All around the Jewish world, Chanukah is chocolate season. But that doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck with the waxy chocolate coins known as gelt. In fact, a new wave of boutique chocolate makers in Israel are redefining this beloved indulgence in Israel. Many of their skillfully crafted products are already available in the United States. One taste and it’s clear: Gelt has grown up.
We sat at my sister-in-law's kitchen table, 11 of us from three generations of my husband's family, absorbed by a wicked game of dreidel on the fifth night of Chanukah, howling with abandon and anticipation at each seemingly endless spin. My 10-year-old daughter, the youngest present, was killing us all, amassing huge quantities of chocolate gold.
Growing up, I was one of the few children that did not receive Chanukah presents. My family gave gelt, the money that children traditionally receive on the holiday while gambling over the game of dreidel, the spinning top.
Teaching the next generation about money -- its value, what to do with it, how to use it -- is not such an easy task.