Finance professor Stanley Peterburgsky had a stroke of genius after attending a Shabbat meal two years ago. After playing board games with some other guests at the meal, he was inspired to create his own game, “B’chidos,” a Torah education game for kids ages 6 and up. After developing the game pieces and getting them produced and manufactured, the Washington Heights resident is now excited to bring “B’chidos” to market—just in time for Chanukah.
“B’chidos was inspired by a popular card game created by a Czech game designer which revolves around guessing words based on the commonalities and associations between a given set of terms,” Peterburgsky explained. “I realized that this would be a great Jewish game because when we learn Torah, there are a lot of concept associations and finding overlapping themes. And playing this game could be very educational for kids by allowing them to practice this skill.”
The game is meant to be played with four to eight players, split into two teams. The teams compete by each having a clue-giver give one-word clues that can point to multiple concept cards on the board. The other players on the team attempt to guess their team’s cards while avoiding the cards of the other team. The name of this game, “B’chidos,” translates into “in riddles,” referencing the verse “With him I speak mouth to mouth, plainly and not in riddles.” (Bamidbar 12:8).
“Once I had the concept, I came up with a whole list of terms within Judaism,” said Peterburgsky. “I ran my list by a friend who is very knowledgeable about these things, and then I learned how to use Photoshop to create the design for the cards. Once I had the template, I had a Chinese company create a prototype and it really came out well.” He continued that when he revealed the prototype of “B’chidos” to his friends, everyone told him that he should make his game available for purchase.
Last year, Peterburgsky had the opportunity to sell “B’chidos” at the YU Seforim Sale, during which he sold every copy of the game that he had. “It was popular enough for me to be invited back this year,” he noted. Other than the Seforim Sale, Peterburgsky has only been marketing the game by word of mouth, and the demand has become enough to motivate him to create a website where the game can be purchased directly.
Peterburgsky shared that he hopes children will really learn to see Torah as fun and entertaining from playing “B’chidos.” “I want kids to really get into learning Torah; I want them to enjoy the game so much that they keep playing and keep learning new things.” He added that “B’chidos” is really fun for the whole family, and adults can learn plenty as well.
“I was inspired to do this for the broader Jewish community,” said Peterburgsky. “Everyone can have fun with Torah concepts.”
“B’Chidos” can be purchased online at bchidos.bigcartel.com.
Channa Fischer is the digital editor of The Jewish Link and is the resident 20-something in the office. She resides in Washington Heights.