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And so, you know, that's pretty problematic. We rely on readers like you to uphold a free press. Holiday Date is almost a complete … The second Hanukkah movie, “Double Holiday”, airs Dec 22 (8 p.m.) with stars Kristoffer Polaha (“Condor”) and Carly Pope (“Arrow”). In 2020, Hanukkah will begin at sunset on December 10. What am I going to do to include them? Hallmark Channel Christmas movies have become a cultural institution, generating both good cheer and big ratings for the network. Is there a bigger problem here? It’s safe to say the Hallmark Hanukkah films don’t delve deeply into the deeper religious significance of the holiday. “The Greeks sought to wipe out what makes us different,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel, program director of the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. ), “Our audience is very vocal, and they tell us when they’d like to see more of something,” Vicary told the Post. “Unfortunately they have not discussed if he knows all the traditions,” says Vicary. This content is currently not available in your region. JUDKIS: Yeah. As Vicary described to the Post: “Unfortunately they have not discussed if he knows all the traditions. JUDKIS: Well, the bad news is that these are actually Christmas movies that just feature Hanukkah as a plot device, mostly. Double Holiday tells the tale of a Jewish woman “Rebecca” and her "insufferable officemate" and rival “Chris.” Their boss asks the rivals to plan the company's Christmas party along with her "insufferable officemate" Chris. However you celebrate, Hanukkah is about spending time with friends and family, and Hallmark wants to help. The first two Hallmark movies built around Hanukkah-themed plots, “Holiday Date” and “Double Holiday,” will premiere next month to coincide with the Jewish holiday, which starts Dec. 22 this year. It's not about Hanukkah. Because that’s the first decision point. ‘If this is an attempt at being inclusive, it’s a major failure.’. SHAPIRO: Oh, no. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved, Hallmark is making Hanukkah movies this year. Accuracy and availability may vary. The films may not be intended for Jewish viewers at all, said Ashton. Here’s the full story: During the second century, the Jews living in Judea (present-day Israel) were under the imperial control of the Greeks, whose emperor wanted to assimilate Jews into Hellenism, a culture that glorified the physical pleasures of the body and denigrated religious belief. And if these had been good, they would have been a nice nod towards inclusivity. After they are forced to work together, Rebecca and Chris begin to see one another in a new light. Buy the menorah candles, dig out the dreidel and get ready for the latkes. Hanukkah is about Jews fighting for the freedom to be different from Christians. “It’s defining Hanukkah in terms of Christmas,” said Rabbi Hara Person, the chief executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Copyright © 2020 Deseret News Publishing Company. Telling Hanukkah stories are "something that all of us in the Hallmark world have talked about for years," Double Holiday writer Nina Weinman told JewishJournal.com "This year, (we) wanted to branch out and be part of the proper representation of what the world looks like, not just a Christmas story in a small town where two people fall in love. “They learn that while the traditions and celebrations are different, the feelings of holiday and celebration and family and togetherness are the same,” said Crown Media’s Vicary of the storyline of “Double Holiday” to the New York Post. Joel, however, is Jewish, which makes it difficult for them to keep up the charade. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) You know what? Something a little bit more realistic - you know, no hired fake boyfriends or big accounts. According to the Hanukkah story, when the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, they found enough oil to light the Temple menorah for one night, but the oil miraculously lasted eight nights. View your shopping cart, you currently have, are currently available with your filters selected, There are 1 cards are available within the Any Man filter, There are 17 cards are available within the Any Man filter, There are 24 cards are available within the Any Man filter, There are 11 cards are available within the Any Man filter, There are 6 cards are available within the Any Man filter, There are 12 cards are available within the Any Man filter, Holiday Boxed Cards—Buy one, get one 50% off, Holiday Roll Wrap—Buy one, get one 50% off, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, serving platters, bowls and other kitchen accessories. Cuomo's daughter. Browse our selection of products to find the finishing touches for your holiday. He must learn how to celebrate Christmas to fulfill his role, and as he does, their fake romance turns real. And so, like, in this movie "Double Holiday," they have to teach this one Jewish woman how to decorate a Christmas tree and, like, where to buy a Christmas tree. