November 7, 2013

Celebrate Thanksgivukkah and the Menurkey at the Jewish Museum

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The Jewish Museum Shop Is Exclusive NYC Retailer of Hanukkah-Thanksgiving Sensation the Menurkey

New York, NY - This year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide on November 28th, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. In celebration of “Thanksgivukkah,” The Jewish Museum Shop is the exclusive New York City retailer of the Menurkey, a Hanukkah lamp in the shape of a turkey designed by 9-year-old New Yorker Asher Weintraub.

Inspired by the themes of thankfulness that both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving share, Weintraub set out to create the perfect way to commemorate this unique combined holiday. He used Tinkercad, a 3-D modeling platform, to develop the first sketches of the Menurkey prototype and, with help from his parents and Makerbot Studios, a 3D model was printed. A wildly successful Kickstarter campaign funded production; they ended up with nearly double the requested pledge amount.

Commenting on the Menurkey, “As a retailer for 15 years, I have never before seen such a phenomenon regarding a Hanukkah lamp,” observed Stacey Zaleski, Director of Merchandising at The Jewish Museum.

The Jewish Museum Shop has one of the largest selections of Hanukkah lamps in New York City, ranging from artist and designer interpretations to reproductions of historic menorahs in the Museum’s collection. The Menurkey is available in the Museum’s shop as well as online for $50.00, $45.00 for Jewish Museum members. Made of plaster and measuring 6.5"h x 8.5"w x 5.5"d, the Menurkey is produced locally in New Jersey. More information is available at www.menurkey.com.

At the The Jewish Museum’s annual Hanukkah Family Day on Sunday, November 24, Asher Weintraub will be on site to sign his creation at 11:30am. Members of the Dirty Sock Funtime Band will also be on hand to play an unplugged version of their new song, “Hanukkah, O Hanukkah, Come Light the Menurkey” and other holiday songs. In addition, the event will include workshops featuring edible cookie art in celebration of “Thanksgivukkah” and family gallery tours of the Museum’s renowned collection of Hanukkah lamps.

The Jewish Museum is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture and has the world’s largest and finest Hanukkah lamp collection with over 1,100 objects from around the world spanning five centuries of artistic production. Visitors to The Jewish Museum can see over 50 Hanukkah lamps currently on view in the permanent exhibition, and the Museum’s free Hanukkah app, Light My Fire, enables anyone with an iOS or Android device to explore and digitally light a selection of lamps from the collection.

The Menurkey is part of a long history of Hanukkah lamp design, as reflected in the extraordinary collection of The Jewish Museum. The joyous nature of Hanukkah has led over the centuries to a profusion of imaginative lamp shapes and decorations, serious or whimsical: biblical figures, characters from popular culture, buildings, exuberant flowers or exotic animals. Each lamp reflects the interactions between artistic expression, Jewish traditions, historic and geographic influences, and personal experience. Local styles and motifs may be seen in many of the lamps and show the great diversity of places that Jews have settled and flourished.

The festival of Hanukkah commemorates an ancient victory for religious freedom - the reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. According to legend, a miracle occurred as the Jews gave thanks for divine intervention. A one-day supply of consecrated oil necessary for worship burned for eight days, enough time to create more oil. Hanukkah celebrates freedom and the blessing of miracles, and the tradition of kindling the festival lights continues to have profound meaning around the world. Hanukkah begins this year at sundown on Wednesday, November 27 (the evening before Thanksgiving Day).

About the Jewish Museum

Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging, educational, and provocative exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members. Admission is Pay What You Wish on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm and free on Saturdays. For information on the Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at www.thejewishmuseum.org.

Press contacts

Anne Scher, Molly Kurzius, or Alex Wittenberg
The Jewish Museum
212.423.3271 or pressoffice@thejm.org