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Kosher Gift Baskets –Baskets of Jewish Tradition For All Your Friends & Family

JoinouremaillistKosher Bakery Classics Care Package Challah Connection has been shipping kosher gift baskets since 2002. In that time, we have learned what people want in a kosher gift basket. Simply put, they want delicious, edible tradition. Jewish baked goods such as challah, babka, rugelach, rainbow cookies and black and whites are the core of our most popular kosher baskets. Whether for Jewish holidays, birthday, shiva, college care package or other occasions, kosher bakery favorites resonate deeply with recipients. We have found that whether or not the recipient keeps kosher, most Jewish people—and non-Jews as well–love these kosher bakery favorites. Other Jewish favorites such as lox and bagels and kosher deli are also treasured.

Many of the bakery favorites were brought to America by immigrants from Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century and have tremendous nostalgia value for many Jews. They have become traditional favorites by many who “grew up” with them and now want to share them with their own children. Here are some quotes from our customers when they were asked to share thoughts and feelings about babka (the loaf shaped coffee cake-like dessert shown above, that is one of our best sellers):

NYC Brunch Basket, Lox and Bagel Basket-“Babka represents family and holidays”
-“Kosher baked goods are so important”
-“My grandmother, from Germany, would make the best babka, and every time I eat it I think of her”
“I remember my grandma rolling out the dough on the kitchen table, and the smells that went thru the house”
-“Babka=Jewish. It symbolizes Bubbee and is a good Jewish staple that most people love.

Through these quotes you can see the deep connection people have with Jewish foods—foods with rich traditions that are included in our kosher gift baskets. A kosher gift basket will bring your Jewish friend or family member a deeper connection to your gift and therefore greater appreciation for your generosity.

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Babka is the Darling of the Kosher Bakery

JoinouremaillistIf there is a darling of the kosher bakery, it is the beloved babka. Babka-a cross between a yeasted bread and coffee cake is typically baked in a loaf shape and with chocolate or cinnamon flavor “veining” throughout. It is rich and delicious with coffee, tea or a glass of milk for afternoon snack, dessert or breakfast.

is a dessert full of soul and history. We can trace babka’s roots to Eastern Europe where the balaboostas (cooks) baked their family recipe for Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. Now, in the 2000’s, you will find babka in kosher bakeries and Jewish stores throughout Europe, Israel Babka, Chocolate Babka, Challah Connectionand the US. It is written about, talked about on TV and radio and is loved by both Jews and non-Jews alike.

At Challah Connection, babka is our customers’ favorite baked good (although rugelach, challah and black and whites are close seconds) and is a key ingredient in our most popular kosher gift baskets. Curious to understand what makes the babka so adored, we sent our customers a brief survey and found some interesting information:

Chocolate babka is without doubt, more popular than cinnamon babka. 64% of recipients prefer chocolate babka vs 36% who prefer cinnamon (remember Elaine on Seinfeld calling cinnamon the “lesser babka?)

When asked what they specifically love about babka, 69% of respondents cited the flavor while 33% stated texture and for another 31%, it’s a reminder of European ancestors.

When we asked our customers to share any additional thoughts, memories, cherished recipes or ideas about babka, we got some truly touching responses:

-A lesser babka, I don’t think so : )

-Babka represents family and holidays

-Brings back the “Old Country

-Great college finals pick me up and reminder that no matter the outcome, we love you

-It’s always a crowd pleaser…even if someone didn’t grow up on Babka, it becomes a favorite

-Just like I used to have when my Mother bought it in the 50s and 60s YUM

-Kosher baked goods are so important

-My grandmother, from Germany, would make the best babka, and every time I eat it I think of her
Kosher Bakery Classics Care Package

-babka is synonymous with shabbes cake and takes me back to summer camp days

-just the yummiest thing ever!

-the more butter and chocolate the better! (note there is no butter in Challah Connection babka; it’s pareve/non dairy)

-There is nothing better than my family standing around the kitchen and slowly eating the babka up while standing! No plates, no seats, no forks needed!

-Babka, like kugel, is quintessentially Eastern European Jewish

-Babka, for me, is a fusion of Jewish and Eastern European (former Soviet Union in my case). If made right it is not too sweet but just right with tea. And of course who can forget the babka that was so prominently featured on an episode of Seinfeld???

-I remember my grandma rolling out the dough on the kitchen table, and the smells that went thru the house

-Babka=Jewish. It symbolizes Bubbee and is a good Jewish staple that most people love. The cinnamon is also good but I find most people really like the chocolate ones.

