The Hanukkah House that Canadians built: Inside the new Jewish gingerbread house trend

Hanukkah houses for sale at a Publix store in Florida. (Photo by Ellin Bessner)

In the holiday aisle of certain supermarkets, next to the chocolate Maccabees and Star of David cookies, you can find a “Hanukkah house cookie kit”. A Jewish cousin to the classic Christmas gingerbread house, the DIY craft-meets-treat trend has sprung up in recent years, seeming more prominent now than ever before.

And, it turns out, they’re made in Canada. Their maker is Give & Go Prepared Foods, a pastry-producing corporation based in Ontario, whose CEO is Joel Flatt, son of the Canadian philanthropist couple Phyllis and the late Ab Flatt.

This holiday season, their cookie-cutter houses are being sold in the United States under different names for different outlets including for Manischewitz and Publix. Is it another example of Hanukkah’s descent into cheap commodification? Or a delightful way to feed holiday spirits and bellies? Ellin discusses with Blair Klayman, Give & Go’s vice president of marketing and innovation.

What we talked about:


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