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.
JERUSALEM — Jennifer Lopez reportedly will perform in Israel for the first time.
Lopez agreed to hold a concert this summer in Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, the Ynet news website reported Monday.
She is among several high-profile artists and bands who are scheduled to perform in Israel this summer.
They include Elton John, Deep Purple, Megadeath and Julio Iglesias.
Lopez, who stars with Ray Liotta in the new television show “Shades of Blue,” will serve as a judge for the 15th and final season of “American Idol.”
She has been on the show for several seasons.
JERUSALEM — Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performed to sold-out audiences in Tel Aviv ove the weekend.
Seinfeld performed two shows on Saturday night and two more on Sunday evening at an 11,000-seat basketball arena. The performances are Seinfeld’s first in Israel.
“Oh my god, I’m in Israel!” he said at the beginning of his first one-hour show.
During his encore, Seinfeld took questions from the audience. He did not discuss the security situation or talk specifically about Israel during his routine.
The comedian, who starred in the eponymous hit TV show in the 1990s, last visited Israel in 2007 when he was promoting “The Bee Movie.”
In 1971, he volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz.
Last week, audiences at Tel Aviv’s Fashion Week were surprised when Tovale+, a label run by mother and daughter team Tovale and Namma Chasin, wrapped up their show to Mordechai Ben David’s upbeat song “Maaminim.” Ben David, an American Hasidic Jewish singer popular in the Orthodox community, was an unlikely choice for the high-fashion event.
The festive tune was a change of pace for the show, which otherwise featured quiet classical and electronic music. The show’s models, previously straight-faced, danced, laughed, and held hands as they collectively walked the runway to Ben David’s beats.
Hebrew and Yiddish music doesn’t tend to make much of an impact on the fashion show circuit – many of us would agree that, all things told, it’s not publically viewed as especially hip – but the Tovale+ show was the second time this season that placed an explicitly religious Jewish song in a prominent position. As part of New York Fashion Week, Givenchy’s show – which, taking place on September 11th, adopted a somber mood – opened to a female vocalist singing “Shalom Aleichem.”
What to make of this trend? This paper has recently considered whether and how Judaism needs to adapt to a boredom-averse contemporary era; perhaps high fashion will be an unlikely solution.
Want to travel like a superstar? Skip the French riviera and head to Tel Aviv.
The Norman, a small hotel on Nahmani Street, has just been declared the “best boutique hotel” in the world by Jetsetter magazine. The posh establishment, barely a year old, boasts 50 individually designed rooms and suites.
A word of caution, though. This lifestyle doesn’t come cheap. Accomodations start at around $415 a night for a classic room. But as Haaretz points out, if you’re feeling like a big spender, you can drop roughly seven times that amount for a 250 square-foot duplex penthouse suite with an outdoor hot tub.
“Set in two 1920s residences (one lemon-yellow, one powder-blue), the property overlooks King Albert Square,” the editors wrote. “The rooms have a serene urban loft feel, with hardwood floors, pastel hues, floor-to-ceiling windows and midcentury furniture. Book a Loft Suite for a lounge area, a large bathroom with a tub, and a balcony. Head to the rooftop for a dip in the [infinity] pool and views of Tel Aviv’s skyline.”
Jetsetter editors selected the best in 23 categories, including ” best boutique” “best over-the-top luxury,” “best for foodies,” “best for romance,” “best-looking guests,” “best all inclusive,” and “best nightlife.” The picks were largely based on reviews from the magazine’s 200 travel correspondents.
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