One recent morning, after the chaos of getting the girls ready for kindergarten and school had subsided, I sat down for few moments of quiet with a cup of coffee, and watched the morning show on television.
Sivan Rahav-Meir was a guest, and she was speaking about the worldwide campaign to commemorate Kristallnacht – this year, lights were left on in hundreds of synagogues all over the world to commemorate the tragic event during World War II. She also spoke about the present, about people who haven’t been into a synagogue to pray for several months.
As she spoke, my eyes welled up with tears, such difficult times.
Along with the sadness, the stream of images on the screen lit up my eyes – images of synagogues filled with light. A uniting light. Light that gives us hope, reminds us that better days will come, and that there’s something to look forward to.
Hanukkah is almost here, a festival that is all light. Light that vanquishes the darkness.
Even the children’s Hannukah song, “Each of us is a small light, but together our light is mighty”, gains greater, more profound, and particularly important meaning this year.
How will we celebrate Hanukkah this year?
What will be the same/different?
Maybe it’s actually an opportunity to celebrate differently…
Our Hanukkah celebrations have always been typified by big music and dance shows, and the annual Festigal, colorful parties in the kindergartens, ceremonies in the schools, lighting the candles with my extended family in my home, my parents’ home, or my mother-in-law’s home, lighting the candles with my community, followed by a procession of lights.
This year, we won’t be able to celebrate in the same way. It looks like all collective celebrations and gatherings are going to be forbidden. Even the Festigal has gone digital this year.
The whole Hanukkah experience is going to be more intimate, smaller… and like the High Holy Days, Hanukkah too will be celebrated around a smaller family table.
Despite all this, I decided I wasn’t going to miss out on any of the warmth, colorfulness, and excitement of this beautiful festival; I was going to continue celebrating it as a family experience, full of light and style.
As I was mulling over the complex situation that we’re all experiencing, a happy opportunity came my way in the form of a voice message from Shani Vaknin Gemerman, otherwise known as “Delicious”.
I met Shani, the owner of Delicious Finger Food Catering, a few years ago, when a friend recommended her to me. After one joint event, she became our regular caterer in the studio’s events.
She told me she’s launching a Hanukkah doughnut collection and a festive food gift box. She proposed a joint photo shoot of a Hanukkah table production.
At AV, we’ve just recently introduced HANUKKIAH, as well as the fifth SEVIVON in our traditional series of spinning tops, so I thought it was an excellent idea.
Two creative makers, two independent businesses, two women who believe. Only good things can come of it.
So, we embarked on a journey of creating a table design that combines AV products and catering platters from Delicious.
You already know me and AV :)
It gives me great pleasure to introduce Shani Vaknin Gemerman:
My name is Shani Vaknin Gemerman, and I founded Delicious out of a genuine love of the kitchen and baking. I started the business in my small home kitchen, and it grew into the professional kitchen where I create today. Delicious grew and developed, and now caters to hundreds of satisfied customers all over the north of Israel, from Hatzor HaGlilit, through Karmiel, Akko, and Nahariya, to Haifa and Yokne’am. I bring my home into my professional kitchen. I believe that delicious, stylish, appetizingly served food can make every event memorable, which is why I’ve devoted so much thinking and planning to my catering platters. Each and every item is handmade for a specific event, using fresh, high-quality, local ingredients.
As Avital says, the past year has definitely been strange, and this year Hanukkah is going to be a more home-and-family festival than usual. It was this thought that eventually led to my “Dough-Sfenj”. There’s nothing I love more than my mother’s sfenj (a Maghrebi doughnut). I’d never even attempted to make them myself. It’s hers, with her unique flavors. We worked together on a special dough that combines airiness on the one hand, and can contain a filling that explodes with each bite on the other. We dipped each doughnut in sweet white sugar as soon as it came out of the oil, just as you do when you make sfenj, and stuffed them with loads of filling! Because that’s how you make doughnuts at home, and Hanukkah 2020 is the “Festival of Home”.
Pistachio, strawberry jam, dulce de leche, Irish cream, and hazelnuts.
New flavors alongside traditional home flavors.
Table design by Delicious and AV
We began by choosing the colors:
We decided to combine deep blue and gold.
Blue is a dramatic color that’s associated with Judaism, mysticism, a festive evening meal, and winter.
Gold is a luxurious color that’s is associated with light, miracles, holiness, and hope.
When combined, the two colors create a festive and dramatic effect, which is suited to a festival that’s celebrated in the evening and in winter.
On the tablecloth we placed an Urban Gray HANUKKIAH, and various AV vases filled with fresh flowers.
We chose delicate pastel shades of pink to offset the dramatic blue.
We arranged the four SEVIVON spinning tops from the 2020 collection, inviting fun interactions between the people seated around the table.
The tableware pieces we chose are identical in shape, but vary in shades of blue, which provides an interesting touch, yet maintains harmony. We added serving dishes in various styles – all of them blue.
The gold cutlery complements the blue, and lights up the table.
The place of honor on the Hanukkah table
Hanukkah is my festival; I was born during the Festival of Lights.
For years I’ve been dreaming of designing a hanukkiah for my festival… and this year it’s finally here – the hanukkiah I designed.
HANUKKIAH is made from recycled Corian combined with brass.
Where’s the shamash?
I’m glad you asked… :)
The shamash is only revealed when the candles are set in the hanukkiah. The endmost depression is shallower than all the others, and when the candle is set in it, it stands higher than the others.
HANUKKIAH is available in four designs:
Black Night of Stars
This year’s spinning tops are the fifth SEVIVON collection in the studio’s annual tradition.
They were absolutely created as a total and direct continuation of HANUKKIAH, which came first.
Part of the design process and morphological investigation originated from the world of minimalist jewelry.
As with HANUKKIAH, with SEVIVON too, elegance, minimalism, and the correct connection and flow between materials charted my course to the design language.
The SEVIVON spinning tops have been released in a small, capsule collection of only twenty-four pieces, and are available in four designs:
And what’s a Hanukkah table without food…?
Shani identified a need, and put together a festive gift box for the Hanukkah table, containing traditional Hanukkah dishes and delicacies. I thought to myself, how good it would be to gather our immediate family around us, to truly invest in it; we’ve been spending so much time together, from the one lockdown to the next, but we haven’t really taken the time to invest in this togetherness.
So, take your family, choose the best outfit in your closet, fix your hair, put on some heels, and spread the festive blue tablecloth provided in the Hanukkah box, and prepare a holiday table fit for royalty!
We’ve seen to everything…
Salads, breads, potato latkes, pumpkin and sweet potato soup with croutons, salmon skewers, and more wonderful surprises are in store for you in the Hanukkah gift box!
On a personal note, and to conclude:
I want to go back to Sivan Rahav-Meir and the moving way the tragedy of Kristallnacht was commemorated this year, which sparked (in the full sense of the word) an idea in me: What if we all come together and continue the gesture?
On the last day of Hanukkah, every home in Israel will light the Hanukkah candles at exactly 20:00.
We will remember the power of unity,
We will remember the light that vanquishes the darkness,
And the hope that we must keep alive.
Wishing us all a Happy Hanukkah filled with light, joy, and good health!