Talk about a lit Hanukkah.
Elite Daily rallied together four grandmothers to sit down with so-called “weed smoker extraordinaire” Evan Jones and get the ultimate crash course in joint rolling — just in time for the Festival of Lights.
Watch below for a whole lot of weed smoking, latke eating, Hebrew singing and a pretty raucous dance party:
Want to make your Hanukkah extra special this year?
The limited edition bong menorah has made its way back onto the internet for purchase — just in time for the holidays.
Featuring eight glass bowls and an elevated mouthpiece, the Grav Labs product is a more compact version of its predecessor (which completely sold out).
It also packs a punch.
“As good as it looks! Just buy it!” one reviewer commented this week. “Warning: don’t sit down to write checks immediately after using.”
The multipurpose menorah sells for $700 and has almost completely sold out over at 420 Science.
Here’s to a happy, hazy holiday!
We at the Forward have a burning passion for truth and a fierce love of Hanukkah. And, needless to say, no one can hold a candle to our reporting.
So to celebrate the miracle of the oil, we decided to put two traditional Hanukkah items that go great together, together. And we created — with the help of our incredibly talented production department (I can in all honesty say that no one is like Nikki Casey) and our friends at Tipsy Elves and Lord & Taylor — the human Hebrew hanukiah!
Every day we will “light” another candle and the hanukiah will beam refulgently from the top of our Facebook page. Who will be where? Who will wear which sweater? Who will be the central shammes ready to light the other candles? Visit the page to see the answers to these world-shattering questions — and “like” us (and our ridiculous effort) while you are there!
Dan Friedman is the managing editor and chief Hanukkah correspondent for the Forward.
We’ve compiled a list of 39 things to eat, watch, read and do on Chrismukkah. The only hard part now is choosing!
Go out for (or make!) hot chocolate
Get your sugar rush at one of these restaurants, cafes or bars open on December 24 and 25.
• Try Max Brenner’s Pumpkin Spiced Mocha: hot chocolate mixed with espresso and homemade pumpkin syrup (NYC, $6)
• Sip on Parc Brasserie’s classic Hot Chocolat ($4.50), or if you’re feeling more adventurous, try their grown-up version Café Parc: French vanilla infused Tito’s Vodka and Kahlúa mixed with La Colombe Espresso (Philadelphia, $12)
• Bombobar serves up both a Hot Chocolate ($5) and a Hotter Chocolate — the latter comes with your choice of S’mores- or Funfetti-themed additions (Chicago, $9, December 24 only)
• Tel Avivians adore Benedict’s for their 24/7 breakfast food, but they also serve a hot chocolate to die for. (Tel Aviv, ₪13)
• Tmol Shilshom, an adorable literary-themed cafe tucked away a short walk from the busy shuk, serves the tastiest hot drinks in town. (Jerusalem, various prices)
• New Yorkers rejoiced when the Israeli coffee chain Aroma opened up locations stateside — they’ll rejoice even more when they try the hot chocolate with marshmallows over the holiday weekend (NYC, $4.95)
• Stuck at home? Make delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate with spicy chile powders and cinnamon
• Or whip up some Frozen Hot Chocolate if you’re blessed with warmer weather
• The curious palate will love Sachlav, a Middle Eastern take on hot chocolate
• But traditionalists might want to stick to Italy-inspired Bicerin, rich with heavy cream
Get in the Hanukkah spirit
Start celebrating those eight days right with some quirky, entertaining and sexy (yes, sexy) activities.
• Go see “Menorah Horah,” a Hanukkah themed burlesque show featuring comedy duo The Schlep Sisters on Christmas Eve. New York City, The Highline Ballroom, Tickets: $25 advance/ $30 at door
• Check out the lighting of the world’s largest menorah (4,000-pound, 32-foot-tall) in Brooklyn, New York. Grand Army Plaza, December 25, 8pm, Free.
• Eat chinese food and watch classics “Toy Story” and “Tootsie” at The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage in Gloucester, MA. December 24, 5:15-10:30, $20.00/adults, $12.00/kids 6-18.
• Listen to live jazz music and eat chinese food, latkes and gelt at Beth Menachem Chabad of Newton in Newton, MA. December 24, $5/advance, $10/at door, 7pm.
