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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins. Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @theakglassman.
A year ago, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West were the talk of Israel when they baptized their daughter, North, in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Today, Scott Disick, Kourtney Kardashian’s Jewish ex-boyfriend, was the one looking for a religious experience in the city.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star arrived for a short visit to the Holy Land on Tuesday night with Kardashian sister and teen-queen Kylie Jenner. Disick took in the sights in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where he is [rumored to be in talks to buy a $6 million Luxury penthouse.
Always very vocal about his Jewishness, Disick has three children with the eldest Kardashian sister. He has also been public about his struggle with alcohol and substance abuse and his efforts to stay sober following several stints in rehab.
The 33 year old shared a photo of himself being blessed by a rabbi at the Western Wall. Fittingly, as the king of one-liners on KUWK, Disck captioned the photo “Blessings on blessing on blessings on blessings.”
And he found “Hashem is everywhere.”
Of course, no visit to Tel Aviv would be complete without a piping hot shakshuka, and Lord Disick certainly enjoyed the dish.
But whatever reaction Disick has garnered on the streets of Israel is nothing compared to the attention Jenner will get the moment she so much as looks out her hotel window.
Israelis, you better get ready to sing ♬ לואי, לואי, לואי ♬ because Louis C.K., New York’s most irreverent comedian, is packing up and heading for the Holy Land. And no joke is off limits.
Tickets for the August 18 show at Jerusalem’s Payis Arena went on sale on C.K.’s website 6pm Monday evening and were sold out just hours later, leading to many disappointed fans.
Tickets for the event range from NIS 280 to NIS 730 ($73-$191), the Times of Israel reported.
In an April interview on “The Howard Stern Show”, C.K., whose paternal grandfather was Jewish, said he was planning a stand up show in a large Israeli venue to “get as much money over there as I would here at home.” This comes as C.K. finds himself in dire financial straits after putting up two million dollars of his own money to finance his less than successful web series, “Horace and Pete.”
We wouldn’t be surprised if C.K. added another date in Israel due to demand. We also wonder if C.K. will revive some of his old Israel/Palestine material from his SNL hosting gig.
Watch him explain the conflict.
This week we learned that the grand mufti of Jerusalem gave Hitler the idea for the Final Solution — or at least that Israel’s prime minister believes that.
But it turns out that Palestinian nationalist Haj Amin al-Husseini was not merely a notorious anti-Zionist and anti-Semite: He was also a talented hotel builder responsible in part for the acclaimed Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.
The luxury hotel the mufti built — which has since been refurbished considerably and is under new management — was just named top hotel in the Middle East and seventh in the world in the Conde Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
According to the Times of Israel, the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, previously the Palace Hotel, opened in 2014 following a $50 million refurbishment. The original hotel, located in western Jerusalem, near Independence Park, was empty for years, then used for government offices by both the British Mandate and Israel — and then vacant again.
Citing a recent Israeli TV report, the Times of Israel said Israel’s pre-state Haganah planted listening devices in the hotel’s chandeliers to spy on meetings of Britain’s Peel Commission held from late 1936 to mid-1937.
Jerusalem’s Mamilla Hotel and King David Hotel also made the Middle East top 10 list .
According to GoJerusalem, a tourism website, the Palace was built in 1928-29 “under the order of Jerusalem’s Supreme Muslim Council and supervised by the infamous mufti of Jerusalem.”
The engineer supervising the hundreds of Arab workers was Jewish and a Haganah member (facilitating the spying incident later). But, GoJerusalem writes, the Palace didn’t stay in business long:
Due to a hardcore rivalry, much deceit (during the excavation, it was revealed that the site was an old Muslim cemetery – the Mufti covered this up) and a dash of sabotage between the British-appointed Arab mayor and the mufti, the hotel was destined to fail. Management of the hotel was handed over to a local corrupt hotelier, but it was eventually forced to close its doors once the King David opened down the block.
Michael Douglas played the tourist over the weekend after accepting the 2015 Genesis Prize in Jerusalem last Thursday.
“I am a Jew,” Douglas told the crowd assembled for the event, emceed by Jay Leno. “Those are four words of pride. My Jewishness is as deep as my genes.”
Douglas’ wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, model Bar Refaeli and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu were also in attendance. “To borrow a phrase from one of your father’s movies, you two cast a giant shadow over your profession and set a standard for all actors to follow,” Bibi said during the ceremony.
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