Hallmark Hanukkah flicks: Did anyone actually ask for these?

Hallmark and Lifetime are laying on the shmaltz with these Jewish holiday flicks.

In the last decade, executives at the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime have realized that Hanukkah exists. Now every year seems to bring a new heaping spoonful of shmaltz, catered to Jewish audiences and anyone bored of watching the same Christmas stories told with different wide-eyed actors. Recent entries have been Mistletoe & Menorahs and Love, Lights, Hanukkah!, while this year’s Eight Gifts of Hanukkah puts its own semitic spin on the formula.

But how should we feel about these movies? Are they a sincere effort to educate Middle America about the Seleucid Greek takeover of a small province of Jews and their successful revolt and rededication of the temple? Or is it a shallow attempt at forcing onscreen diversity?

That’s the big debate on this week’s episode of Bonjour Chai, The CJN’s weekly current affairs podcast. Listen and subscribe above.

Plus: Hear about the final book in our month-long book club, Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: From This Broken Hill, Volume 2 by Michael Posner.

What we talked about

  • Email [email protected] to get an exclusive invite to our new Slack channel
  • Hear Michael Posner interviewed on The CJN Daily at thecjn.ca
  • Read an excerpt from Posner’s book at thecjn.ca


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold, Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Michael Fraiman is the producer. Andre Goulet is the technical producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.