Why Manischewitz is taking Twitter by storm


A Manischewitz mock-up for the new gefilte dog. Courtesy of Manischewitz-KAYCO/Joseph Jacobs

By Mira Fox, The Forward

You might associate Manischewitz with painfully sweet wine in a square bottle, or perhaps with the Passover coffee cake mix your bubbe makes every year and the tin of coconut macaroons in her pantry.

You probably don’t think of an irreverent brand that jokes about making weed brownies kosher for Passover. And yet, at least on Twitter, Manischewitz spent Passover offering up funky new flavor ideas, including “Hash Brownie Macaroons: the Highlight of Passover.” In the replies, the kosher brand has snappy clapbacks, and jokes about telling other employees — Shlomie and Rochel Leah — how popular the new horseradish macaroons are.

Most recently, Manischewitz went viral promising a new product for July 4: gefilte dogs.

It all started when viral Jewish account, Jew Who Has It All, which spends most of its time satirizing Christianity from a Jewish perspective, decided that hot dogs are “gefilte beef.”

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Manischewitz jumped into the comments, affronted. “We’re gonna set the record straight here. Hot Dogs are nothing like Gefilte Fish. GFish is made of the highest quality, freshest fish….hot dogs? Who knows,” they tweeted. Moments later, the idea for gefilte dogs was born — and everyone had an opinion. It quickly went viral, and Manischewitz was ready with smart-alec replies.


It turns out that Manischewitz outsources its social media know-how — and all of its advertising — not to Shlomi or Rochel Leah but to Joseph Jacobs Advertising, a long-standing agency that specializes in the Jewish market; they even originated the Maxwell House Haggadah. (The founder, Joseph Jacobs, used to work at the Forward.) Manischewitz has been a customer for half a century.

Elie Rosenfeld, the CEO at Joseph Jacobs, was blasé about the genesis of the gefilte dog. “This time of year hot dogs are hot and gefilte fish isn’t top of mind for many people in June,” Rosenfeld said. “Gefilte fish is a product that people generally love — but don’t like to admit that they like.”

Rosenfeld, who has 20 years of Jewish marketing under his belt, explained to me that, on Instagram and other platforms, Manischewitz largely keeps to more traditional fare, such as enticing pictures of recipes featuring Manischewitz ingredients. But on Twitter, there’s more room to experiment, and they do their best to jump on opportunities to show personality and connect.