We find these quotes heartwarming and beautiful. Imagine that a simple baked good carries so much meaning and joy for so many people. We thank our customers for sharing their thoughts and also want to share that our non-Jewish friends also love babka and send it to their loved ones for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Tu B’Shevat, Purim and Passover–Reminders of What’s Important

Winter and early Spring bring lovely Jewish holidays that are perfect opportunities to remind us of important lessons: appreciation of NATURE and FREEDOM. These holidays are also wonderful occasions to send kosher holiday gift baskets to friends and family.

Tu B'Shevat Fruit Basket, Challah ConnectionKnown as Jewish Arbor Day or New Year for the trees,  Tu B’Shevat is a day to honor trees, nature and the earth. On Tu B’Shevat—celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shevat—we celebrate nature and specifically trees and their bounty. On this day we put environmentalism on the front burner as we appreciate the beauty that trees bring to our lives and their fruits. On Tu B’Shevat, it is tradition to eat foods grown on trees or in the earth. Naturally, fruit and nuts make wonderful kosher gifts and Challah Connection offers many fresh fruit baskets to choose from. Carob as well as foods considered Israel’s 7 species, grapes, olives, dates, figs and pomegranates, are also popular. Tu B’Shevat is on February 4, 2015.

Purim is a celebration of freedom, strength of women and the ability to stand up to adversity. Purim tells the story of the wicked Haman who plotted to kill Jews and the beautiful Jewish Queen Esther

Pure Essentials, Challah Connection

who schemed and ultimately saved the Jews. We are instructed to read the Megilla (Purim story) every year at Purim to remind us of the important Purim events and lessons. To help bring it to life for young children to adults, we eat hamentashen—the triangle cookie—that represents Haman’s triangle shaped hat . It is considered a mitzvah to share food gifts, shalach manot, with friends, family and the poor. Our Purim Gift Basket department is full of many Purim gift choices and Shalach Manot. Purim is on March 4.

Following Purim by just a month is Passover, which puts the lesson of slavery vs freedom on the largest scale of the year. Passover, which is 8 days and begins on April 3 with the first seder, tells the story of the Jews’ life as slaves in Egypt followed by their exodus out of the desert to freedom. The Passover Cookie Platter, Challah Connectionseder is filled with symbolism from the way we sit to the foods we eat. The purpose of the seder is to “never forget” and to hold our freedom dear to us. The best known Passover food tradition is matzo, which reminds us of the unleavened bread that our forefathers and mothers ate because they did not have time to wait for their bread to rise. Passover gifts abound as Passover is a wonderful, springtime holiday that is truly a time to share. Visit our Passover Gift Basket department for the finest Passover gift giving. Passover begins on April 3.

If you need help making your selections, we are always here to help:

TOLL FREE: 866-242-5524
CHAT: On our website

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Latkes–The Light of the Hanukkah Kitchen, Recipes Included

Hanukkah is once again upon us and I am dusting off the giant frying pan I use just once a year. shari and jane2 I know many people prefer to buy already cooked latkes to avoid the mess and lingering smell, but once or twice a year, I find it very gratifying to make them and it makes Hanukkah a bit more special. (For those of you who prefer to buy, Challah Connection latkes are as close to homemade as you can get and we deliver them all over the country.)

If you are like me–a homemade latke person–then listen up as I have some terrific recipes to share with you. I picked the brains of some fellow kosher food bloggers and got some impressive spins (not related to the dreidel spinning) on the classic latke. Of course the classic latke is still terrific and you can click here for our recipe.

Amy Kritzer writes the blog “What Jew Wanna Eat” which features Jewish food recipes, each with a dash of her own creative flair. In that vein, Amy has created Latke Nachos with Homemade Queso for those of us who want some Mexican flavor with our latkes. Latkes Nachos from "What Jew Wanna Eat" I love the idea of cheese and black beans and will definitely be trying these.

Latkes Nachos with Homemade Queso

Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
40 mins

“Nacho” average latkes! These are Latkes Nachos!
Author: Amy Kritzer
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Hanukkah
Serves: 2

For queso:
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup plain yogurt (such as Noosa), at room temperature
¼ cup cream cheese (full-fat), at room temperature
¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature (this helps melting)
¾ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature
1 diced chipotle in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
For latkes:
1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups) into a bowl of water.
2 tablespoons onion, small diced
3 eggs, whisked
2 cloves garlic, minced


Fellow Kosher Foodie Liz Rueven also fills her blog Kosher Like Me, with mouthwatering kosher recipes. Her premise is an interesting one and not-so-uncommon: Keeping kosher at home is easy but when venturing out in the world, finding high quality and interesting kosher food becomes a challenge. So Liz, like many, eats vegetarian when she is out and her blog features restaurants she likes along with recipes from the many chefs she meets.

