Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Deck the Halls with Jewish Xmas Decorations: Shark Tank Invests in ‘Hanukkah Tree Toppers" [VIDEO]

Fashion mogul Daymond John of "Shark Tank" invests in a Jewish entrepreneur’s invention; man was inspired after realizing there are many interfaith American families

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: December 16th, 2013 in Business » World

Remember that Pew study that confirmed more and more American Jews are marrying outside their faith, and how Jewish media outlets could talk of nothing else for weeks? Or that recent op-ed we published by our own interfaith-marrying Heeb?

Well, looks like someone’s looking to profit from it. It’s really not that surprising, considering the success of last month’s Thanksgivukkah, and the hundreds of products that were created in promotion of it.

Looking to “bridge the gap between ‘ho ho ho’ and ‘dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,'” entrepreneur Morri Chowaiki appeared on Shark Tank – the American cousin to Canada’s Dragon’s Den – this week with a rather colourful, and practical business idea: Jewish Christmas decorations.

Chowaiki appeared on the show that allows entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to affluent investors, or ‘shark’s, bringing a Jewish slant to his pitch, greeting the investors with a “Hello gefilte sharks.”

Chowaiki asked for $50,000 for 15% of the company, saying “Chrismakah is the most wonderful time of the year, a time when interfaith families can play spin the dreidel while kissing under the mistletoe. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if interfaith families could find a way to truly capture the spirit of Chrismakah? Well mazal tov, because now they can,” he finished, before introducing the “Hannukkah tree topper.”

The sharks, however, expressed concerns over a limited market for the product, to which Chowaiki argued that “nearly 50% of all Jewish people in the United States have married somebody of another faith.”

While that number might not be entirely spot on, it is somewhat evocative of a growing trend among American Jews.

Due to the company’s limited sales, four of the ‘sharks’ turned down Chowaiki. Fashion mogul Daymond John decided to take a gamble, offering $50,00 for 35%, which was accepted.

John had also recalled his earlier dealing with a Chabad rabbi and his iPhone product. “You know I did a deal with a rabbi,” he said. Head over here to buy your own Hanukkah Tree Topper in anticipation of Christmas next week: it’s the perfect gift for your half-Jewish, Christmas and Hanukkah celebrating spouse, friend, or loved one.

Watch the episode below:

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