History of Original Non-Chocolate Chanukah Gelt
"Gelt" is Yiddish for "money".

It all began in the 17's century Europe when it became customary for parents to give small sums of money to their kids to donate to their teachers. Thus students learned how to give charity in light of commemorating the events of Chanukah.

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But eventually the kids also wanted to keep some money for themselves (surprise!). Chanukah gelt became to be both a donation to commemorate the Holiday of Lights and a gift to children.

History of Gelt ~ Traditional Chanukah party supplies
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Back in the days it started as a gift of small coins, however, now there is no "cap" on the gift amount. Although, many Rabbis still recommend just coin gifts, where appropriate, to remain true to the tradition.

Chanukah Gelt is given to children after lighting the menorah. The children should be encouraged to give charity from a portion of their money.

What is Chocolate Chanukah Gelt?

Chanukah gelt is a beautiful custom that adds to the children's happiness and festive spirit. In the beginning of 20th century one of the American confectionary manufacturers came up with the idea of making Chanukah Gelt from chocolate. They made the first Chocolate wrapped coins specifically for Chanukah.

History of Gelt ~ Traditional Chanukah party supplies

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This idea is really wonderful. There is no real money involved, yet it gives adults an opportunity to give the children a positive reinforcement for exemplary behavior, such as diligence in their studies, and acts of charity.

In today's world a few coins may not really be appropriate as a donation to one's teacher. Chocolate Coins, on the other hand, will be enjoyed without any doubt. Have some chocolate gelt and share with your teachers and friends. Chocolate gelt symbolizes the tradition of giving Charity to commemorate the Great Miracle of Light.

Today sweet chocolate gelt is a reminder of the great victory of Maccabees while the shiny foil reflects the light of Chanukah candles burning bright throughout the centuries. Chanukah gelt is a fun and meaningful way to connect with events that took place a long time ago.

Text Copyright 2010 Party Judaica LLC