A COLUMBIA AND JOHNS HOPKINS-EDUCATED DATA SCIENTIST DROPPED EVERYTHING FOR THIS...
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Over a school break, my then 14-year old Yoel went to an “Escape Room” with his class.
As actors in an immersive movie, the kids dashed from finding a key hidden inside a container which opened a safe revealing clues to open other locks…to piecing together a wooden image on a desk, to noticing a painting on the wall that could swing (!) and revealed a radio which had to tune to a certain channel... which gave even more clues. On and on the group went, diligently cooperating to move towards a solution... Until the victory – unlocking the door before the hour was up! Still wondering what's an escape room? (click for a video intro)
Yoel was captivated.
He spent days constructing an Escape Room of his own in our Brooklyn basement: complete with combination locks, safes, a cryptic message on a book page, a talking human-size robot, and a claw machine! Many of our friends and family were invited to participate in this challenge.
I have been passionate about researching family history (genealogy) for over twenty years. Some genealogists are working to map out aristocratic family trees reaching as far back as the Middle Ages and even before. If you can trace yourself to one of the aristocratic family trees, hundreds of years of ancestors could suddenly be revealed!
Remember the last election? The genealogy site Geni.com researched Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton families and found they are actually related through shared English aristocratic ancestors that lived almost 700 years ago: the first Duke and Duchess of Lancaster (the title also used by the Queen of England!) John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, married Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, and John and Katherine are Donald and Hillary's shared 18th great-grandparents!
A WALL OF DISBELIEF
How would YOUR life change if you discovered the royal blood is flowing in your veins ?! I am sure YOU are certain no such magic is possible in your family... Read on!
A book by a scientist from California, Dr. Jeffrey Paull, was my epiphany! The book traces the history of a family of aristocratic Jewish descent over the centuries, as they migrated across the European continent until they found themselves in the Russian Empire during the latter part of the 18th century. About 100 years ago, the family migrated to America. See a Paull family gravestone in Brooklyn with the Hebrew inscription translated to English!
I was amazed when I learnt that Dr. Paull was able to restore every single ancestral link connecting himself to the legendary saints and sages the Shpoler Zeide and Pinchas Koritzer (18th century) - both mentioned on the gravestone, their famous 11th century ancestor Rabbi Salomon (Rashi), who was himself a descendant of King David (1000 BCE).
With Dr. Paull’s permission and my son Yoel as an inspiration, I set out to build the World’s First Genealogical Escape Room that would
Recreate through an Escape Room experience the wonderment of family history that transformed Dr. Paull’s life
Use immersion to place the visitor in the middle of true stories that countless children were raised on for millennia
Leave the guests inspired, and wanting to learn more about THEIR OWN roots, the greatness surely hidden within THEM!
Genealogical research, our starting point, just like any other research, is a process of probing, inference, testing hypotheses, and ultimately trial and error. How do you turn something so arcane and technical into an exciting game for families, groups of friends, schools, corporate teams?
Here's where we called Immersive Tech, a Vancouver design aganecy!
We teamed up the global Escape Room design firm to create a world class experience from a technology and design perspective. Immersive Tech designed Escape Rooms for global brands such Intel, Snickers, Weber Shandwick, Kalahari Resorts, and even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - and they agreed to work with us!
If you would like to improve your teamwork, time management, problem solving, focus under pressure, and respect for others that every Escape Room offers and explore our venue's added value such as
European Jewish history (from 11th to 20th century) you will touch as you meet the Medieval Sages, feudal lords, wandering mystics and ordinary thieves
Love of Your Fellow and Self-Sacrifice you will witness when you hear about the Zeide and the Megaleh Amukos who risked their lives for others
Names, education, and assimilation you will learn about as you reconstruct a real family tree of an immigrant family
Thirst for meaning, authenticity and depth you will appreciate as you learn about the greatest treasure of the Jewish people hidden in one of the rooms!
There's much more! See here!
Why should you trust us? You should not! In few short months since we launched, the singular educational and inspirational value we offer to families and their feedback helped us rank #6 among 66 of TripAdvisor Fun &Games establishments in all of Brooklyn. And that's just the beginning! Moreover, we have been crowned as the Best Ethnic Escape Room Experience - New York by LUX Life Magazine in 2019 Family & Visitor Attraction Awards category! So convinced we are of our value, we offer 100% Money Back Guarantee - just ask!