Mensch on a Bench Goes Mainstream

10 Dec 2014
Arts & Media

Mensch-on-a-BenchThree years ago while strolling through a department store during the holiday season, Neal Hoffman’s four-year-old son spied the popular Christmas toy, Elf on a Shelf. Afflicted with Christmas envy, his son begged for one.

Hoffman shook his head and explained that Jews don’t have an Elf on a Shelf.

“We have,” he quipped, thinking fast, “a Mensch on a bench.”

Hoffman was joking at the time, but the former Hasbro Toys employee couldn’t get the phrase out of his head. A Jewish spin on the elf that watches kids at holiday time appealed to him.

But while Elf on a Shelf reports back to the North Pole about who is naughty or nice, Hoffman envisioned a mensch who would spread Jewish tradition and the importance of being a good person.

Read full story at Times of Israel.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.