Sold Out in 10 Days, This Year’s Must Have Hanukkah Gift Puts the “Oy” Into Toy

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MENSCH ON A BENCH™ provides Jewish children with a tradition-appropriate alternative to the widely popular ELF ON A SHELF®.


This year, Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving and some lucky families are thankful they were able to get a new Hanukkah tradition called THE MENSCH ON A BENCH.

Last November, creators Neal and Erin Hoffman were walking through Macy’s explaining to their 4-year-old son Jacob why the “Elf on a Shelf” did not visit their Jewish home. Inspired to create a Jewish alternative, one year and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, THE MENSCH ON A BENCH made its debut this holiday season.

THE MENSCH ON A BENCH launched to an incredible response on social media and sold out in less than two weeks. Hoffman plans to order more Mensches right away and allow families to pre-order Mensches to get-in on the craze for Hanukkah 2014. "The Mensch has really delivered on a key insight in the Jewish community and given an opportunity for parents to add a fun tradition to the holiday," said Laurie Schacht of The Toy Insider.

THE MENSCH ON A BENCH comes with a hardcover book that tells the story of Moshe the Mensch, who was in the temple with the Maccabees after they won the war against the Greeks. There was only enough oil for one night and what if the oil went out while the Jews were sleeping? Thankfully, Moshe volunteered to sit on the bench and watch over the Menorah. What a Mensch sitting on that Bench!

“The goal of the Mensch is to serve as a center point for young Jewish families to inspire them to honor age-old traditions, while also enjoying the opportunity to add new ones,” says co-creator Neal Hoffman. Each night Moshe incorporates a different Jewish tradition into the story.

In addition to the hardcover book, families receive their very own 12’’ plush Mensch to watch over their Menorah. The Mensch loves to play dreidel, eat Latkes (potato pancakes), sing songs, and be with family… all the things families should be doing as part of Hanukkah.

“Christian and Jewish children alike enjoy wonderful traditions during the holidays, but too often Jewish children can feel ‘left out’ because of highly popular icons like Santa Claus and most recently, Elf on a Shelf,” said Erin Hoffman, co-creator of THE MENSCH ON A BENCH. “Moshe is designed to provide Jewish families with their own iconic figure, who can help bring some extra Funukkah to Hanukkah,” she added.

THE MENSCH ON A BENCH is only available in limited quantities and is available exclusively at for $36

A very limited number of samples are available to the press upon request.

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Neal Hoffman
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