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

(JTA) — Excommunicating someone from the Jewish community is no laughing matter.

Unless you’re taking their last “Jewish card” because of their opinions on cinnamon-sugar bagels or the movie “Wet Hot American Summer.” Then you might just be playing a game of Jewish Card Revoked. Modeled after the popular games “Black Card Revoked” and “Latino Card Revoked,” the new game attempts to unite Jews of nearly every background over a skill most of them value: the ability to make fun of themselves.

The game consists of cards that are each printed with one multiple choice question and four answers. The players vote on their preferred answer to each question, after which one representative of each answer makes the case for why their choice was best in 45 seconds or less.

Players start the game with 10 points each and lose one point every 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 get to zero, your ‘Jewish card’ is revoked,” Zeff said. “But no one would actually care, it’s a party game, you just have fun.”

One of the biggest challenges in creating a Jewish party game that actually appeals to a broad swath of Jews is making sure the questions are engaging and funny for people from different backgrounds and communities. To do that, Zeff composed the questions together with four other writers and two editors from diverse backgrounds, including a gay Jewish comedian and a Sephardi Puerto Rican-Cuban Jew. Zeff describes herself as a “traditional egalitarian observant Jewish hippie who attends multiple kinds of services.” “Any game that’s creating a light, fun approach to cultural humor, and any game more broadly, will benefit and be infinitely better from being created by a diverse team within that group,” Zeff said.

Jewish Card Revoked is the company’s first Jewish-themed game of Flying Leap Games, created by Zeff, 37, and her childhood friend, Jonathan Cannon. Though it covers a diverse swath of Jewish backgrounds and experiences, several of the game’s questions feel like inside baseball. Answers to a question about what poses the greatest threat to Jews in the 2020s include “the patriarchy,” “the cost of Jewish education,” “taking the Pew report too seriously,” and “chocolate chummus [sic].” Originally intended for secular Jews, it became a hit among the Orthodox community. “I realized that Orthodox Jews liked the game a lot,” she said. “And so it turns out that our main audiences were from very diverse spectrums.”

Main Photo: Sample cards from the new game “Jewish Card Revoked,” a party game in which players debate aspects of Jewish culture. (Flying Leap Games)

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