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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

KabbalaToons in the New York Pulse

Pilar Newton puts the finishing touches on Rabbi Infinity

On Kabbala Toons, an animated rabbi offers "cosmic consciousness"
By Leslie Hart for the NY Pulse

As he plummets toward earth at 300 miles per hour after jumping out of a plane, Rabbi Infinity serenely irons a sock in freefall while expressing confidence that his parachute will open in time. “When life sends you spiraling downward, stay calm and rely on the creator of life for a smooth landing,” he says.

Whether skydiving or sifting for gold, Infinity teaches adults and children Jewish mysticism as the two-dimensional narrator of “Kabbala Toons.” He promises a limitless return for a small investment of time. “Give me one minute,’’ he says, “I’ll give you cosmic consciousness.”

Rabbi Infinity’s mission is to engage and enlighten his followers through “Kabbala Toons,” a biweekly series of Web cartoons that present the teachings of religious philosophy with the ease and access of YouTube. Viewers subscribe to the free videos on Chabad.org, the Web site of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, and share their favorite “webisodes” via Facebook. Rabbi Infinity is the animated alter ego of real-life Rabbi Tzvi Freeman of Toronto, Canada. Each webisode and corresponding blog is written by Freeman and animated by Pilar Newton of Park Slope, Brooklyn.

With more than 900,000 unique visitors per month, Crown Heights-based Chabad.org is the most prominent Jewish educational and informational portal on the Web, according to an August 2009 study by 4Wall, a Jewish media strategy firm. “Kabbala Toons” reach 19,000 subscribers from Montevideo, Uruguay to Melbourne, Australia.

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