• Go to “Hanukkah at Universal Citywalk,” one of the biggest Hanukkah celebrations in Southern California. The event features a 1,000 pound menorah and Jewish rock bands Pardes Rock and 8th Day. December 24, 100 Universal City Plaza, 8-10 p.m.
• Dan Friedman’s piece on why he hates Hanukkah and you should, too
• Or Benjamin Resnick on learning to love Chrismukkah
• Feel for the woman who became The Grinch of Christmas Street
• And the rabbi whose daughter asked him for a Christmas Tree
• Snuggle up with a hot drink and a fresh print edition of the Forward
Go party hard
C’mon, you deserve it.
• Unattached and looking to meet people? Matzo Ball is a national party for Jewish singles. Parties are held on Christmas Eve and take place in Miami, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York and Los Angeles.
• Get your groove on listening Bollywood music (with a twist). DJ Rekha will be mixing Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music at (le) poisson rouge in New York City on Christmas. 10pm, $12/advance, $15/day of.
• Have a jazz-filled brunch at Blue Note in New York City. Tickets are $35 and include brunch, music and a drink.
Watch TV or go to the movies
Sometimes you just need to watch Netflix under the covers.
• Haven’t binge watched the new season of “Transparent”? Watch it on Amazon Prime.
• Go see Natalie Portman in the biopic “Jackie.”
• Check out Chelsea Handler’s talk show “Chelsea” streaming on Netflix for your pop culture, comedy and current events fix.
Make yummy Hanukkah themed treats
Eat Chinese Food
What’s more of a tradition than Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve? Get your fix at one of these restaurants, all open Dec 24 and 25.
• Dine on traditional favorites at the chic and sleek O’Woks (Los Angeles, kosher, entrees $18-35)
• Buddha Bodai is a hidden Chinatown gem serving up vegan Asian cuisine (NYC, kosher, entrees $9-22)
• Even the hardest to impress guests will be moved by the fantastic offerings at Hakkasan (NYC, not kosher, entrees $24-158)
• Florida’s Jews are blessed with warm winter weather and the delicious food of Soho Asian Bar and Grill (Aventura FL, kosher, entrees $13-52)
• If you can’t decide between American, Israeli, or Szechuan cuisine, KB Grill & Wok has you covered (Baltimore, kosher, entrees $9-19)
• Members of Secret Tel Aviv often rave about Xing Long — and the fact that it’s open on Shabbat (Tel Aviv, not kosher, ₪46-80)
• Or perhaps spicy eggplant and sirloin steak stir-fry is more your thing?
• If you’ve got time, make your own Chinese 5 spice
• Then add it to this easy chicken stir fry
Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s contributing network editor. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins. Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @theakglassman.
(JTA) — ‘Tis the season of TV Christmas specials! The drama, the intrigue, your favorite TV characters in ill-fitting Santa costumes — the Christmas special has been a popular trope on American TV.
Unfortunately, one cannot say the same for Hanukkah, which this year starts on Dec. 24 — yep, Christmas Eve. It’s very hard to find convincing TV portrayals of the Jewish winter festival — which is a shame because this writer humbly believes it could be source of some great TV moments.
Imagine if you will the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” playing a dramatic game of dreidel before a Hanukkah eve surgery, or the cast of the “Big Bang Theory” arguing over a spread of delicious fried foods. Or even a cathartic menorah lighting after a gory battle in an episode of “Game of Thrones.” OK, OK — maybe the last one is a little ridiculous.
Nevertheless, these eight TV series managed to get Hanukkah right — or, at least, almost right.
Let’s hope that by next Hanukkah, this list grows even bigger. (I’m looking at you “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Transparent.”) In the meantime, get in the Festival of Lights spirit and check out one — or all eight — of these fun TV shows.
Before he went on to create “Gossip Girl,” a twentysomething Josh Schwartz gave a serious nod to his Jewish upbringing with this California-based teen drama. The show, which focuses on the Cohens — a family with a Jewish patriarch and a WASPy matriarch — popularized the term “Chrismukkah” (a combination of Christmas and Hanukkah for those of you who didn’t know). Seth Cohen, played by Adam Brody, explains that he invented the “the greatest superholiday known to mankind” when he was 6 years old. During its four seasons, “The O.C” had a yearly Chrismukkah episode.
