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Purim is Next Week!

Now that President’s Week school break and the Oscars is over, it’s time to face reality: Purim is next week, Wednesday to be exact. We know so many of you love sending Purim gifts and shalach manot to friends and family, but it’s time to wake up and smell the sweet smell of fresh baked hamentashen: Purim is a little more then a week away. What does this mean?

It’s time to go to and shop for the finest Purim gifts available anywhere. Our hamentashen (the triangle shaped cookie that we eat on Purim) is fresh-baked-delicious and comes in five flavors: raspberry, apricot, poppyseed, prune and chocolate. While our Purim gifts are outstanding, so is our customer service. As so many of you know, we go way out of our way to make sure that your gifts arrive in perfect condition and on time (It’s a sad state of the world that our customers are happily shocked when we call or email to tell them that we changed their shipping method to save them money or that the shipping method they chose is not going to deliver the package on their specified date. We are constantly amazed that so many companies DON’T do this–shame on them!!).

Salespitch over–Please get your Purim shopping done–while we still have stock of everything on our website!!

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Valentine’s Day: What Makes This Day Different From Any Other?

With 23 happy years of marriage under my belt and 21.5 of them as a mother of 3 beautiful sons, one of my goals is to shine my love on them everyday, as many times a day as possible. Naturally, given my humanness, I am not always successful and my own needs sometimes get in the way. But I do try. So, when Valentine’s Day comes around I usually invoke the old Passover idea: What makes this day different then any other? Honestly, not that much. But now that 2 of my sons are away at school, Valentine’s Day for me is largely an occasion to send them some love and we all know that the mailable version of love is FOOD. So, if you are like me and you need to send some love to those who are away, the 2 gifts shown here; the SweetHeart Valentine Tin (above) and the outrageously yummy Brownie Gift Box (left) are 2  of my favorite delicious choices. While we do have a Valentine’s Gift department that has more Valentine-specific items, just go to–our entire site is filled with “Mailable Love.”

Love and kisses,


P.S. To see all of our delicious food gifts, click here!

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Vote Here!

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2011 A Kinder Holiday Season

This holiday season is going to be a remarkable and beautiful one. Simply by the fall of the calendar, people of many faiths will be sharing their holiday traditions—together.

As a Jew, I often feel isolated and left out when so many people around me are celebrating Christmas. Conversely, I know that my Christian friends often feel the same when we are frying up the latkes and lighting the menorah. This year, it will all be different.

This year, Hanukkah spans an 8 day period during which Christmas falls. Even better, Christmas Eve is on Saturday night—party night–and naturally, Christmas day follows on Sunday.

So, what makes this holiday season 2011 different from other holiday seasons?

We will all be celebrating together, on the same day, which is beautiful and remarkable because we will:

For those of you who celebrate both holidays—and I know there are many—this year promises to have less stress and more joy. No need to have 2 celebrations, but rather one, joyous, peaceful one.

What to Bring to a Holiday Celebration
Going to a party where both Hanukkah and Christmas are being celebrated? This is a perfect opportunity to share Hanukkah traditions while also acknowledging Christmas traditions. Potato Latkes, Blue and White Cookies, a Hanukkah gift Basket–all lovely choices for sharing.

I wish you the warmest of holidays seasons. Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!

Jane Moritz
Owner, Challah Connection

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Kosher Gifts and More for Hanukkah and Holidays

Here at Challah Connection, we are always developing new kosher gifts for you to share with friends and family. To that end, we travel to many national food shows and gourmet food shops in Manhattan, Brooklyn and our local CT neighborhood–wherever we know fabulous foods exist that can be paired into fabulous kosher gift baskets.

In time for your holiday gift giving, I am pleased to announce terrific new kosher gifts for Hanukkah and Christmas as well as some gorgeous new Judaica (menorahs and dreidels) that we have sourced for Hanukkah. All of these new gifts make terrific Hanukkah gifts and Holiday gift baskets.

