To be sure, Chanukah isn’t all about gifts. Still, let’s face it, getting gifts is great. Finding the right gift? Not so much. Maybe we can help.
KNOCKIN’ IT OUT OF THE PARK!
Israel baseball began in 1986 when a group of baseball-loving expats established the Israel Association of Baseball (IAB), a non-profit organization to promote and develop baseball in Israel. Today, there are about 1,000 baseball players pitching and hitting for teams throughout the Jewish state. The sale of Israeli baseball t-shirts, hoodies and caps, for kids and adults, helps support Israel’s many baseball programs. $5 – $50 at IsraelBaseballShop.com.
This exquisite 11”-high cast bronze kiddush cup designed by award-winning sculptor Zachary Oxman depicts Miriam amidst her miraculous well of water swirling around her as she raises a vessel made of handblown art glass. Oxman’s sculpture is exhibited and commissioned by galleries, museums, synagogues, private collectors and governmental entities across the nation. $895.00 at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
This bronze mezuzah is a part of the Mi Polin “Mezuzah From This Home” project, which commemorates Jewish life in pre-war Poland by taking mezuzah casts from the door frames of once Jewish homes. They symbolize the emptiness of now vacant homes, the remembrance of those who lived there, and the reclaiming of the mezuzah, which for years remained empty but now can fulfill its role. $300 (scroll not included) at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
Made from recycled soda cans, these beautiful mezuzot, intended for use indoors, are a product of Fair Trade Judaica, an organization that promotes economic partnerships based on equality, justice and sustainable environmental practices. Fair Trade connects consumers in the West with producers from other countries, by emphasizing fair value return, environmental protection, human and workers’ rights. Available in green/blue/white (Sprite), red/white/black (Coca Cola), and black/white/red (Coca Cola Zero). $18 at Fair Trade Judaica, fairtradejudaica.org.
“CAWFFEE” TO GO
What could be bettuh than a coffee mug with a Brooklyn accent? You may not end up tawking like a native…but it couldn’t hoot. $17.95 at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
“OY” IS FOR YOGA
Yiddische Yoga: OYsanas for Every Generation, a colorful, high-quality cartoon book by Rhonda Rosenheck, pokes affectionate fun at how Jews have become increasingly drawn toward Buddhism and yoga over the past 50 years. Modeled after David Bader’s 1999 book, Haiku for Jews, Yiddische Yoga features four “Neshama (Spirit) Guides,” with each character representing a different Jewish archetype and slice of Jewish life. And for the seriously curious, the book includes a list of “Real Resources” for learning about Jewish yoga, chanting and meditation. $12.95 at Ben Yehuda Press, benyehudapress.com.
HOT (and bothered) POTATO
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket (yes, THAT Lemony Snicket) tells the tale of a potato pancake that leaps out of the frying pan, screaming loud as it tries in vain to explain itself and its role at Chanukah to flashing colored lights, a candy cane and a Christmas tree. Embedding a satirical sting in his cadenced prose, author Daniel Handler up-ends any number of conventions in this funny, funny book. Great for adults and kids ages two and older. $11 at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
The side-splitting tales from the legendary town of Chelm are now collected in the first encyclopedia of Chelm stories. The Silly World of Chelm includes more than 150 stories straight out of the fabled town of Chelm — where solving life’s practical problems is a rollicking journey into the inane. $24.95 at Feldheim Publishers, fedlheim.com, and Jewish book stores everywhere.
FOR THE FOODIE
This gift box has everything you need to give some important someone a sumptuous all-Israeli, all-natural treat from Israel’s Lin’s Farm. Together with the internationally-renowned Merlot wine from the Golan Heights Winery, this box also includes a jar of raw, pure, organic wildflower honey, two sweet spreads based on silan – natural date honey, a natural vinaigrette made from farm-fresh spices and organic honey, and a bag of herbal tea infusion. Packed in a stunning real-wood presentation box! $99.00 at JudaicaWebStore.com.
BAG IT, DANNO!
Designed (and signed ) by artist Kent Stetson, these two clutch bags are for music and mah jongg lovers, respectively. Limited quantities made in the artist’s shop in Rhode Island. $155 each at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
FOUNTAIN OF DELIGHTS
This eye-catching Kiddush fountain by Israeli artist Yair Emanuel is filled with color and made from anodized aluminum. Made in Israel, the turquoise goblet is surrounded by eight cups in a variety of colors set in a sparkling blue fountain. $148 by Yaliland at amazon.com.
This ceramic Hebrew name plate welcomes guests to your home with a design inspired by the eclectic art nouveau style of Gustav Klimt. Made in Israel by Luzatti, the plaque is hand-painted using 10 different colors. A variety of styles and sizes available. $57.80 at Ahuva, ahuva.com.
Get into the spin of Chanukah with these festive dreidel-infused leggings for adults and kids. There’s even matching onesies for babies. $28 at Midrash Manicures, midrashmanicures.com.
YUM. ENOUGH SAID.
William Sonoma (williamsonoma.com) have come up with these three tasty treats to sweeten your holiday: A trio of Chanukah-inspired sugar cookies can be personalized with names of up to nine letters. Hand-decorated and baked from scratch, these scrumptious treats are prepared with fresh eggs, creamery butter and Madagascar vanilla. Certified kosher by KSA. $29.95
The classic gingerbread house has been transformed into a snow-capped Chanukah cottage decorated with white and blue icing and a cookie plaque above the door that can be personalized or will read “Happy Hanukkah.” Great as a gift or as a centerpiece for the Chanukah dinner table. $79.95
Fresh-picked, giant Granny Smith apples are double-dipped in buttery caramel and dark chocolate, then decorated with white and milk chocolates and wrapped up with a festive Chanukah ribbon and dreidel. $34.95
ROCK OF AGES
Amalie R. Rothschild: A Photo Collection – Fillmore East, Woodstock, the Music Pictures and More…. is a signed catalog of the renowned photographer’s music picture archive, taken primarily from 1968 to 1974. The book also includes biographical information and selected reviews. $25 at the National Museum of Jewish American History, judaicashop.net.
They loved it on TV’s “Shark Tank,” now “Mensch on a Bench” comes in a gift set that includes a 12-inch plush doll, storybook, and additional accessories – all meant to tell and celebrate the story of Chanukah. $29.99 at The Mensch on a Bench, themenschonabench.com.