The Mensch on a Bench

“North Hollywood Studio Creating New Holiday Tradition – The Mensch on a Bench”

The holiday season is revving up, you can tell from the pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that everywhere you go. Pretty soon you will start to hear “Jingle Bells” while wearing flip flops in November. For those of you who are tired of the same old holiday traditions, there’s hope. Move over Elf on the Shelf. Here comes the Mensch on a Bench!

Executive Producer and CEO of North Hollywood-based Pilgrim Studios, Craig Piligian, announced that the company has optioned television and film rights for “The Mensch on a Bench,” a property created by toy maker and entrepreneur Neal Hoffman.

A Yiddish word that translates to “a good person,” “mensch” is a fitting moniker for “Moshe,” Hoffman’s Hanukkah hero who tells the story of the Jewish holiday through adventures that always circle back to values of kindness, gratitude, humor and an independent spirit. Pilgrim plans to create an animated “Mensch on a Bench” holiday special that celebrates the season in a fresh, funny, inclusive way and demonstrates how many of Hanukkah’s themes are universal.

“We’re always looking for great storytelling and for stories that aren’t commonly told,” said Piligian. “We found both in ‘Mensch on a Bench,’ and we’re excited to launch what we believe will become an enduring holiday tradition.”

Hoffman created “The Mensch on a Bench” in response to the tinge of holiday “envy” that Jewish kids (including his own) often feel during the Christmas season.

Said Hoffman, “When my five-year-old asked if he could get an Elf on the Shelf, I joked, ‘We’re Jewish – you can have a Mensch on a Bench!’ That’s how the idea was born. It feels great to create new ways for Jewish families to celebrate and participate in the holiday spirit, and I’m thrilled to be working with Pilgrim to make the ‘Mensch on a Bench’ an even bigger part of the season for everybody.”

In 2014, Hoffman took his Mensch on the hit ABC show Shark Tank, where he struck a deal with investors Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner. Since then, Hoffman has secured deals with major retailers such as Target, Michael’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and continues to expand the Mensch brand with books and other plush toys.

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