Where’s Miss Piggy? Oops, It’s Israel.

Where’s Miss Piggy? Oops, It’s Israel.

Mahane Yehuda, the open-air market off Jaffa Road in the center of Jerusalem, is a popular shopping site for natives and tourists.

Apparently, puppets need to pick up some melons and rugelach too.
At least Grover did last week.

One of the stars of the popular “Sesame Street” TV show, he was in Israel last week for the filming of a 12-part series that will teach American Jewish children about Jewish culture.

“Shalom Sesame,” set to debut in December 2010, will star Grover, the voluble Muppet, in a production geared for preschoolers. Grover, above, ponders a bin of sabra fruits with an Israeli girl.
“Shalom Sesame” will explore Jewish identity and traditions, starring such entertainers as Debra Messing, Greg Kinnear, Anneliese van der Pol and Cedric the Entertainer, and will film at several Israeli locations, including the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall.

“I think it’s really important to educate children in a fun way and a not too confusing way,” van der Pol, a Broadway actress, told the Associated Press.

First produced in 1986, the original “Shalom Sesame” has sold more than 1 million copies on video and DVD. The new version will tackle more issues of diversity for Jewish children and be accompanied by an interactive Web site and other outreach materials, the AP reported.

The new series will feature an interactive Web site and accompanying educational materials.
“For so much of the Jewish community outside Israel, they may never come here, this is a great way to have a virtual experience” of the Jewish state, Danny Labin, the series’ executive producer told the AP. “Nothing speaks to children better than Sesame Street, so the new production … is bound to make a real impact on understanding and connection for the newest generation of Israeli and North American Jews.”

“Rechov Sumsum,” an Israeli version of Sesame Street, and “Shara’a Simsim,” its Palestinian counterpart, returned to the air in Israel and the Palestinian Authority two years ago after a decade-long absence, with Middle East messages of peace and diversity.

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