Archive for August, 2014

Rosh Hashana Gift Giving Advice

August 28, 2014

With Rosh Hashana less than a month away (starting at sundown on 9/24), many thoughtful people are contacting us looking for Rosh Hashana gift giving advice. Some of the questions we have heard are:

-What should I give my Jewish boss or coworker for Rosh Hashana?

-I’m not Jewish but my best friend is—what should I give?

-What do you recommend for my college student?

-Is it appropriate to give a Rosh Hashana gift to clients and customers?

-We are going to our neighbors’ for break fast, what should I bring?

-What are the best Rosh Hashana gifts for young kids?

-What should my Rosh Hashana gift message say?

These questions make us so happy. Why? We find it genuinely touching that people take such care and thought into giving the right gift for a Jewish holiday. So let us be as generous with our advice. Here are some general Rosh Hashana gift giving recommendations:

BUDGET

Rosh Hashana Traditions Basket, Challah Connection

Rosh Hashana Traditions Basket from Challah Connection

How much do you want to spend? Our Rosh Hashana gifts and kosher gift baskets run the price gamut—from our Holiday Challah Set ($39.99) to our Sweetest 5775 Basket. ($299.99) Or you can send a simple jar of honey and some apples for $20. (Don’t forget the shipping cost!). Whatever your budget, stick to it. There is no need to exceed it as whatever you send from the smallest to the most impressive will be appreciated.

FOOD vs NON FOOD

Let’s face it, Rosh Hashana—like all Jewish holidays—is a foodie’s delight. With the focus on sweetness and apples and honey, there are plenty of choices. My top 3 favorite kosher Rosh Hashana gift baskets are Bee Fruitful Basket, Rosh Hashana Traditions Basket and Sweet New Year Basket. All of these kosher gift baskets honor the apples and honey tradition that is key to ensuring a sweet New Year. Click here for our complete Rosh Hashana dept or here for our online catalog.

If you are a baker, as I am, I would bake an apple cake (terrific recipe here) or some round challah (my favorite challah recipe here).

If you prefer to send a non food Rosh Hashana gift, a honey pot with honey is a great choice or any beautiful Judaica such as a mezuzah, necklace, or wall hanging. Sending something from Israel is a very special gesture. Click here to see our gorgeous Israeli products.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOVE

-What should I give my Jewish boss or coworker for Rosh Hashana?

Work related recipients should receive gifts that are not personal in nature and should not include alcohol (alcohol is appropriate for clients and customers). It is best to select a Rosh Hashana gift basket that reflects Jewish tradition such as our 5775 Breakfast Basket, Rosh Hashana Nosh Platter or for a different idea: Honey Server and Dish Set with honey. All 3 are impressive and will show your thoughtfulness.

I’m not Jewish but my friend is—what should I give?

For a friend, perhaps you are looking to acknowledge the holiday without breaking the bank. A serving dish, tin of rugelach or round challah and honey are great, low cost choices.

What do you recommend for my college student?

Our experience working with parents of college students indicates that parents have 2 specific goals when sending Jewish holiday gifts to their kids: 1) Remind the child that the holiday is here and 2) Send a taste of home and love. Our Rosh Hashana Nosh Platter and Traditions in a Box were specifically created with college kids in mind. These gifts reflect holiday traditions and are also great for sharing with roommates. Another kosher gift basket often sent by parents is our Rosh Hashana Traditions Basket. Please be sure to read our advice about shipping to college dorms or apartments.

Tupelo Honey Flute for Rosh Hashana

Tupelo Honey Flute for Rosh Hashanacollege dorms or apartments.

Is it appropriate to give a Rosh Hashana gift to clients and customers?

Not only is giving a Rosh Hashana gift basket or kosher gift basket to a client or customer appropriate, but it makes great business sense. The point of gifting a client is to thank them for the business and solidify the relationship. What better way to do this than to acknowledge their own holiday therefore honoring them and who they are? We have many many corporate customers—most of whom are not Jewish—who send gifts for all of the Jewish holidays to their clients. This is a terrific business practice that will pay dividends toward your future relationship. One of our most popular corporate kosher baskets for Rosh Hashana is our L’Chaim Wine Extavaganza.

We are going to our neighbors’ for Yom Kippur break fast, what should I bring?

Break fast is typically a dairy meal. After fasting for 24 hours, we try to avoid the “shock” to our bodies that meat can bring. The typical menu for Break fast is lox and bagels, sweet kugel (noodle pudding), assorted cheeses, blintzes and fresh fruit. For dessert, rugelach, apple cake, babka and cookies are great choices. A dessert such as apple cake or rugelach are excellent choices that your host and hostess will very pleased with.

What are the best Rosh Hashana gifts for young kids?

When it comes to kids and Jewish holidays, INVOLVMENT is key. Like all of us, kids learn best when engaged. For Rosh Hashana, consider a toy shofar, a fun puzzle or an imagination playset. Of course, some added sweetness like apples and honey is a great addition.

