Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg are called into the principal's office. "I'm sorry to have to call you both to the Yeshiva," says the principal, "but we have to discuss your son's ability to grasp the work in his class. I'm afraid he's just not able to keep us with the rest of his 5th grade class."
"I don't understand," replies Mr. Greenberg.
"Look at this report card here," says the principal. "All `D's' and `F's.' Your son just doesn't comprehend the work!"
Mr. Greenberg paces around for a moment then requests that his son be brought into the principal's office. When Chaim Greenberg arrives, Mr. Greenberg takes out five baseball cards.
"Chaim, who holds the record for the highest batting average?"
"Ty Cobb!"
"Who was MVP in 1954?"
"Willie Mays!"
"Who won the Cy Young Award in 1963?"
"Sandy Koufax."
Turning to the principal, Mr. Greenberg declares triumphantly, 4"You see, my son can absorb information just as well as any other 5th grader. The problem is that he needs to be motivated!"


Torah Link Collecting Cards is sweeping the country, and with good reason! Kids who collect cards are used to the high quality cards put out by Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck and other sports card companies. They trade them, they flip them, they memorize them...knowing everything about the players and the industry has become an American pastime for kids of all ages.
Now Torah Link Collecting Cards have combined the high quality and attractive design of sports cards with the facts and pictures that are held dear to the Jewish people, and come out with a collecting card that every Jewish child will value.
Produced by Reuven A. Stone of Torah Tots, Inc., New York, The Torah Link Collecting Card is a sharper, higher quality card which combines artistry and education - aspects of any Torah-oriented product. Those who have experienced Torah Tots products have come to expect a higher standard of quality from products released by Reuven A. Stone.


Why call it Torah Link? What's the concept behind the series? Reuven A. Stone explains: "There are many wonderful concepts that one can cover in a collecting card. Some card companies choose to feature Rabbonim; another features scenes from the Torah. We have analyzed the Jewish card market in our search for a theme and we found that the kids we spoke to eventually got bored with the same theme after a while. So we decided to cover it all! After all, there are so many themes that are linked to Torah in one way or another: There is our ancient history that comes alive with discoveries of coins over two thousand years old; the Tanach containing the stories that light the fire of imagination in our children; our Rabbonim, whose very physical image exerts an aura of spirituality and timelessness; the shuls of every size and shape, that are the center of life and Jewish spirit, leaving a ghostly trail as we wander from country to country throughout the exile; nature that excites us with the very sight of an animal, bird, fish or insect exerting natural instincts.
"The random choices of subjects excite and entice children with the expectation of new visual and collecting experiences. Kids love to know that a product is rooting for them and we will do everything we can to involve the kids with contests, completing card series and answering questions."
Indeed, Rabbonim, Tanach, Hashem's Creatures, Ancient Coins and Synagogues are the first five themes touched upon in the first fifty cards of a 200 card series for 5757-58. The next 150 cards will introduce five new themes for the year. Of course, there's always next year and the year after after all, so much is linked to our Torah heritage!
Many children often hear stories from their grandparents about the wonderful old Jewish communities and the beautiful synagogues built in famous Polish, Russian and Eastern European cities. Unfortunately, worn down black and white, pre-Holocaust photos paint a grim picture of Jewish life in Europe. Reuven Stone has carefully worked with available old photos to "colorize" shuls, restoring them to their original, awe-inspiring glory.
"One of the most interesting shuls we came across was the Medieval Synagogue of Cracow, Poland. It is the oldest medieval synagogue still preserved in Poland. The structure has survived hundreds of years of turmoil and stands as a symbol of endurance. Indeed, buildings, paintings, scrolls, tablets, trinkets, geographical locations and our people who live and observe throughout the world are linked to our experience in Torah history."
As part of the first series, Torah Link Collecting Cards features beautiful photographs of the animals that appear throughout the Tanach. These spectacular action shots will excite and delight children. For those who have learned the names from Torah study, the photos bring these words to life. For younger children, it's like a trip to the zoo that leaves them yearning for more!
A popular group of cards which will certainly prove inspiring is the continuing collection of paintings of Gedolim entitled "Rabbonim." This series includes touched-up old photos, reproductions of early pre-photo paintings and interpretive paintings by many talented guest artists.
The "Ancient Coin" series, printed with metallic silver, expresses the hopes and dreams of real people who lived during the time of the Second Bais HaMikdash. It also brings to life the evil enemies such as Titus and Vespasian who sought to destroy our Temple and enslave our people.
Also on the "checklist" for 5757-58 are multiple-card stories of Jewish heroes, Mysteries of the Alef-Bais, scenes from ancient Israel, Parsha By Parsha, The Shevatim and the start of a most comprehensive Time-Line from creation to present day.


The physical appearance of the card is half the sale. Kids today are surrounded by hi-tech, hi-quality products. It is counterproductive for those seeking to provide an alternative to the secular market to present a sub-standard product. Therefore, every effort has been made to produce a card that is every bit as hi-tech as its secular counterpart. The cards are UV coated to bring out the shine and beauty of the artist's work.


One thing is certain: Torah Link Collecting Cards are in for the long haul. "There are literally thousands and thousands of cards that can be developed for categories encompassing Jewish themes - 613 mitzvos, 49 melochos, holidays, brachos, etc. - and we plan to cover many different subjects. A person who begins collecting cards in third grade could, conceivably, still be collecting cards with his children twenty years later," says Reuven A. Stone enthusiastically.
The company plans to release 200 cards per year, broken down into four series of 50 cards. Every three months a new series will be released. The reason for this release schedule is two-fold: Firstly, it is not an overwhelming task to collect 50 cards in a matter of three months. Secondly, we don't want kids to get bored with seeing the same cards over and over again. This way, they only see fifty of the 200 cards at a time and each new release is fresh and exciting for the kids.


With any product released for Jewish children, facts and clarity are essential. As a mother, Charni Sochet, researcher and writer, condensed volumes of works to fill the cards' backs with information that she would want her own four children to know about the subjects included in the series. Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum has supervised the gathering and writing of the fact-filled information. His years of involvement with Torah education and "knack" for simplifying and clarifying information has greatly enhanced the value of TORAH LINK COLLECTING CARDS as a teaching tool.
It is the hope of the TORAH LINK COLLECTING CARDS company that when children look through their cards, they will find them to be a source of motivation and more strongly feel their link to Torah history.


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