It’s easy to forget that many of the characters in the hit TV comedy “Friends” are actually Jewish (Ross, Monica and possibly Rachel), but in this episode, Ross, played by David Schwimmer, tries to get his young son excited about Hanukkah by dressing up like the “Holiday Armadillo” and telling him the story of Hanukkah. Why an armadillo? We’re not sure. Especially because armadillos aren’t kosher (and probably shouldn’t be eaten at all). But one thing we do know is that Schwimmer looking adorable in his armadillo suit sure gets us in a festive mood.
Saturday Night Live
While it never really portrayed a Hanukkah celebration, “Saturday Night Live” has had fun with the Jewish holiday on several occasions.
First, there’s the legendary Hanukkah Harry, savior of Christmas, which as SNL said was brought to us by “Hallmark Cards and the Anti-Defamation League.” Jon Lovitz is delightful in this classic sketch.
The beloved ’90s cartoon about a group of gregarious and highly imaginative toddlers had two Jewish specials — for Passover and Hanukkah. The latter is adorable — and notable, too, for giving King Antiochus the nickname the “Meanie of Chanukah.” Unfortunately, the Anti-Defamation League wasn’t charmed by the portrayal of Grandpa Boris and Grandma Minka, who they claimed looked like anti-Semitic cartoons. Eventually, after Abe Foxman complained about a portrayal of Boris in a comic strip in 1998, Nickelodeon decided to stop producing comics or illustrations with the character.
However, this charming Hanukkah episode remains one of the most captivating portrayals of Jewish holidays in American cartoons.
Oh, how we miss Fran Drescher! It’s hard not to love this classic sitcom about the flamboyantly dressed, nasal-voiced Fran Fine, a Jewish nanny from Queens who is hired to care for three high-society New York kids and ends up falling for their somewhat uptight and charming British dad. The show had its Hanukkah episode deep into its sixth and final season. Early on, Fran is asked, “Why do all the Jewish holidays start at sundown?”
She answers in her usual Nanny fashion: “That’s because God realized that before 5 p.m., to wear sequins is gauche.”
The episode features adorable flashbacks of Fran as a kid, including a serendipitous meeting with a young Mr. Sheffield, a menorah lighting and, funnily enough, a nun.
Brothers & Sisters
Did you know this underrated TV drama starring Calista Flockhart, Sally Fields and Rob Lowe was actually about a Jewish family? Well, to be fair, the showrunners did a pretty good job at ignoring that until the 10th episode of season 1 (the show ran for five seasons).
After a conversation in class with a Jewish classmate, the young granddaughter of the Walker family suddenly realizes both her grandmother and mother are Jewish, and therefore — spoiler alert! — so is she. When she asks her grandmother why they never celebrate Hanukkah, the Sally Fields character answers: “You can ethnically be Jewish, but at the same time, Santa is so much fun.”
The episode features a Hanukkah feast and, of course, ends with a moving and cathartic candle lighting, which is an underused trope on TV. (Just saying.)
It seems unfair not to address one of the only shows still airing on TV that is actually, you know, about a Jewish family. “The Goldbergs” perfectly addresses the Christmas envy that is rampant among Jews in American suburbia with this episode called “A Christmas Story.” The family matriarch, Beverly, attempts to get her family enthused about Hanukkah by inventing “Super Hanukkah,” which when you hear about the holiday sounds a lot like … Well, see for yourself.
It’s hard to watch this show featuring a young Shia LaBeouf without thinking about all the controversy the actor would become embroiled in. Yet this family-friendly sitcom about the California-based, somewhat dysfunctional Stevens family, whose matriarch is Jewish, features a sweet Hanukkah episode. Louis Stevens, played by the then-innocent LaBeouf, is grounded after finding and opening all his Hanukkah gifts without permission. Louis is upset about ruining Hanukkah, and what follows is a charming re-enactment of “It’s a Wonderful Life” featuring the ghost of Louis’ great-great-great-great-grandmother, Bubbe Rose. It’s adorable and heartwarming and a nostalgic reminder of simpler days.
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