Picking the perfect judaica gift
Whether it’s for Hanukkah, the High Holidays, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Passover or just because, there are lots of opportunities to give a Judaica gift. Selecting a present that honors your faith is a wonderful way to make the occasion even more special. But sometimes it can be hard to decide what to buy.
Here are some ideas for different occasions where a gift of Judaica is the right choice, and some suggestions for what to choose to make the gift meaningful and memorable.
During the High Holidays, the focus is on introspection, self-improvement and forgiveness. It’s also a time to think about those who have passed on, and honor their memory.
Some simple gifts that work well for this season include journals, photo frames and personal growth books. Popular Judaica gifts for the High Holidays include platters for the break-the-fast meal, candlesticks for the Yom Tov (holiday) candles, and Judaic-themed tablecloths.
Food gifts are also popular choices for Rosh Hashanah and for the break-the-fast at the end of Yom Kippur, especially cakes or sweets made with apples or honey.
Giving gifts on Hanukkah is a recent development, but it has really caught on, especially among Americans. Choosing gifts that focus on the holiday is a good way to keep the meaning of the celebration, instead of just feeding the commercialization so common in so many holidays.
You might want to give someone a new, unique menorah (also called a “Hanukiah), beautiful hand dipped Hanukkah candles or a creatively decorated dreidel. Little kids can share in the holiday fun with children’s books about Hanukkah or a stuffed toy menorah.
Small chocolates, nuts or other little sweet treats are another good choice, since they can be used to play dreidel. Food gifts made with oil (such as doughnuts) are another option.
When a young woman or man celebrates their “coming of age” in Judaism (usually at age 13), gifts are usually a part of the event. Selecting a gift that reinforces their commitment to Judaism is a wonderful way to add to the religious significance of the day.
Judaic books, a beautiful kippah, or a tallit (prayer shawl) are all good choices. Or consider Judaic jewelry, such as a Hamsah or Star of David necklace.
Passover is one of the most popular Jewish holidays. Even Jews who don't observe most Jewish celebrations will host or attend a Seder. That means that Judaic gifts are easy to find for this holiday.
You can find lovely seder plates at many stores or in online catalogs. Sets of wine glasses are another popular choice, as are Kosher-for-Passover wines. Passover candies and desserts are another thoughtful choice, whether you're shopping for close friends, family or casual acquaintances.
Other gift-giving ocassions
Weddings, birthdays, new babies and anniversaries are all good times for giving Jewish-themed gifts. There are lovely choices for every event and celebration, if you look carefully in Judaic shops and online.