When 9-year-old Asher Weintraub’s mom told him that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving would overlap this year for the first time — and never again in his lifetime — Asher started thinking about how he could commemorate that confluence of his family holidays. And — eureka! — the Menurkey was born.
“I was thinking of how we could celebrate that. I thought of a menorah in the shape of a turkey,” Asher says. The candles protrude over the top of the turkey’s feathers. Asher and his dad, Anthony, who is helping with the project, call the Menurkey a conversation starter, an objet d’art, a functioning menorah and a perfect centerpiece for the “Thanksgivukkah” table.
Asher, who has been taking lessons in video game design, created a 3-D prototype using a computer program he’d learned called Tinkercad. Now the soon-to-be fourth-grader from the Upper West Side of Manhattan has a campaign at Kickstarter.com to raise the $25,000 he’ll need to produce ceramic and plaster versions for sale this holiday season. The video pitch features Asher and his dad with Klezmer-rock-style music playing in the background.
Anthony Weintraub says he’s been stunned by the response. After just three days, the campaign was already almost 50 percent funded. “I wasn’t sure about putting him out there,” Dad says. “But we wanted to show Asher that creative ideas, if executed, actually have incredible power.”
If the Weintraubs achieve their funding goal, they hope to sell 500 limited-edition ceramic Menurkeys and 2,500 plaster Menurkeys. Follow the Weintraubs’ effort at kickstarter.com/projects/830273895/the-menurkey or visit facebook.com/menurkey.
UPDATE: After a week, the campaign has raised just over $20,000.
SECOND UPDATE: The Menurkey project is now fully funded!