Oh, hey, I only just now saw this. A couple of thoughts:
* Have you considered going a step further in your "radical redesign of the Scenario mechanism" by not pre-assigning Scenarios at all? It felt to me like a lot of intimidating responsibility--"you mean I'm responsible for coming up with and playing *all* of the NPCs in the entire shtetl, on the spur of the moment?"--and I was immensely relieved when other players took on some of that. I think that having a Scenario that encompasses a setting (such as the Wild Forest) may require too much from the player who has that scenario when that setting is active (and too little from the other players), unless you expect there to be a lot more setting-shifting than happened in our instance.
So I could imagine players volunteering on the fly to take a Scenario, or randomly assigning a player or set of players to a Scenario that's just become relevant, or various other variations, rather than having Scenarios be "owned" per se (regardless of how much swapping goes on).
* As V mentioned, I think a lot of reading material may add to the intimidation levels rather than reduce them. For example, though a glossary and pronunciation guide would be nice, I vaguely recall thinking that the sheer number of unfamiliar terms pertaining to Jewish mysticism was a little hard to cope with (maybe this is the Unseen World description you mention in this entry? I forget), and I'm not sure it would be an improvement to make the player read through several pages of glossary entries in order to understand those terms. I wonder if you could set some things aside as advanced/experienced/optional to streamline the amount of reading that new players would have to do, while allowing for extra richness for people who wanted to go deeper.
(This applies to expanding the Scenarios to a full page, too--on the one hand, all the things you mention to go on the second half-page are great, but on the other hand, doubling the amount of reading necessary to understand the Scenario seems likely to increase setup time.)