Shalom Life | October 12, 2014

A Chat with Wake Up World’s Randi Zuckerberg

We speak to the entrepreneur and CEO of Zuckerberg Media about narrating the immersive children's book about Rosh Hashanah

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: September 24th, 2014 in Business » World

Randi Zuckerberg, 32, is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, New York Times bestselling author of Dot Complicated and children’s book Dot, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of digital lifestyle destination Dot Complicated. Randi is also the host of the new radio show Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg on Sirius XM. The older Zuckerberg also had a hand in the early stages of Facebook, and is one of the minds behind the social media’s innovative marketing programs.

In addition to creating digital content for Cirque du Soleil and the United Nations, amongst others, Randi Zuckerberg is now responsible for the talented voicework in G-dcast’s first immersive children’s book, Wake Up World.

The book, which can be purchased for iPhone users through the App Store or for Android users via Google Play, teaches children about the story of Rosh Hashanah and the shofar in a fun and interactive fashion. With beautiful illustrations and a meaningful and rich story, Wake Up World make a great addition to the yearly holiday traditions.


Taking time out of her busy schedule, we at Shalom Life got a chance to speak with Zuckerberg about her newest project and her hopes for children in this digital age.

Shalom Life: How did you get involved with Wake Up World? Was it something they approached you about or was it something that you heard about and wanted to help with?

Randi Zuckerberg: Actually, I met the founder and CEO of G-dcast, Sarah Lefton, through some mutual friends. She was telling me about this idea she had for this app for iPhone and Android, where children could blow into the phone like a shofar and that they would learn the story of Rosh Hashanah that way, and I just thought it was so cool. I followed up with her and together we came up with the idea that I could provide the voiceover for the app. And, actually, you have the choice in the app of a girl or a boy as the lead character in the story. And the boy is named Asher after my son because I was doing the voiceover for it… It’s really fun when he plays with it, and sees his own name.

So what do you hope to see accomplished by Wake Up World?

I’m really excited for people to just engage with education, religion, and virtuality in new ways thanks to all the technology we have. I know, for me, I spent a lot of time talking to parents about the pros and cons of introducing children to technology. A lot of parents are very fearful of their children engaging with tech, and so I like to work on projects that show how tech can really bring families together, can educate children, and inspire them, and entertain them in new ways. And this project being just such a great example of using tech in a new, creative way to bring families together around the Jewish holidays.


Why do you think parents are fearful of their children engaging with technology?

I think a lot of parents don’t understand the technology themselves, and so what they think is, “oh gosh, my children, they’re just going to bury their heads in their phones and they’re never going to learn social skills, they’re never going to go outside.” And you know, to some extent, I do think life is about balance. Everything in moderation. We eat in balance, we exercise in balance, and likewise we have to do the same with tech. Too much tech is not good for us, but when I look at the amount of choices of apps, and gadgets, and tech that children have today, children have the opportunity to be so much more creative. They have art at their fingertips, they have musical instruments, and storytelling in these incredible new ways that we didn’t have. And so I think that parents can really embrace that, and they don’t have to be so fearful about technology just because they don’t understand it themselves.

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