Marcia Selden's Spinach & Zucchini Latkes--Kosher Like MeLiz features a few latke recipes but my favorite are the Spinach and Zucchini, by Marcia Selden Catering.

These veggie packed latkes are more green than potato and are deliciously savory. Enjoy them with sour cream topping, below, if you want to go dairy.

These latkes are NON-DAIRY (pareve)


2 C. blanched and chopped fresh baby spinach
2 C. zucchini
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled
1 large onion
2 large eggs
½ C. matzo meal
2 Tbs. thinly sliced garlic
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ Tbs. Kosher salt
Canola oil


Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion in food processor.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the grated mixture in a bowl and add the spinach, egg, matzo meal, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
In large, non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan on medium high heat.
Spoon the batter (about 2 Tbs. per latke) into pan, being careful not to crowd the latkes.
Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven until all pancakes are fried.
Drain on paper towels and keep warm on a wire rack in the oven on low heat. Serve with herbed sour cream.

Herbed Sour Cream


1 C. sour cream
2 Tbs. each-chopped flat-leaf parsley, chives, fresh dill
1 Tbs. lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
Kosher salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Now that you are inspired to cook the best latkes ever, you will want to present them to family and guests on a platter worthy of your effort. We love our Lights of Hanukkah platter , which of course, you can buy at Challah Connection.

Happy Hanukkah!

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Check out the GobbleTov Video and Learn Why Thanksgiving is a Jewish Holiday

Click on GobbleTov to see the video!

Challah Connection's GobbleTov Video--Don't Miss It!

Challah Connection’s GobbleTov Video–Don’t Miss It!

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Corporate Gift Giving for Jewish Colleagues: Do’s and Don’ts

When you are sending corporate holiday gifts to Jewish clients, customers, employees, coworkers or even your Jewish boss, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


Personal items are not appropriate for corporate gift giving, Challah Connection-Send anything that is too personal. A kosher food gift basket is the optimal gift for holidays including Hanukkah.

-Don’t send alcohol unless you know for a fact that the recipient drinks alcohol and there is no company rule against alcohol gifts.

-Review your company gift giving policy as well as the company policy of the recipient. There are often dollar and content restrictions on both sides.

-Don’t send different gifts to different people within the same office. You do not want to create tensions or questions as to why one person got “X” while another got “Y.”



Sweet Sentiments Holiday Basket, Challah Connection-Send a kosher basket that is large enough to feed the entire office.

-Send a kosher gift basket that every can eat. There are many food allergies that need to be considered—gluten free, nut free, sugar free. Do your research before selecting a gift to determine whether you need to address these.

-If you are sending to someone that is Muslim, a kosher gift basket will often be acceptable.

-If you have determined that alcohol is appropriate, wine from Israel is a special gesture (do not send alcohol to anyone who is Muslim—this is strictly forbidden).

California Dried Fruit and Nut Crate, Challah Connection-Send your gifts from a company that has a deep understanding of kosher food rules. You can determine if they do by asking a few questions such as: “What is your kosher certification?” or “What is the certification of Product XYZ?” If they need to ask many other people (and put you on hold for a long time), the company is not well versed in kosher/Jewish gift giving. The right company should also have a wide array of kosher gifts, not just 2 or 3. It is preferable to select a company where their entire shop is kosher (challahconnection and koshergiftbox are 100% certified kosher). Finally, the selected company should have experience with corporate orders and is willing to resolve any product or delivery issues that may arise.

-Be sure to include a gift message with your gift. Common corporate messages are “Happy Holidays, Wishing you a happy and prosperous 201X” or Happy Holidays, We appreciate your business and look forward to our continued relationship in 201X.” NOTE: Happy Holidays encompasses all December holidays without offending anyone. However, if you know that your recipients celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you can alter the introduction accordingly ie Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas.Rugelach Gift Tin, Challah Connection

Above are some of Challah Connection’s most popular kosher corporate holiday gifts.


