The Magic Door

Talking to someone here on LJ I realized that I have a huge amount of Jewish influence in my life. I’ve had exes say I’m the most Jewish non-Jew they know (ok, ok, she used the word shikse . . . :P ). I studied Kabbalah while at Yale. And I went to more temples on Saturday (through bar/bat mitzvah) as a kid than I ever went to church on Sunday (I was supposed to be Catholic…)

Then a glimmer of recognition appeared. Before the Saturday-morning cartoons on WBBM-TV, Channel 2 in Chicago, I used to watch The Magic Door. I remember it being a mix of children’s educational television and Jewish moral grounding, but I also don’t believe it was heavily burdened with religious symbolism.

Information on the program is hard to come by now (a quick Google search turned up only a few references), but I’m curious — does anyone else remember this show?

9 thoughts on “The Magic Door

  1. “Open, come open, the magic door with me.
    Its your imagination…”

    It was Tiny Tov who hosted the program now known as Rabi Joe Black, a singing Rabbi based out of Albaqwuerque. He’ll be in Chicago for the Jewish Folk Fest 6/13 in Morton Grove this summer. (

    It was a great program, and it dissappeared sometime in the 80’s. I have an early memory of watching the program and singing the theme song. I also remember going to see Tiny Tov at a shul function as a kid and being amazed the Tiny, who was supposed to be 10 inches tall, ws more like a grown man in a peter pan outfit…

    adam davis

  2. It was a formative experience, indeed. I believe it showed on Sunday mornings, as the Jewish institutions would frown on a Jewish show on Shabbes.

    But I vivedly remember Tiny Tov in his Peter pan outfit and his guitar. When I was about 4, my parents took me to see him live at our new synagogue in Deerfield, and I was shocked to learn that he wasn’t tiny at all. Still, everyone knows that song. I miss that show and wish it were still being produced. Quality children’s programming. FYI, the last of the Tiny Tov’s is still performing. Rabbi Joe Black has a pulpit in albuquerque NM and is a minor cause celeb in Jewish music circles. He comes to Chicago about 2x a year- his folks still live in Evanston…

    adam davis

  3. I do remember The Magic Door & Tiny Tov with fond memories. It was aired on Sunday mornings at 7:00am. Although I am a gentile, & was a child at the time the show was on and didn’t quite understand this was a show about Judeism (I was raised Catholic) I still enjoyed it tremendously. I have been searching for months for anyone who may have captured episodes on VHS for sale today.

  4. It is amazing what you can find on the Internet! I was in the kitchen, and suddenly I’m singing (and I’m going to spell these words phonetically as I am not Jewish) ” A rume Zoom Zoom, A rume Zoom Zoom, gilly gilly, gilly, gilly gilly a sah sah. Come thru the Magic Door with me, just say these words and wonderous things you’ll see. ” My kids look at me as if I’m crazy and I tell them, “Every Sunday morning before church, Tiny Tov was on and we loved it! I also was raised in the South suburbs of Chicago. So glad to see I’m not the only one who remembers this.

  5. Don’t ask me why but when I lived in Germany as a little kid (mid 80’s) the magic door was on tv. I still have a couple episodes on tape.


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