Bright Lights, Big City: Chanukah Gift Guide


Artisanal Holiday

One of the most beautiful books published this year, Lynn Holstein’s “Artisans of Israel: Transcending Tradition” (Arnoldsche Art Publishers) is a series of cultural portraits of 40 artisans from all sectors of Israeli society, doing innovative and gorgeous work in glass, metalwork, fiber, ceramics and wood.

$65, at bookstores.

A Winter’s Tail

This year, Maira Kalman joins the roster of great New York artists offering prints as holiday cards to benefit Citymeals on Wheels, which has been helping homebound elderly New Yorkers since 1981. The Israeli-born Kalman, whose artwork is found in The Jewish Museum, contributes a whimsical New York scene, “A Winter’s Tail.” Each package of five cards (blank inside, made of recycled materials) includes separate vellum notes indicating a contribution to Citymeals in the recipient’s honor.

$34 (plus $4 delivery fee);, or (646) 866-6284.

Ancient Lights

New York City ceramic artist Rachael Pots has created a menorah made of nine individual hand-thrown bottles — recalling the single oil casks from the Chanukah story — attached side-by-side.

$135, available in blue or white speckled pottery, La Terrine, 280 Columbus Ave., (212) 362-2122,

A Comic’s New Line

Alex Borstein (who plays Susie Myerson on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) introduces a new line of “sleeves” for women, solving the challenge of sleeveless dresses. Alex (not Susie), a lover of fashion, designed these (which attach to the armhole of a dress with invisible tape), inspired by her “red carpet woes.” The Henabees, named for her two children, are available in four varieties of lace, patterned and sheer materials (tape included), each named for a powerful performer who advanced the cause of women in the performing arts.


Transparent Beauty

Bryan Goldstein, known as BGOLD, is a Jewish glass blower in Denver Colorado who creates traditional ritual items out of glass. His stunning oil vessel, which features a cork and stainless steel drizzler, is in the shape of a pomegranate, recalling the miracle of Chanukah, as the potential of the tiniest seeds is infinite.


Upcycled Art

Brooklyn-based artist Sara Erenthal has spent the last two decades creating repurposed art in her studio by painting on discarded items. She’s also known in the street art community for upcycling furniture and other items left on the streets by giving them a facelift. (We covered her work in March, read the full story here.) Erenthal is offering individualized versions of her signature outdoor paintings. Readers can make an appointment to meet her, bring an object (with a smooth surface, at least 8-by-10 inches), and she will draw her “subconscious self-portraits” on them on the spot.


Spinning Stories

From The Jewish Museum, three exclusive and intriguing variations on the dreidel: Tel Aviv artist Laura Corwin has created the “Smart Dreidel,” a modern acrylic dreidel that includes instructions on its surface and is featured in the museum’s collection. The Spinning Felt Dreidels are handmade by women artisans in Kyrgyzstan from sustainably harvested, locally sourced merino wool. Philadelphia wood artisan Jack Feldman has designed and handcrafted a limited-edition elegant box out of maple and walnut in the shape of a dreidel, with wood inlays for the letters – each box is made of more than 50 components.

Smart Dreidel, $125 ($112.50 museum members); Spinning Felt Dreidel, $22 ($19.80); Dreidel box, $300 ($270).

Flameless Lights

Made in Israel by artist Naama Weiss, the Rainbow Menorah features brightly-colored acrylic “candles.”

$42 ($37.80 museum members), The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave., (212) 423-3333,

Starry Nights

Kurt Meyer makes beautiful small works in wood, “by hand and heart,” using traditional tools in a solar-powered workshop in Western Massachusetts. His small hangings, shaped in the Star of David in a design technique called parquetry, are fragrant of wood.

$25, Magpie, 488 Amsterdam Ave., (212) 579-3003,

Golden Adventures

From Israeli author and filmmaker Ori Elon, co-creator of “Shtisel,” “A Basket Full of Figs” is a retelling of a midrashic fable about taking care of the natural world and each other. Illustrated in full color and charm by Menahem Halberstadt, the story features the Emperor Hadrian, a wise old man, figs and gold coins.

$12.95, at bookstores.

Dreidel Meets Preppy

Rabbi Yael Buechler introduces argyle to her collection of holiday-inspired products.


A Gift Of Art

Here’s a way to help good causes and acquire beautiful art: Diane Brawarsky offers “Prints for Social Change,” digital color prints (17-by-22-inches) of original artwork, with a portion of the proceeds going to organizations like A Growing Culture (food security) and Everytown for Gun Safety. The posters are striking and colorful, with messages advocating for social justice. (Yes, the artist is my sister.)

$100 plus shipping, or