What should my Rosh Hashana gift message say?

When sending a gift, including a gift message is key! A great gift message is “Shana Tova! Wishing you a sweet, happy and healthy New Year. With love, Your Name.” If your gift is to a client or customer, a great way to sign the card is “Your friends from ABC company.”

I hope that this Rosh Hashana gift giving advice is helpful to you. Feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions. Shana Tova to you and your family.

 

Written by Jane Moritz (jane@challahconnection.com), 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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Rosh Hashana Gifts for College Students

With Rosh Hashana coming we are thinking of our kids at college and Rosh Hashana gifts for college students. Jewish Holidays, particularly Rosh Hashana, since it falls at the beginning of the school year, is particularly difficult for parents. We miss our kids Apple Cakearound our holiday table! However, from my own personal experience as well as that of thousands of customers, this sadness can be diminished by sending Jewish holiday foods and Rosh Hashana gifts that your student will love.At Challah Connection, we have created kosher holiday gifts specifically with college kids in mind. When my first son Sam left for college, I missed him terribly. There was a hole at our holiday table that was tangible to us all. However I did get some solace knowing that I had sent Sam enough round challah, honey, rugelach and apples to share with his dorm friends. When he called to tell me how much the kids loved the goodies (many of whom had never had challah) I felt a sense of happiness and peace.

IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR COLLEGE GIFT GIVING

1) Shipping to a dorm? Allow 1-2 days for the gift to navigate its way from the dorm loading dock or entrance to your child’s mailbox. Be sure to tell your student to check his/her mail. Often, the kids forget to do so. These are simple steps that will ensure smooth delivery.

2) Shipping to Apartment? Ask your student when he/she or roommates will be there to receive the package. If no one will be there during the day and there is no doorman, then you may need to consider delivery to an alternate address such as a friend or jobSweet New Year address. Fedex will only leave packages if the driver feels it’s safe to do so andwill attempt delivery 3 times before leaving a note that the recipient needs to come to the Fedex office to retrieve the package. You may want to select a gift that is not perishable in this case.

TOP FIVE ROSH HASHANA GIFTS FOR COLLEGE KIDS

-Rosh Hashana Traditions Basket
-Rosh Hashana Nosh Platter
-Traditions in a Box
-Sweet New Year Basket
-High Holiday Challah Set

Share the traditions of home and know that you have sent your student a delicious reminder that it’s Rosh Hashana—the time for new beginnings and promise. L’Shana Tova to you.

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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The Traditional Jewish Holiday Meal

With Rosh Hashana coming soon, there’s lots of talk of the traditional Jewish holiday meal but what is it and how did it become the meal most served at Jewish holidays?

The typical components of the traditional Jewish meal include gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls (also called Kneidlach), brisket, roasted chicken, a potato dish such as kugel or latkes and tzimmes. Like many “Jewish” foods, the Jewish meal components are Ashkenazi as they originated in Eastern Europe. Before World War II, countries such as Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland had sizable Jewish communities where Jewish life including food traditions thrived. So many of our favorite foods have their roots in these countries including babka, rugelach, kichel (bowties) and of course the meal including brisket.

Why brisket? Brisket has some key features that have propelled it to become the “Jewish meat staple.” First, it’s relatively cheap vs other cuts such as steak. Second, brisket is typically sold in comparatively large amounts (usually at least a 3 lb cut), which is generally too much meat for a typical dinner or Shabbat but plenty for a holiday. So when serving many people for Rosh Hashana or Passover seder, brisket is a relatively inexpensive meat option. Third, it’s hard to ruin or overcook brisket. Letting it simmer for hours only makes it better.

Note that none of the Jewish meal components have any dairy ingredients. This is another reason that these foods have become traditional Jewish holiday foods. One of the primary kosher rules is that meat and milk should never be mixed. Butter or milk is not necessary in the preparation of any of these dishes. Instead of butter or fat, often schmaltz (chicken fat) is used or oil (canola, vegetable or olive). It is this reason that Jewish dairy foods such as blintzes, and lox and bagels with cream cheese tend to “go” together as a lighter meal, often for brunch.

Finally, tradition and heritage play a huge role in the evolution of these foods as the traditional Jewish meal components. Most American Jews have roots in Europe and there is no better way to connect to previous generations then through food. You have heard about “Bubbe’s” recipe for this or that. While there may be an actual bubbe (grandmother) in the family, “bubbe” is often intended as the universal Jewish grandma that knows how to cook to perfection and is an all around Balaboosteh or a maven at everything in the house-from cooking to cleaning to entertaining.

Let’s honor tradition and good taste as we enjoy a traditional Jewish meal. Click here for some useful Jewish recipes. Or, if you prefer not to cook, you can order a terrific glatt kosher meal at Challah Connection.

Written by Jane Moritz, Chief Maven Officer Challah Connection

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