Chanukah Americana: One Family's Search for the Perfect Menorah

Chanukah Americana: One Family's Search for the Perfect Menorah

Twenty years ago, Lori and David Moore were doing their best to raise their two children in their Jewish faith, but felt they were competing with the overwhelming way New York City celebrated Christmas. They wanted to make Chanukah more fun for their kids, so they began to buy themed menorahs, first with cartoon characters, then in more eclectic styles as the children grew. They didn't really mean to start a collection, but the number of menorahs grew over the years until they had more 150 of them, all different.      

While some of the Moore’s menorahs are made of Murano glass and other mildly exotic materials, most of them are as American as an aluminum Christmas tree. There are hippie vans and pink Cadillacs, puppy dogs and the Three Little Bears, high heels and skylines, the latter of which features the Moore’s beloved New York City with the Twin Towers still standing.

“We have a few menorahs that are more expensive than the rest,” Moore allows, “and a couple by some Israeli artists, but we don’t have any great antiquities in the collection, or million-dollar menorahs by Jeff Koons. It’s more like—I don’t know what the right word would be—Americana.”

The Moore's menorahs are on display at Museum at Eldridge Street in Lower Manhattan, but if you can't make it, you can see a gallery of them at Collectors Weekly