Since Ithaca Shliach Rabbi Eli Silberstein started recording chassidishe maises a year-and-a-half ago, children and adults in seven countries have downloaded over 100,000 podcasts. Read what the hype is all about.
In the summer of 2021, the “Klimovitch” podcast launched with just a couple of listeners. Less than two years later, it has over 100,000 downloads from families in seven countries around the globe. What’s all the hype about?
Klimovitch is the newest form of that which is old; a modern twist on what our bubbes and zeides, or mothers and fathers have done since time immemorial. That is, capturing our children’s hearts, forming young minds, and molding their values — all with the power of a story.
The podcast was started by Akiva Goodman, a father of four from Chicago who found there was a dearth of resources for children’s stories that entertain as well as educate. He started by requesting a few Whatsapp recordings from his father-in-law, Rabbi Eli Silberstein, for his five-year-old son, Menachem. When Akiva found himself forwarding these messages to more and more interested friends, he decided to launch an online platform — and so “Klimovitch” was born.
Klimovitch, a Russian village tiny in geographical size but large on the Chabad cultural map, is where Rabbi Silberstein’s mother, Batsheva Kaminetzky-Silberstein, was born. Through Rabbi Silberstein’s talented storytelling and wealth of knowledge, he conveys the values and vibrance of his Klimovitcher roots to children around the world.
Some of Rabbi Silberstein’s titles, like “Baal Shem Tov’s Baal Teshuva” or “The Chasam Sofer and the Diamond Ring”, tell of the great tzaddikim of our past. Others, like “Yankel and Zundel”, or “The Purim Shpiel Ganev” speak of the fabled poshuter yid. All of them combine the authenticity of a chassidishe meise with the convenience of a podcast platform.
Today, nearly 1,000 families tune in to Klimovich regularly, eagerly awaiting the new uploads each week.
“I have five children under the age of eight”, says Aharon Lazer Goodman from Morristown, New Jersey. “The consistent best-seller at our table is stories of chassidim. And the most beloved of those are the ones from Klimovitch.”
“It’s a first to see our kids happily going to bed at night, knowing they get to listen to Klimovitch! They eagerly check each day to see if new stories were uploaded,” says Rabbi Menachem Slavaticki of Skokie, Illinois.
And parents, take note — you may not need to hand out the headphones for this one! Take it from the listeners. “Rabbi Silberstein talks in a language relatable for kids…Plus, they are enjoyable for adults as well — you won’t have to suffer through the ride like other story tapes out there,” says Rabbi Eliyahu Rappoport. And Rabbi Moshe Markowitz agrees: “With Rabbi Silberstein, I know every detail is researched and accurate, and it is something adults can listen to as well.”
Are you looking for wholesome entertainment for your child? Media that will not just engage, but educate? Join the dozens of families listening to Klimovitch. You can stream them on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or download – for free! – at Klimovitch.org. Check it out, and experience the magic.