Kosher hypnotist to peform for JSU

While trolling the Internet, looking for unique Hanukkah gifts for friends and family, I stumbled on a terrific site at After multiple visits, I’m now in a tizzy over whether to get my sister-in-law the laminated Jewish Zodiac Placemats ($20 for a set of four) or the Shvitz Workout Tank ($16.99) but I definitely am ordering my 12-year-old niece the 8 Nights of Hanukkah Lip Gloss Set ($18) and the bikini underwear with “Tush” ($18) written across the, well, you know. The number of dreidel offerings alone is enough to make your head spin and the Vespa-norah ($45) is bound to light up my Vespa riding friend Larry’s life.

The Web site is so well conceived it even breaks down its offerings by recipient (bride, groom, fashion maven, mah jongg player, sports fan, etc.) as well as by categories such as “What’s Nu,” “Nosh” and the first one I went to, “Bargains.” I may never be able to afford a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes but at, I can score a set of six Menorah Blahnik cards for $12.55.


Jennie Rivlin Roberts, president and founder of the Jewish gift site, which recently acquired, explained that her company receives dozens of solicitations a week about new Jewish products, “most of which aren’t very good, but that’s also how we find the best stuff.” She expects one of the hottest Hanukkah gifts this season to be “Spinagogue” ($39.95). Patterned after real-life Major League Dreidel tournaments – and yes, these actually exist, replete with a MLD “knishioner” – players compete by how long their dreidel spins in progressively smaller arenas. As the game advances, it gets harder to keep the dreidel spinning without it bumping into a wall.

Of the dozens of gifts on the site, many of which made me laugh out loud, my hands-down favorite is the one I am thinking of for my husband — the “Let My People Go” toilet seat cover ($20.) So funny, it’s enough to make you plotz.

* If you’re trying to stop smoking or lose weight, or have a fear of flying and have considered hypnotism to help, you might want to check out the Kosher Hypnotist when he brings his one-man show to St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Ronnie Baras, aka the Kosher Hypnotist, says he is the only Orthodox Jewish hypnotist to headline at a hotel on the Las Vegas strip (who are we to argue?).

Baras is performing at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur as part of a fundraiser for the Jewish Student Union of St. Louis, explains Rabbi Michael Rovinsky. The evening also includes hors d’oeuvres and a sit-down kosher dinner catered by Jon Rubin Catering for $180 a couple.

In addition to the skits he performs, Baras will ask for volunteers from the audience to undergo hyponosis. Rovinsky promises that Baras will not embarrass anyone — “there’s no clucking like a rooster” — and adds those interested can schedule a private, 45-minute to hour-long session with Baras Sunday, Dec. 13 for a cost of $150.

The Jewish Student Union of St. Louis has chapters in seven area public schools and seeks to make Judaism “cool and relevant” to Jewish teenagers by meeting at the schools and engaging participants in subjects that are important to them. The group also makes these teens aware of Jewish teen organizations and Jewish involvement opportunities in the community.

For more information about the Kosher Hypnotist, the fundraiser or the Jewish Student Union, contact Rabbi Rovinsky at 314-498-6279.

* Know any pet owners considering a permanent move to Israel? If so, be sure to tell them about Terminal 4- Pet Relocation’s “Aliyah for Pets” project.

According to Terminal 4, “Aliyah for Pets” helps to minimize acclimation difficulties for families with pets by offering free veterinary vaccinations and consultation services for the pet’s first year in Israel, as well as one day of free kenneling on arrival and a free Pet Terms Hebrew-English dictionary.

“People making aliyah have enough to take care of, even without the complexities of relocating their pet,” explains veterinarian Eytan Kreiner, CEO of Terminal 4 Pets, which provides solutions for pet and family travel to and from Israel.

“Pets are part of the family, and our services provide these families with a safe and simple way to stay united.”

Working in close collaboration with airlines, airports and health officials around the world, Terminal 4 Pets helps to ensure that pets will reach their destinations hassle-free, safe, healthy, and yes, on time.