11 Modern Dreidels That Will Become Your Next Family Heirloom
Adults and kids alike revel in the joy of this classic Hanukkah game. From crystal to brass, here are shining examples of everyone's favorite Judaica toy.
The holiday season is fast approaching—and for some of us, that means it's time to pull out our dreidel and prepare to celebrate the eight-day Festival of Lights. "The word 'dreidel' is derived from the Yiddish term dreyen, which means 'to turn,'" says Tsadik Kaplan, an appraiser of antique Judaica and author of Jewish Antiques: From Menorahs to Seltzer Bottles. "It is a small spinning top that Jewish children have traditionally played with on Chanukah for the past 150 years. There is a different Hebrew letter on each of the four sides of the dreidel; each stands for one of the Hebrew words that make up the phrase 'A Great Miracle Happened There,' referencing the 'miracle' of one cruse of pure oil that should have lasted only one day in the lighting of the Temple Menorah in Jerusalem, but lasted eight days."
Not only do dreidels provide entertainment during the holidays, they make great collectible items, too. "Dreidels come in all different sizes, styles and price points from tiny plastic dreidels to intricate silver and gold pieces you'll want to display all year," Amy Kritzer Becker, co-owner of ModernTribe says. "It's fun to play with a dreidel and imagine our ancestors doing the same for generations."
If you're looking to add to your family's collection, we rounded up some of the coolest ones we could find. From planet-inspired styles to dreidels made of crystal and brass, here are ten of our favorites.
Handmade in Israel, the designer duo Anat Stein and Hadas Kruk craft artfully rendered objects of Judaica, one of which is this dreidel. Its two-in-one design lends it to spinning in a game or using as a flower vase.
Shop Now: Studio Armadillo Ceramic Dreidel Vase, $63, etsy.com.
Known for her use of clean lines and cutting-edge 3D printing technology, Joy Stember designs heirloom-quality dreidels with a contemporary feel, such as this spiraling steel and gold-plated style. "They make the perfect Hanukkah gift," says Becker, "as you can display them all year as a piece of art and they are modern yet timeless simultaneously."
Shop Now: Joy Stember "Twisted Gold" 3D Printed Dreidel, $100, moderntribe.com.
The only thing better than a beautiful dreidel is one in a sophisticated stand. This square-shaped dreidel is composed of Nambé alloy and comes with a geometrical acacia wood base for a sleek Hanukkah display.
Shop Now: Nambé Geo Dreidel with Stand, $39.95, amazon.com.
Searching for a cute collectible item to gift a kid this Hanukkah? This beginner's dreidel is crafted from solid wood which features simple instructions on each side, so you can teach children how to play the game in style.
Shop Now: Pottery Barn "My First" Hanukkah Dreidel, $44, potterybarnkids.com.
From the master designer himself, this lucite dreidel—in orange or blue—is the perfect decorative touch for your Hanukkah table. Beautiful in the clarity of its lucite plastic body, these dreidels have an etched-on traditional Hebrew design.
Shop Now: Jonathan Adler Lucite Dreidel, $28, nordstrom.com.
As an exclusive collaboration with the Jewish Museum in New York, this dreidel is composed of solid walnut with graphic cutouts of Hebrew letters (nun, gimel, hey, and shin) and includes a brass stand for display.
Shop Now: Marmol Radziner Dreidel, $108, shop.thejewishmuseum.org.
Star of David Dreidel
Dreaming of a gorgeous dreidel that you can show off on your mantel all year long? This Star of David-inspired dreidel is crafted from blue crystal and comes with a chic clear crystal display stand to boot.
Shop Now: Copa Judaica Star of David Hanukkah Blue Crystal Dreidel, $44.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Mixed Metal Dreidel
This sleek, modern Hannukah dreidel was designed by Israeli artist Laura Cowan using her signature themes of discs and cones inspired by the rings of the planet Saturn. Its defined shape draws inspiration from the Hannukah story where a small band of men overcame a powerful army.
Shop Now: Laura Cowan Square Saturn Dreidel, $95, lauracowan.com.
For a modern dreidel with a glamorous touch, consider one with a gleaming finish. This clean-lined dreidel and stand is composed of hand-cut crystal, and features sandblasted Hebrew letters and mirrored details for a dash of drama.
Shop Now: Simon Pearce "Clara" Dreidel, $130, thelampstand.com.
For a bespoke dreidel, opt for a softer material: By carving two vertical slits, a circle of leather is folded into this dreidel's shape and threaded through a slit in the gold-plated brass handle, thus fixating its form.
Shop Now: JUDATLV Leather Dreidel, $42.94, etsy.com.
A little brass goes a long way on a dreidel. Case in point: This eye-catching patterned-top dreidel is handmade from scored and folded sheets of pewter and accented with hand-soldered brass details for added elegance.
Shop Now: J. L. Lawson & Co. Dreidel, $48, huckberry.com.