Neal Hoffman and his wife, Erin, were an interfaith couple out shopping when they ran right into the dilemma of how to balance Hanukkah and Christmas. Hoffman
saw his young son feeling left out by the Elf on the Shelf, a Christmas toy that was experiencing a huge amount of popularity in 2012. He suspected there were other Jewish and interfaith families that would appreciate a character for themselves.
Hoffman decided to write a book to help Jewish kids appreciate and celebrate Hanukkah. He inserted a new character, Moshe, into the Hanukkah story. Moshe was a mensch?a good and honorable person in Yiddish?and Hoffman called his character the Mensch on a Bench. With a book and a character, Hoffman knew he could instill a sense of culture and celebration into his idea for a toy.
This case details Hoffman's struggle to produce the Mensch--from earning money via Kickstarter and dealing with overseas production problems to trying to get the word out about the new holiday toy.