you'll: Play dreidel with Crystal the Fortune Teller
Cook latkes with Latke Troll
Light candles with Mademoiselle Menorah
Play Hanukkah hangman with Bomba the
Learn & Sing Hanukkah songs with Ora Star and the Candle Sisters
Travel back to the Hanukkah story with Groucho Cat and learn what really happened over 2,000 years ago.
And much more...

Along the way you'll learn all about the customs, history and sources of Hanukkah. And each time you play, a different one of the eight suspects is the culprit!

Hours of educational fun and entertainment for the whole family.

Reviews - Who Stole Hanukkah?

BRAD LAKRITZ (12/5/1997) wrote:
What do Mademoiselle Menorah, Crystal the Fortune Teller, the Latke Troll, Schlemiel the synagogue repairman and Groucho Cat have in common? These sophisticated, full-color, claymation figures are all suspects in a daring make-believe Jewish caper.

One of them has stolen the actual jar of oil found by Judah Maccabee in the Temple after its destruction at the hands of the ancient Greeks.

Your job is to find out "Who Stole Hanukkah?!"

This exciting new CD-ROM from Jerusalem Multimedia Productions runs on Windows and Macintosh formats and is out just in time for Chanukah 5758.

Players who celebrate Chanukah this year by clicking their way through this whodunit will learn many tidbits of Jewish history along the way.

The mystery begins as the world-famous historian Professor Croak gazes at his prized archeological possession, the Temple oil jar, while sipping a cup of tea. Suddenly, the lights go out, loud noises blast the night air and when the lights come back on, the jar is missing.

Finding yourself out on the street in the dark winter night, you have only the trenchcoated Nerly, a hot-shot detective, to help you solve the crime in time to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Nerly's namesake, ner, is Hebrew for "candle" -- so the detective's hat sports a distinctive flame.

Nerly guides you through the clues, and she presents information about each suspect. To discover the culprit, you must visit each of the suspects and examine the evidence linking them to the crime.

The street scene is your guide -- or, computer interface -- to the game. The building facing you has eight windows, which you can enter by clicking. Entering the building, you find yourself in a hallway with three doors. One of the doors takes you to Nerly's room: Here she offers hints and helps you examine the evidence.

But you can't enter Nerly's room without a secret password and a golden key. In order to win these essentials, you'll have to go elsewhere first -- clicking your way into the other two rooms.

One of these rooms presents a dramatic scene from the time of the Maccabees.

In a scene that American Jews might find familiar because of its parallels with assimilation issues, a Hellenist family debates the virtues of Judaism versus Greek culture. The father is on his way to the bathhouse while the mother is making the Sabbath meal. The son quotes from the Torah, saying that Jews should have one God and no other, while his sister speaks up for trying out a few new ones.

In this scene, correctly answering a question about the Hellenistic period will secure, for the player, the secret password. Clicking again on the password icon will activate more questions for those who want to learn more about the history of Chanukah or just test their knowledge.

In the next "room," a Greek statue named Narcisso is playing host to a popular Greek game show. This tongue-in-cheek satire of "The Gong Show" highlights differences between the Greeks and the Maccabees.

In other history rooms, we learn about Jews celebrating Shabbat in hiding, and the destruction of the Temple. Other game activities include a Hebrew form of hangman using words from the Chanukah story, and a modern musical twist on the songs we sing at Chanukah.

For players who don't know the answers to the questions, help is just a click away. Professor Croak's study offers access to a rich set of resources on Chanukah, including a how-to guide for celebrating the holiday, as well as quotations from many of the Jewish sources that explain how and why we celebrate the holiday today.

For example, we learn about the edict of "publicizing the miracle" from the Babylonian Talmud, and explore
arguments over lighting the
menorah from right to left or vice versa, and whether to add or take away one candle each night during the holiday.

The CD operates in five languages -- English, Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish -- in order to make it useful to the widest possible audience. This is a rarity in multimedia CDs.

With "Who Stole Hanukkah?!", JeMM Productions -- makers of "The Interactive Haggadah" -- have produced a creative and educational game. It will provide hours of enjoyable Jewish learning for kids of all ages.


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