The weirdest Hanukkah gift my sister ever received—and why you (and your family) should join The CJN Circle

What’s the best Hanukkah gift you ever received?

Do you prefer traditional staples, like a new pair of socks (my mother-in-law’s go-to gift)? 

Perhaps you’re satisfied by chocolate coins sprinkled on a table among a handful of dreidels. Giving charity to a worthwhile cause, especially those that fight for the disadvantaged among us, is never a bad idea. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who waited all year for that special something and tore through the wrapping paper before the menorah blessings were even done. 

My favourite Hanukkah present story is actually about my sister. She had two female cousins very close in age, and all three asked for the same thing—the latest in 1988 baby doll technology: Oopsie Daisy could crawl on all fours, all the while shaking its head from side to side and making infant noises. Eventually, she’d fall down and start crying. (You can imagine how excited the parents must’ve been to have three of these wriggling around the dinner table.)

The three girls switched their toys on, and the dolls dutifully began their crawls, with heads swivelling on a 180-degree plane. Except for one—my sister’s. Either someone at the factory forgot to tighten a few screws or the thing was truly possessed, because its cute and smiling head was horrifically spinning 360 degrees, all the way around. Oopsie, Daisy.

My sister and I have laughed about this story every year, even if it was no laughing matter—at least for her—at the time. And that’s the best kind of present. Not that I mind when people go all out for Hanukkah, it’s just that I prefer the gifts that keep on giving, sometimes in totally unexpected ways. 

The CJN has been one such gift to me. And it’s one that has truly lasted decades. Coming from a family of subscribers, I read it at home every week as a kid. In my 20s, I wrote for The CJN as a columnist. In my 30s, I became editor-in-chief. Now, in my 40s, I’ve started setting it on a sustainable path forward.

And I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished a lot since we initially relaunched on Jan. 1, 2021.

We’ve built a completely new website, the initial issues of a glossy print magazine, and a network of unique podcasts exploring all facets of Judaism. The email newsletters keep thousands in the loop all week long. We’ve also done several live virtual events, like a federal election debate—and look forward to more online and in-person gatherings in 2022.

Now, we’re giving our dedicated readers a printable digest, to recreate the traditional experience of reading The CJN’s latest stories over Shabbat and through the weekend. 

So, I’m asking all readers to support us as we move forward—by signing up for The CJN Circle. In return, you’ll be guaranteed home delivery of our quarterly magazine through 2022 and invitations to exclusive events. Plus, you’ll never miss an issue of our new Friday roundup, designed for printing in the office or at home. 

You can enter as an individual, or take advantage of our Family Plan and share the rewards with up to five others. And because you’re reading this, make sure to enter the code CJN22 at checkout, for a discount of $36.

I strongly believe The Canadian Jewish News is a valuable and vibrant year-long gift for Jewish families, which will inform, influence and inspire them for decades to come—just as it has my own. Please help us continue to tell you great stories at The CJN.

Happy Hanukkah, 
Yoni Goldstein
CEO and Editor-in-Chief