Kol Shalom Movie Night welcomes the fourth night of Hannukah on Sunday, December 10, at 7 PM with the romantic comedy Hannukah on Rye, a G-rated, 85-minute, 2022 Hallmark movie (link to be sent later).
Molly is poised to become the fourth generation of her family to run Gilbert’s Deli on the Lower East Side of New York City. Meanwhile, Jacob Zimmer’s family is “deli royalty” in Southern California and have a completely different way of doing business. Jacob is spearheading the expansion of Zimmer’s to New York City just blocks away from Gilbert’s. A couple weeks before the first night of Hanukkah, Jacob’s “bubby” gives Jacob an early Hanukkah gift: she’s signed him up with an infamous matchmaker. Molly’s bubby has the same idea. According to the rules, Jacob and Molly must hand write letters under assumed names to get to know each other. As they begin to write to each other under their pseudonyms of Beth and David, they begin to fall for each other. There’s a romantic connection between them over Hanukkah week until Molly learns Jacob’s identity and realizes he could potentially put her family’s deli out of business. Molly is torn between “David,” for whom she has started to love thanks to his letters, and Jacob, with whom she has a serious conflict. In the end, will Molly and Jacob put their differences aside and get their own Hanukkah miracle?
Filmed in Winnipeg, Canada, Hannukah on Rye offers us a light-hearted holiday celebration and respite. For the most authentic participation experience, it is suggested that viewers have their own latkes ready to eat at exactly 1 hour and chai (18) minutes into the movie.
“Think of all the miracles that had to happen for us to get here,” says Jacob’s grandmother, Esther. It’s a perfect message that manages to be poignant despite the cliché and is fitting not just for Hanukkah — but for most of Jewish history.