Sheir was a host and reporter at a number of NPR member stations before she and her husband decided to move to Western Massachusetts to start an audio production company. In 2016, WBUR reached out to her about starting a kid-focused podcast; Sheir then came up with the idea to retell folktales as old-fashioned radio plays. She created a pilot featuring a Yiddish story she’d heard as a child from her rabbi (Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander voiced the lead). WBUR loved the pitch; the series officially launched in 2017 and is now in its sixth season with more than 180 episodes.
Sheir focuses on finding a breadth of stories — recent episodes have highlighted tales from Armenia, Finland and the Cherokee Nation — and in 2022 she partnered with a Massachusetts publishing company to produce books based on some of her favorite episodes. The first book was released last summer and two more quickly followed; the fourth will be released this year.
— Anne-Ryan Sirju JRN’09
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