Beautiful menorahs to light up the season
Hanukkah, which begins at sunset Dec. 20, lasts for eight nights. But a beautiful menorah can last a lifetime. Whether you're looking for a traditional centerpiece for your family's celebration, or something to add a little flourish to your window sill, these pieces, new to stores this year, offer a range of prices and designs to fit every budget and mood. Here, some of the top picks for celebrating the Festival of Lights.
-- Lara Ewen
The Molten menorah from Michael Aram ($189) is perfect for minimalists who crave high design. Handcrafted from nickel-plated stainless steel, the piece is inspired by Old World craftsmanship and its applications in the modern age. It aims to highlight the natural and spontaneous effects created when welding molten metal. Available at Peter Andrews, 444 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station, 631-424-0002, and 46 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, 516-742-1331, peterandrews.com.
One of the most playful menorahs to come out this year is Jonathan Adler's Dachshund menorah ($120). Handmade from high-fired stoneware, this 14-inch-long pup balances the Shamash atop his 5-inch-tall head. All Adler's pottery is made in Peru through Aid to Artisans, a nonprofit that connects designers in America with artisans in developing countries to promote fair trade. Available at jonathanadler.com.
This is not your grandmother's electric menorah. The Auto Menorah from Creatively Jewish ($39.99) uses LED bulbs, which never need to be changed and are cool to the touch. Turn on the menorah, and the next light will be lit automatically 24 hours after the first until all the bulbs are on. The 10-by-5-by-14.5-inch unit also features a "day advance" button, allowing you to manually light the bulbs. Requires four D batteries, which are sold separately. Available at Zion Lion, 1616 Marcus Ave., New Hyde Park, 516-437-5466, and 444 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington, 631-549-5155, zion-lion.com.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Made of fused glass, an art that dates back 4,000 years, this Dove of Peace menorah from Beames Designs ($165) measures 11 inches by 8 inches. Each fused glass menorah from Beames is fired in a kiln at 1,400 degrees, at which point the glass fuses together and the surface takes on a shine. The accents in this piece are gold mica encapsulated between layers of glass, adding to the glittering effect. Available at Yussel's Place, 59 Merrick Ave. in Merrick, 516-223-7050, yusselsplace.com.
Designed by Israeli artist Shahar Peleg, the Hanukkia menorah ($124.99) features a flat metal back that reveals a classic menorah shape each night when it's lit. Although it's designed to hold oil, the menorah can also be modified to hold traditional candles. Available at Judaica Plus, 445 Central Ave., Cedarhurst, 516-295-4343, judaica-plus.com.
TAKE A BREAK
Each evening before the candles are lit, the Fragile Menorah from Studio Kahn ($129) gets "broken" and a candle holder is set in place. After eight days, the menorah is complete and can be used again in subsequent years in its "planted" state. Handmade in Jerusalem, this 12 1/2-by-5 1/2-inch ceramic piece is designed to symbolize both the destruction and rebuilding of The Temple and the picking and planting of the gardening and cultivating of life. Available at moderntribe.com.
The Votive menorah from Decor Craft Inc. ($15) comprises nine metallic glass cups that hold tea lights or votive candles. Each cup has an image of a candle etched out of the metallic finish, letting candlelight and the cup's colorful interiors shine through. The 2 1/2-inch-tall cups can be arranged freely around the Shamash cup, which is 4 inches tall. Available at The Jewish Museum Shop at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., 646-505-5730, and The Cooper Shop at The Jewish Museum in Manhattan, 1109 Fifth Ave., 212-423-3211, shop.thejewishmuseum.org.