8 Hot Hanukkah Gift Ideas to Make Your Latkes Melt

The Maccabees fought against oppression and won their religious freedom, culminating into what we know as Hanukkah.  More than 2000 years later, the modern day world rejoices, yet wages its own war against paying retail prices during this, our high season.  With enough selection to make your head spin like an out of control dreidel, try this chosen gift guide to make your Hanukkah shopping less painful than sitting next to your great aunt Fritzie during the holidays.  These hot items could make even Bubbe’s bacon latke poppers look tepid.



In The Hebrew Hammer, Adam Greenberg shines as brightly as your burning Hanukkah bush in this 2003 Comedy Central subversive treat. Mine through amazon.com and dig up the classic DVD for $14 to get you in that elusive mitzvah mood. 



ModernTribe.com provides the calendar – you provide the tissues to wipe off the drool: the 2011 “Nice Jewish Guy” calendar has enough post-grad professionals with a penchant for long walks through the desert to make you melt.  Let Jewish mothers everywhere kvell ‘til their kishkes hurt.  $15.95 while supplies – nice Jewish guys, that is – lasts.


If after all these years, you still call Hanukkah’s traditional delicacy “jelly donuts,” then you’ll definitely need a crash course in kosher cooking with this indispensable gift: private cooking class with a professional chef at Manhattan’s JCC. In it, you’ll not only learn that its proper name is sufganiyot, but you can also get great recipes for latkes and other holiday favorites – and become a veritable balabusta-in-the-making. (Ideal for snagging one of those nice Jewish guys. See above.) Also a perfect vehicle for subtly suggesting to your loved ones that although they’ve raised high-pitched shrieking to an art form, they can’t cook to save their touches.  Call 646.505.5713 to learn more.



“Totally Neurotic” embossed eye mask with silver trim. Perfect for the Material Mammala, whose nocturnal neuroses interferes with her sleep.  A must-have item for any holier than thou household.  Available through www.shopkitson.com for $10.



With all the material gifts for giving, there’s one gift that’s slightly less tangible – but volumes more gratifying. Donating to Blue Card Fund, which aids the neediest Holocaust survivors, isn’t just a nice thing to do for the holidays, it’s really an obligation.  Check out www.bluecardfund.org to see how you can help.



A little soul-searching never hurt anyone. OK, so maybe it has. But it’s the holidays, after all, so let’s not focus on the negative – at least in mixed company. Rabbi Simon Jacobson’s updated Toward a Meaningful Life is especially poignant and relevant at a time when we all have to dig a little deeper than our pockets for some perspective. $13.95 at www.meaningfullife.com.



Veteran funnyman, Sam Hoffman, has been spinning his proverbial dreidel jokes for thousands of years. The kosher kid’s new hit Old Jews Telling Jokes will have you laughing your tzitzits off. This compilation of heeb hop jokes sound so wrong, but feel so right – old world meets new dick jokes.  The book dropped like a matzah ball in the fall, but check out www.oldjewstellingjokes.com for your own personal copy. A drop of sacrilege with a whole lot of heart, a little tzedakah for the soul. The book: $15. Hearing your 87-year old bubbe deliver sex jokes with a straight face: priceless.



MoMA’s mult-functional flexus menorah is oh so post-modern.  For $125, it better be.  Available at MoMA’s online store, www.momastore.org.  It’s the quintessential gift that keeps on giving, even more so than a Jewish mother’s guilt for dumping that recently-separated, yet still spry, urologist.


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