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. During my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my wife and son when I am not torturing myself watching Philadelphia sports teams. In 2019, Hanukkah begins the evening of December 22 and ends the evening of December 30. See our, Read a limited number of articles each month, You consent to the use of cookies and tracking by us and third parties to provide you with personalized ads, Unlimited access to washingtonpost.com on any device, Unlimited access to all Washington Post apps, No on-site advertising or third-party ad tracking. I’m Jewish, and I’m not excited about it, criticized for lack of diversity in their films. Like, they think that Jews know nothing about Christmas. Well, there's always next year. JUDKIS: She actually Googles the word Hanukkah and then looks at the Google image results and sees a menorah but does not click on any results to actually learn what it means or what it is. There is plenty of that. I have covered the media industry for major news organizations such as CBS News and Bloomberg News on and off since around 2000. So, I mean, they're really laying it on thick here. In true Hallmark fashion, Chris makes a grand gesture at the company Christmas party to win Rebecca's heart. After all, Hanukkah commemorates a 2000-year-old battle in which Jews took up arms against the Greeks, who were forcing the Jews to abandon their faith and assimilate into Greek culture. So when I heard last week that Hallmark was making two Hanukkah movies this year to include in its annual Christmas movie lineup, I was intrigued: How would Hallmark portray Hanukkah and its celebration of Jewish freedom? Give us an example. But Hallmark has been criticized for lack of diversity in their films, which primarily feature white, heterosexual couples who celebrate Christmas. SHAPIRO: Just families fighting around the table - I suppose that's universal. “The Greeks sought to wipe out what makes us different,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel, program director of the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah. We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. We thought these two are in line with what we do and what our audience is looking for.”. So that - you know, there are that many holiday movies about Hanukkah, and so I think a lot of people were really excited about these ones, hoping that they could kind of fill that niche. Whether you're looking for Hanukkah gifts, Hanukkah gift wrap, Hanukkah decorations for your home, or simply Hanukkah cards to give loved ones, we have you covered. You got to take a look at the whole tree. The “fake” boyfriend who pretends to be Christian echoes an age-old anti-Semitic stereotype of the duplicitous, deceitful Jew. “Holiday Date,” starring Hallmark veteran Brittany Bristow (“Love, Romance, and Chocolate”) and Matt Cohen (“General Hospital”), airs Dec 14 (8 p.m.) and follows Brooke (Bristow), a woman who undergoes a breakup shortly before a trip to introduce her boyfriend to her family for Christmas. I am passionate about telling great stories and have an obsession with facts that borders on the maniacal. KELLEY JAKLE: (As Christy Dickinson) What am I going to do? So even when I was surrounded by Christians, singing Christmas songs in a church, I only felt more Jewish, more proud and committed to my unique heritage and religious tradition. JUDKIS: You know, I think most people are aware of, like, how a Christmas tree works. “Celebrating holiday seasons in lots of different ways is important to every family across the United States, and we do our best to bring to light the different traditions and different things that are happening to people in their lives,” she says. I cover media companies, networks, podcasters and online streaming, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change. It follows Rebecca (Pope), a Jewish woman whose Hanukkah plans are derailed when her boss tasks her with teaming up with her rival (Polaha) to plan their office holiday party together. There's something called "Full-Court Miracle," which is a Disney movie that, I think, equates a basketball team to the Maccabees. So I guess - I haven't watched these films in full, but the trappings of Hanukkah are treated as kind of, like, exotic, bizarre traditions. The Hallmark Channel has released the two plots for their so-called "Hanukkah movies," and not only are they just Christmas movies that feature Jewish characters but one of them seems to border on actually being anti-Semitic. In “Holiday Date,” a non-Jewish woman goes through a breakup right before heading home for Christmas. “As the family becomes more suspicious whether he knows how to celebrate, our two leads begin to fall for each other.”. The Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” movie marathon has become an annual holiday tradition for many and is a huge source of ratings and revenue for the network, garnering 85 million viewers last year, the New York Post reported. After the emperor’s forces desecrated the Jewish temple by slaughtering pigs inside it, a small group of Jewish warriors called the Maccabees led the Jews in a successful rebellion against the Greeks. More stories about the Jewish Festival of … See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights.

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