A new party game wants to take away your ‘Jewish card’

Excommunicating someone from the Jewish community is no laughing matter.

Unless you’re taking your latest “Jewish card” because of your opinions on cinnamon sugar bagels or the movie “Wet Hot American Summer.” Then you may be playing a game of overturned Jewish cards.

Modeled after the popular games “Black Card Revoked” and “Latino Card Revoked,” the new game attempts to unite Jews of almost all backgrounds on a skill most of them value: the ability to make fun of themselves.

The game consists of printed cards 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 the 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 care, it’s a party game, just have fun.”

One of the biggest challenges in creating a Jewish holiday game that truly appeals to a wide swath of Jews is making sure the questions are engaging and fun for people of different backgrounds and communities. To do that, Zeff composed the questions along with four other writers and two editors from diverse backgrounds, including a gay Jewish comedian and a Puerto Rican-Cuban Sephardic Jew. Zeff describes herself as an “egalitarian and observant traditional Jewish hippie who attends multiple types of services.”

“Any game that creates a light and fun approach to cultural humor, and any game in general, will benefit and be infinitely better if it is created by a diverse team within that group,” Zeff said.

Sample cards from the new “Jewish Card Revoked” game, a party game in which players discuss aspects of Jewish culture. (credit: COURTESY OF FLYING LEAP GAMES)

Zeff, 37, grew up playing party games with friends on the weekends and even remembers skipping the high school prom after-party to play with friends. That 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 have to tell a story about how they would escape a situation with a set of resources. printed on cards. Zeff and Cannon formed Flying Leap Games after Wing It proved to be a success.

“I thought it might be weird for a living and really using my skill set,” Zeff said.

In the years since, the company has released two other 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 diverse swath of Jewish backgrounds and experiences, several of the game’s questions feel like they are in 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 “chocolate chummus.” . [sic]. “

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

“I realized that the Orthodox Jews really liked the game,” he said. “And it turns out that our main audience came from very diverse spectra, like mostly secular Jews and mostly Orthodox.”

Still, even with an audience of highly engaged Jews, some topics of Jewish interest did not translate well into the party game format.

Zeff had written a question on “which anti-Semitic stereotype or hoax would make your life better if it were true,” with answers referring to the Jews who control the banks or Hollywood. When she posted it on her Facebook page asking what her friends thought, the responses surprised her.

“Unfortunately, it led to anti-Semitic statements by Jews being like, well, isn’t this true or like here is some data on Jews and banks?” He said.

Also, Zeff added, “nobody wants to think about anti-Semitism during a game.”


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