One of my favorite new kosher gifts, NYC Food Tour Tower, is a collection of NYC iconic foods such as Dr. Brown’s soda, black and white cookies and more, assembled in sturdy “keeper” boxes that display a dramatic photo montage of NYC and Brooklyn’s top spots.

Another great new gift is our Happy Chanukah Chocolate Gift Box, so happy-looking and delicious.Our new Blissful Brownie Gift Box is great for large volume corporate gift giving or as a gift to Aunt Sue. As for Jewish and Judaica gifts, we have some gorgeous new menorahs, dreidels and decorations from Emily Rosenfeld, Gary Rosenthal, Tamara Baskin as well as a beautiful new ornament.
Shopping for a baseball fan? There are alot of you out there. I know that I will be giving my Yankee-fan-son “Jeter’s 3000 Hit Baseball.” For my nephew, who just moved into his first post-college apartment, what could be better than “Ballparks of the MLB,” a framed piece that includes real dirt from every MLB ballpark? Pretty exciting!

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to peruse our new and “old favorite” holiday gifts. As I hope you realize, we work very hard to find the finest gifts for all of your gift-giving needs. If you have product suggestions, please let me know, we want to hear them!

Jane Moritz
Owner, Challah Connection

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Kvelling is a Community Activity

KVELL: Do you know the meaning of this soulful Yiddish word?

It means to gush with pride.

I hope that you have had much to kvell about recently. Something great that you did that brought happiness to someone? Or maybe one of your kids or grandkids did something kvell-worthy?

Well, we Challah “Connectors” are kvelling right along with one of our customers and his grandmother. Here’s a story for us all to kvell about. Read it and at the end, I will tell you why we should all be proud, why we should all be a community of kvellers.

Hi Jane:

I just wanted to let you know that my grandmother was the happy recipient of
a Challah and Babka this past Saturday – just in time for breaking the Yom
Kippur fast. I sent the Challah to my 95 year old (!) grandmother in
upstate New York. She is very healthy, but two weeks ago she slipped and
fell, and while she didn’t break anything, she’s had to take a break from
her normal busy schedule to rest and recover. Also, this year, since
everyone was travelling/not home, she was going to be spending the holiday
without family. I spoke with her last Friday and she said she wished she
could drive downtown and at least buy a Challah to break the fast, but she
probably wasn’t going to be up to making the trip…

Imagine her delight when the next day, a beautiful challah and cake arrived
at her door. It really cheered her up and gave her a much needed boost –
she said it was one of the best, most special gifts she’d ever gotten. I’m
very appreciative to you and your company for making this happen! As I’m
sure you already are, you can be very proud of what you’re bringing to
people! It’s not just bread, it’s also love…

Best wishes!

“It’s not just bread, it’s also love…” I am kvelling over this statement as all of you Challah Connection gift givers should too. When you send someone something as simple as a challah you are sending a tradition, a sweetness and a part of yourself–which is love. That is the true essence of gift giving. Give yourself a moment to kvell over your good deed.

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The True Meaning of Camp

Camp Keewaydin
Way back during our dating days, in addition to how many kids we wanted to have, where to live and more, my husband and I discussed–and agreed–that we wanted our kids to go to camp. We both had had life changing experiences there. I learned lots about strength and resilience at my Canadian swimming camp where the motto was “we don’t sew beads on belts.” Josh made friends that are still an important part of his life.

In 2000, Sam, our first son, went off to camp, leading his two brothers, who followed shortly after. There is no doubt that after over 20 collective years of camp, all three boys love it deeply and have taken the essence of it into their everyday lives. Sam, almost 21, just started his third year on staff. Harry, 19, is leaving soon for a 6 week cross country camping trip. My “little” 15 year old, Mike, just started his eighth and last summer there. Lessons like “help the other fellow” and others that are gleaned from 17 day canoeing trips in Canada have shaped them in so many ways. Our camp, Keewaydin, is all about fun, adventures and challenges through rugged trips and outdoor living. It is truly a remarkable place.