Jane Moritz is Owner and Chief Maven Officer of Challah Connection and Kosher Gift Box, the premiere online purveyors of traditional kosher gifts for Jewish holidays, shiva, Jewish birthday celebrations and all Jewish gift giving occasions. Her companies have been “Creating Kvells Since 2002.”

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Challah Connection—A Challah-va Story

I’m often asked how Challah Connection got started. Let me begin with some personal history.

I grew up in a Jewish home where all the holidays were celebrated and my mom cooked delicious Jewish foods. I was surrounded by the flavors of tradition, from tender brisket to fluffy matzo balls to luscious homemade challah. Shortly after my first son was born, I decided to bring the tradition of challah baking into my own home and quickly became hooked on baking challah every Friday. As my kids got older, they would bring their friends to our house on Friday afternoons to watch me bake and to enjoy the aromas and tastes of fresh challah. This was when I really began to experience the power of challah—a flavorful, traditional treat that touches the soul and brings people together no matter what their backgrounds. I saw how challah really does make a connection.

Jane Moritz, Challah Connection owner, with her homemade challah

About this time, I realized that my advertising and direct marketing career wasn’t as exciting for me as it had once been. I was looking for something new and, with my passion for challah baking in mind, I explored baking-related projects and even took a production baking class which was great fun. This class showed me that I LOVED the food business and wanted to make feeding people my next career. Serendipitously, I heard about a company called Challah Connection, a local challah delivery service in Fairfield County, CT. The owner was looking to sell and I was hungry for a new opportunity.

In 2002, I purchased this little golden nugget (shall I say crumb?) of a business intending to stick to its original model of local, weekly challah delivery. But a feature on our company in The New York Times changed all that. We were happily inundated with inquiries that were mostly requests for gift baskets. I had never thought of expanding in that direction but we listened to our customers and the rest, as they say, is history.

Starting with kosher baskets to send as shiva and sympathy gifts, and then expanding into theme baskets for Jewish holidays—Purim, Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot and Hanukkah, and more—we have learned that our customers rely on us as their primary source for Jewish gift giving and kosher gift baskets. They appreciate our explanations of the meanings and symbols behind the foods and our deep knowledge of Jewish traditions.

Now, almost 13 years later, we own the niche of kosher gift giving, offering the largest assortment of kosher gift baskets anywhere and competing with the major gift basket companies. We are proud to be the leading source for Jewish gifts and to share cherished—and delicious—Jewish traditions. And who knows…maybe one day, one of my three sons will leading our mission and I’ll be home baking challah for my grandchildren.

Jane Moritz is Owner and Chief Maven Officer of Challah Connection and Kosher Gift Box, the premiere online purveyors of traditional kosher gifts for Jewish holidays, shiva, Jewish birthday celebrations and all Jewish gift giving occasions. Her companies have been “Creating Kvells Since 2002.”

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My Gluten Free Saga

I don’t have to tell you that Gluten Free eating has become extremely common—it’s everywhere! Much to my own surprise, I switched to a gluten free diet last year after I was diagnosed with an illness for which I had no symptoms. Rather then go on medication as my doctor prescribed, I met with a naturopath who put me on a gluten free diet. Since I’ve been eating gluten free, along with dairy free and (mostly) sugar free, I feel great and I have definitely noticed improvements in a few areas.

gluten free challah, challah connectionHowever, as a baker and lover of baked goods, this transition has been a test in fortitude! I bake challah every Friday and since I have yet to find a gluten free challah recipe that looks remotely appealing, I bake full-flour challah for my family and watch them enjoy it. It’s the same for cookies, cakes, rugelach—I love them all but haven’t had any in over a year! When I tell you that the biggest treat I have had over the last year is a Larabar (peanut butter chocolate chip my favorite), I am not exaggerating. I have one just about every day. But recently, my GF “treat” situation changed for the better.

Recently, I was shopping at a farmers market on the Upper West Side of New York when much to my excitement, I found a vendor with gorgeous Gluten free rugelach, Challah Connectionchallah and rugelach (shown above and right)—gluten free and kosher! I bought a bag of the rugelach, gave my business card to the shopkeeper and went home to “taste” the rugelach. I thought I would have 1 piece but then I had another and soon I had convinced myself that 5 was really fine since I had been deprived for a year and a half.

Long story short, we are now carrying this line of gluten free baked goods. They are from Las Delicias of the Bronx, and we are thrilled. The challah is outstanding as well as the rugelach, cookies and brownies. Recently, the owner of the bakery Debbie Brenner, visited us with armloads of samples and to tell her “gluten free story,” which of course was fascinating.

