As you know, every game needs an arena, a place where all the action happens. Football is played on a field, tennis is played on a court and baseball is played on a diamond. Now, dreidel is played on a Spinagogue.
It’s the gift that keeps on spinning. At home, school or parties, Hanukkah is not the same without this dreidel game!
The object of the game is to spin the dreidel longer than your opponent. “Longer” pertaining to the length of time the dreidel spins from the release to the finish, from the moment the dreidel leaves your fingers to the moment it comes to a complete rest on its side. Watch out for those Spin Zone walls, they decrease in size as the tournament rounds progress. MLD can be played two ways: head-to-head or a round robin.
Get your peanuts and latkes ready, Spinnings is dreidel baseball!
The object of the game is to score more gelt coins “baserunners” across home plate than your opponent. After 9 Spinnings, the spinner with the most gelt coins “runs” is the winner.
Target Tops is a spin on the classic boardwalk game of Skee-Ball®. Spin the dreidel up the lane and try to sink it into the highest point targets. Target Tops challenges both the accuracy and consistency of a spinner.
The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent each frame (9 spins) by landing the dreidel inside of the highest point targets.
Dueling Dreidels is a full contact, spinning showdown where anything can happen. When a spinner possesses the “Magic Dreidel” it’s them versus the entire Spinagogue. If they can successfully dodge the other dreidels in the Spin Zone with clever and sneaky maneuvers, they have a chance to be the last dreidel spinning and win a point.
While Spinagogue takes pride in its many modern and exciting dreidel games, it recognizes that none of them would be possible without the original. Traditional Dreidel is best played with friends and family the way it was in ancient times.
It was December 2006, I was at my parent’s annual Hanukkah party hosted at my childhood home. As always, it was an awesome holiday affair, complete with friends, family, traditional decorations, music and food. Towards the end of the night, after I had consumed an ample amount of my mom’s latkes and a fair share of my dad’s vodka, I came to a realization. Nobody had yet to spin a dreidel. Despite the fact that many dreidels adorned the table, not a single adult chose to spin one during the party. Why, I pondered.
Confused, I picked up one of the dreidels and challenged my dad to a traditional game. After a few spins each, both me and my dad were bored of this simple game of chance. We were also frustrated with how the dreidel continued to fall off of the dining room table. It was then, on this Festival of Lights, a lightbulb went off in my head. I quickly grabbed a stopwatch and fashioned a “Spin Zone” out of my mom’s cookbooks. I challenged my dad to a “Dreidel Spin-Off”, who could keep the dreidel spinning for a longer amount of time in a confined space.
Me and my dad took turns spinning and keeping time. 10.5 seconds! 11.37 seconds! 15.88 seconds! We began to passionately encourage our dreidels, telling them to “SPIN! SPIN! SPIN!”. Friends and family members still at the party started to gather around the table to see what all the commotion was about. It didn’t take long until everyone began cheering for me and my dad as we battled for the longest spin. I sketched out a tournament bracket and wrote down the names of everyone in the room. Little did I know, but this was the first-ever Major League Dreidel competition and the blueprint for what would ultimately become the “Spinagogue”.
The following year I held an official MLD tournament at Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village of Manhattan. 32 spinners competed, with nearly 100 people in attendance. The event was a success! It was clear that other adults had grown tired of the traditional game, but still enjoyed the act of spinning a dreidel. I called my good friend John, a graphic designer and my cousin Scott, who runs a packaging company. Together we embarked on designing and manufacturing the Spinagogue, the first-ever dreidel spinning stadium.
The board game came out even better than we had imagined, complete with other brand new dreidel games. I sold it at Major League Dreidel events around the country, at a few online shops and even at Bed, Bath and Beyond! However, it was a lot of work and I had another business to manage. Sadly, I could no longer afford to make more Spinagogues and eventually they ran out. The love and demand for Spinagogues, however, did not waver. Every year around Hanukkah, I would get flooded with emails and phone calls from people who wanted a Spinagogue as a gift for their family or friends, for their school or synagogue. I felt awful telling everyone I was out of stock each year. I knew the game brought smiles and joy to people and made Hanukkah more festive and fun for everyone.
Early this December, when I was lamenting about not having anymore Spinagogues for yet another Hanukkah, my friend said, “just crowdfund it, that way anyone that wants one can get one.”
And here we are!