May 16, 2011

Manischewitz Expands Involvement in Jewish American Heritage Month

Newark…Manischewitz continued its aggressive marketing program by once again playing a major role in Jewish Heritage Month, a program that last year involved more than 30 retailers and a ceremony at the White House. JAHM is a month-long celebration in May that aims to raise the national consciousness regarding contributions Jewish Americans have made to our country’s heritage and history. Manischewitz will make donations on behalf of the top three retailers with the biggest and most creative in-store displays. Entries will be based on size, product assortment, and creativity. The retailers with the most innovative in- store display will be awarded cash prizes to be donated to their charity of choice. The first prize is $6,000, second prize is $4,000 and third prize is $2,000. In addition, Manischewitz will also provide a catered lunch for all the employees of the winning store. Manischewitz was founded in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz, a Talmudic scholar, who emigrated from Europe two years earlier. Manischewitz, who had also been a shochet (kosher slaughterer) in Lithuania, was the first person to come up with the idea of selling machine-made matzah to American Jewry for Passover. The idea caused a small amount of controversy for it changed both the shape of matzo (which up until then had been circular or oval-shaped) to square pieces, and the individuality of burnt, charred, or irregular matzos to a uniform and perfectly-shaped matzos in every box. Manischewitz matzo became a national and international product, changing the way Jews purchased and ate matzo. After conquering matzo, the company soon came to dominate the kosher wine market. In 1932, the company expanded to Jersey City to better serve the increasing Jewish population, which was mostly based in the Metropolitan New York area. The Jersey outpost soon became the main base for the company when its Cincinnati branch closed in 1958.