Pilgrim Studios options TV , film rights for Mensch on a Bench


Michelle Clancy

| 21 September 2015

Pilgrim Studios has optioned television and film rights for The Mensch on a Bench, a property created by toy maker and entrepreneur Neal Hoffman.

A Yiddish word that translates to 'a good person,' mensch is a fitting moniker for 'Moshe,' Hoffman's Hanukkah hero who tells the story of the Jewish holiday through adventures that always circle back to values of kindness, gratitude, humour and an independent spirit. Pilgrim plans to create an animated Mensch on a Bench holiday special that celebrates the season and demonstrates how many of Hanukkah's themes are universal.

"We're always looking for great storytelling and for stories that aren't commonly told," said executive producer and CEO of Pilgrim Studios, Craig Piligian. "We found both in Mensch on a Bench, and we're excited to launch what we believe will become an enduring holiday tradition."

Hoffman created The Mensch on a Bench in response to the tinge of holiday envy that Jewish kids often feel during the Christmas season.

"When my five-year-old asked if he could get an Elf on the Shelf, I joked, 'We're Jewish you can have a Mensch on a Bench!," Hoffman said. "That's how the idea was born. It feels great to create new ways for Jewish families to celebrate and participate in the holiday spirit, and I'm thrilled to be working with Pilgrim to make the Mensch on a Bench an even bigger part of the season for everybody."