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Today in Poorly Conceived Recreation Ideas



If running away from an angry mob sounds like something you’d want to do with your kids, there’s now an escape room for you.

A company called One Before is building what it bills as “Jewish escape room” offering a “meshugeneh amount of family fun and inspiration” at 1905 Ave. M in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood.

“We aim to get you to experience the fusion of genealogy and an escape room: finding clues and connections to bring out the ultimate detective of Jewish past in you,” the company writes in its blog.

Except that experience takes the concept of an escape room too literally and hinges on time travel that takes you, among other places like Los Angeles and Ellis Island, to 19th-century Russia where you’ll be tasked with escaping a pogrom.

For those unfamiliar with the ugly history of being Jewish in Russia, a pogrom is a large, organized mob that would would torture and kill Jewish people and loot their homes in the 19th century. How is this meant to be a family-friendly experience, exactly?

The company bases its premise on a man named Arthur Kurzweil, who went searching for his Jewish identity through genealogy. “It evolves from research to becoming a question of identity,” the company’s blog explains. “We hope to emulate the sense of adventure, those perplexing and puzzling moments in our escape room — where there is never a guarantee of figuring it all out.”

That may be fine when it comes to knowing whether your great grandmother had a bat mitzvah, but a little ominous when considering the problems faced by the Jewish community in the recent past, not to mention the ones posed by the burgeoning neo Nazi movement.

You think it might be a bit ominous? I don’t care if this is run by Jewish-Americans, which it seems to be, it is an atrocious ideas. What is this supposed to accomplish? Who thought this was a good idea?

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