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Happy 700th Birthday

C. Rosenberg, Chaim Finkelstein

We’ve created 699 issues of Mishpacha Jr. Now it’s time to hear from you! Two writers met with a panel of Jr. experts at TurtleBoo

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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A s a longtime Mishpacha writer and a Monsey resident, I’m super excited when Jr.’s Editor-in-Chief Libby Tescher invites me to conduct a roundtable discussion with Monsey’s Jr. fans. We decide to meet at TurtleBoo, Monsey’s greatest destination for fun, to celebrate Jr.’s 700th issue. 

When I arrive at TurtleBoo, I meet a fantastic group of Jr. readers who fill us in on what our fans love about Jr., what they want more of, and what they (ouch!) don’t really care for.

The TurtleBoo party room is decorated in white and purple and the tables are set with TurtleBoo-themed partyware and mementos. It’s Sunday afternoon, prime time at TurtleBoo, but the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The Mishpacha Jr.s scattered across the table add the perfect touch. Everyone settles down around the table, and although most of us have never met, there’s an instant sense of unity in the room: We all love reading Jr.!

Each guest writes their name on a paper and props it up next to their seat. In just a minute, it feels like we’ve been friends forever.

“At my house,” I tell the girls, “whoever is ready for school early on Thursday mornings gets to dash outside and bring in the magazine. Of course, that automatically kicks off squabbles over who gets first dibs, because each kid wants to read their favorites before leaving for school!

“What are your favorites?” I ask the girls. “What do you turn to first, as soon as you open Jr.?”

The answer is almost unanimous: The serials.

I’m far from surprised: I’m also addicted to the serials (in the main magazine, and in Jr.) and I make sure to catch up with each new installment as soon as the magazine is in my hands.


What type of serials do the girls enjoy most, though?

“Comics,” Toby says. “They’re easy to read: You can see everything at a glance and know what’s happening. I read the comics first, then I go on to the other serials.”

Some others chime in that they also enjoy the comics for this reason.

“I like serials that are similar to our day-to-day life, that we can relate to easily,” Yitty says.

“But they need the suspense as well, don’t they?” I ask. “For example, in Bracha Rosman’s serial, Hide and Seek, I couldn’t believe how long things were taking and I was so, so desperate to get to the end! I needed to see how Idy would get away from those horrible Renards.”

The room fills with a chorus of “yeses” — everyone agrees that Hide and Seek was very suspenseful.

Miriam Breindel chimes in. “I really liked Battle Cry, the comic-serial about the boys who were lost in a cave. It was fun to read and I ended up learning about a lot of history.”

“Can’t there be more serials?” someone asks.

A magazine can’t have just serials though, could it?

“Maybe each installment could be longer,” Yitty suggests. Nobody disagrees. Jr. editors, are you listening?

A TurtleBoo employee steps in with a tray of pizza, filling the room with that unique hot-pizza smell. The music blasts and everyone takes a slice. This is some party! After the pizza comes popcorn, and we’re all having a blast. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 700)

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