Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Let My Children Play

Malky Lowinger

Mentshies with tzitzis and shtreimels. A mini chassan and kallah with the entire wedding party. A Chanukah menorah Lego set. This is just a sampling of the newest trend in the Jewish toy market, where — despite higher costs and skepticism about quality — heimishe versions of mainstream classics are becoming more popular than ever.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Walk into the Tree House toy store on Sixteenth Avenue in Boro Park and make a right turn past the cash registers, and there you’ll find the Alef Beis Fun Pad. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to wait your turn while a gaggle of little boys plays with it. This nifty little item, which sells for $19.99, is a computer game that lets you choose between a variety of educational and entertainment activities. It’s similar to many others on the market, except for one major difference: When you turn on the power, the electronic voice of a young child welcomes you in Yiddish with the greeting “Ah gitten tug! Lo mir shpielen tzuzamin!” (“Good day! Let’s play together!”) Binyan Blocks. Mitzvah Kinder. Shabbos Mommy and Tatty dress-up sets. Plush dreidels and sifrei Torah. Gedolim card matching games. Jerusalem jigsaw puzzles. And so much more. There’s a huge variety of kosher toys and games available in English, Hebrew, or Yiddish. There’s also a huge selection of art and craft activities, many of them specifically designed for Yamim Tovim. Welcome to the world of kosher toys, where little plastic mentshies wear tzitzis and yarmulkes and where board games feature timeless lessons of mitzvos and middos. For many heimish manufacturers, the new industry trend presents a surefire business opportunity as well as a venue for channeling their creative and marketing skills. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"