This article, “A Lost World of Family Time,” written by Michael Thompson, author of “Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys,” really brings to life the spirit of camp that Josh and I were looking for when envisioning the lives of our future children.

Please share with us your thoughts and experiences about camp by posting on our blog. I know everyone in the Challah Connection Community will find them interesting.

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My Favorite Mensch–My Dad

The summer I turned nine, my parents sent me to camp for the first time. That first day, after filing off the bus in our gingham shorts and sleeveless shirts, we new campers huddled together, nervous, excited, waiting for the camp director to call our names and send us to our bunks. Half way through the list of names, the director called “Tiger Mark,” but no one responded. Eventually, all the names were called, but I didn’t hear my name. Maybe I had gotten on the wrong bus?

“Tiger Mark,” the director called again and smiled at me. Then I understood. I recognized my last name “Mark.” My Dad, ever the jokester, had filled in my name on the camp form as “Tiger.” It was his nickname for me, his way of reminding me, even hundreds of miles away at camp, to set my eye on my goal and never give up. I raised my hand and smiled big. “That’s me,” I said.

Not giving up was the third most important thing my Dad taught me. The second most important? Be straight and clear and true with others. His straightforward approach never caused us to doubt him or question his meaning. Once, for example, when we asked him what death meant, he told us it meant you stopped breathing. So last summer, when he stopped breathing, we knew what it meant. There is a time to not give up, but there’s also a time to let go, my Dad seemed to tell me as he took his last breath.

Despite these profound lessons, one lesson transcends them both. The third most important thing my Dad taught me: love. He loved his family first and best; we always knew it, and we know it still. For his lessons and for his love, I remember and honor my father this Father’s Day. He is my number one mensch.

Who is yours? Please share a short story, essay, or remembrance of your favorite mensch on this blog. To read more about my Dad, Julian Mark click here.

Best, Jane (Tiger Mark) Moritz

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Counting in Hebrew, Just Like Riding a Bike

This morning, I got a call from a lovely man who wanted to order a cheescake as a Shavuot gift for his wife. After a few minutes of various questions and answers, he told me he was in the subway. I was impressed that his cell phone carrier was so competently keeping our call alive when we arrived at the point in the call where I needed to ask for his credit card info:

Me: “Is it secure there for you to give me your credit card number,” imagining him flanked on both sides by other riders.

Him: “Do you know Hebrew?”

Me: “Not really, but I’m probably ok at my numbers.”

So began the jogging of my memory to forage the ehad, shtayim, shalosh that I learned in day school so many years ago to obtain a Visa card number. It was actually kind of fun–he said a few numbers in Hebrew, I read them back in English. It was nice–we had formed a real partnership-2 strangers in a joint endeavor.

It was a very fruitful call: my customer’s wife is getting a delicious cheesecake and I am feeling empowered that I was able to remember my hebrew numbers–just like riding a bike! I hope you have a great day too.

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The Land of Milk and Honey

The phrase “land of milk and honey” is one that many of us have heard before. First mentioned in the book of Exodus as a description of Israel’s agricultural abundance, it was Moses’s destination while leading Jews out of Egypt.

Since then, it has become a visual metaphor for all things flowing and abundant. It is a term that conjures up pure pleasure including freedom, delicious, birth, fertility and more.

The holiday of Shavuot is on June 8 and celebrates the giving of the Torah* at Mt. Sinai, and the season’s first harvest of fruits. It’s customary to eat a dairy meal on Shavuot, reminding us of the land of milk and honey.

Assorted Gourmet Mini Cheesecakes

My favorite dairy dishes are blintzes, lasagna, noodle kugel, cottage cheese pancakes and cheesecake. As a matter of fact, cheesecake has become the most popular Shavuot dessert.

* the Torah is the primary “Jewish document” showing Jews how to act, feel and participate in every aspect of life and death. It is the “blueprint” for Jewish life and death.

Marble Truffle Cheesecake

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