If you or someone you know eats a gluten free diet and enjoys Jewish baked goods including challah (pictured above)—truly braided and not using a mold—please send to challahconnection. You will be doing a mitzvah! With all of these samples here, I could use some help.

Debbie Brenner, Owner, Las Delicias and Ann Delaurentis, Director, Customer Service, Challah Connection

Debbie Brenner, Owner, Las Delicias and Ann Delaurentis, Director, Customer Service, Challah Connection

Written by Jane Moritz (, Chief Maven Officer, Challah Connection

Challah Connection is the premiere online kosher gift company specializing in Jewish traditional gifts for Jewish Holiday, Shiva, Jewish Birthday and all Jewish gift giving occasions . “Creating Kvells Since 2002”

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Shabbas Project and Challah Baking Pictures

This past weekend was the worldwide event, Shabbos Project. People all over the world celebrated Shabbat as one gigantic Jewish community. One of my favorite Shabbos Project activities was the Challah Bake I attended, along with my husband Josh and sister, Steph, at the Chabad of Stamford, CT. Both Josh and Steph were first time challah bakers.

I love group activities and baking challah as a group is such a warm and delightful pleasure. Our large group (50-75? people) was led by the Leah Shemtov who was so enthusastic, helpful and patient. I was so pleased how our challah turned out and even more happy that my husband really enjoyed the event and proud of his challah! My sister Steph, was equally encouraged and says that she looks forward to more challah baking. Great to have more family challah bakers! If they can bake challah, so can you. Here is a my favorite recipe. Enjoy the photos!

challah connection challah baking

Leah and the tables all set for the challah bakers


Jane Moritz of Challah Connection and Leah Shemtov of Chabad baking challah for Shabbos Project, 2014

Jane Moritz of Challah Connection and Leah Shemtov of Chabad baking challah for Shabbos Project, 2014


Josh Moritz braiding his challah dough. Why don't more men bake challah?

Josh Moritz braiding his challah dough. Why don’t more men bake challah?


Jane’s sister, Steph Mark, showing off her skills

Jane’s sister, Steph Mark, showing off her skills


Jane Moritz, Josh Moritz, Challah

Jane and Josh’s challahs–they were delicious!

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Please Don’t Send Flowers for a Jewish Death or Shiva

I was saddened to hear of the passing of a friend’s mother. My friend is Jewish and since my company Challah Connection is a leader in Jewish gift giving, I am highly attuned to the specifics included in obituaries and emails regarding death and shiva. So, I was reminded again, that so many Jewish people are not aware of shiva traditions. Let me please remind you–Jewish and non-Jewish friends of perhaps the most important Jewish shiva tradition.

The leading tradition is that it is not appropriate to send or give flowers for a Jewish death.

I made the mistake myself when I was trying to “do the right thing” in my mid-twenties. Who knows about such things at that age? I still feel embarrassed that I sent flowers to a religious relative who lost his mother.

Why don’t we give flowers for shiva or a Jewish death? In Judaism, we grieve for 7 days with the company of family and friends (shiva means 7 in Hebrew). There are specific traditions regarding appropriate dress, behavior and more during shiva, which you can read here. However, during shiva, we are meant to truly grieve and not to be distracted by pleasure or beauty that is found in objects such as flowers. But don’t despair, if you want to send a gift, a shiva gift is completely appropriate and appreciated. Shiva gifts are Sympathy Comfort Basket, Challah Connectionkosher gift baskets filled with baked goods such as babka, rugelach, cookies and other treats such as nuts, fruit and candy. The purpose of a shiva gift is to provide food and nourishment for the grievers as well as to provide food for the guests so that the family doesn’t need to worry about providing food.

There is a lot more I can teach you about shiva and am happy to help if you have any questions. Please email me at You can also find other helpful information here, on our SHIVA FAQ page. My hope for today is that you won’t send any more flowers for shiva but rather, a shiva basket. Of course, the very best place to order your shiva gift is Challah Connection. Without bias, we have the largest array of shiva gifts available and have a deep knowledge of this important Jewish tradition.

Written by Jane Moritz (, Chief Maven Officer, Challah Connection

Challah Connection is the premiere online kosher gift company specializing in Jewish traditional gifts for Jewish Holiday, Shiva, Jewish Birthday and all Jewish gift giving occasions . “Creating Kvells Since 2002”

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