giftguide-graphic-008This is one of those years when Hanukkah coincides neatly with Christmas, beginning on December 24, and lasting until January 1, 2017. Because we don’t want to exclude anyone here on the PopCult Gift Guide, we wanted to revisit one of the cool items we saw at the New York International Toy Fair,  Mensch on a Bench. This is the perfect gift for your Jewish friends, or for your Gentile friends if you’re Jewish and want to share a bit of your traditions in a new and fun way. As gifts go, this one is pretty kosher.

mensch-product-shot_transparent-300x300Mensch on a Bench was created by a Jewish father who wanted to teach his sons about the Jewish holiday while adding new traditions to the family. First came the story of Moshe the Mensch who helped Judah Maccabee at the temple. Moshe played dreidel, loved gelt, and was a true Mensch. Next came the doll which could hold the Shamash candle and watch over the Menorah.

This very popular Jewish take on The Elf on a Shelf has been seen on Shark Tank and is expanding this year with new characters like Bubbe, the grandmother dool who talks, oversized versions of the dools as well as books and other products. In the video above, PopCult talked to its creator, Neal Hoffmann, to learn more about how he came up with this fun idea.

You can learn more about Mensch on a Bench and how you can get in on the fun at their website. You can find Mensch on a Bench in select stores, or shop from their entire product line at their online store.