The Jewish Week: Cool And Meaningful Gifts For Passover

Posted on: March 28, 2017



Chocolate and Liberation
These fair-trade organic kosher for Passover bars come from small farmer cooperatives in Latin America. At these farms, workers are treated fairly and there is no child labor. The eight bars in the seder host box include Dark Chocolate Lemon Ginger with Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch and Panama Extra Dark. Shipped, of course, in a recycled box.

A project of Fair Trade Judaica, Tru’ah and Equal Exchange, Box of eight bars, $27.

Stories of Freedom and Friendship
For young readers, Barbara Diamond Goldin’s “The Passover Cowboy,” illustrated by Gina Capaldi (Apples & Honey Press), is set a century ago not in the American West, but in Argentina, where a Jewish family resettles after leaving Russia. David, the son, finds a first friend in Benito, who teaches him about riding horses in this warm Passover story that explores the question of home.

In “Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom, Salaam,” Fawzia Gilani-Williams adapts a tale that has both Jewish and Arab origins, sometimes about two brothers, and here about two friends, an Arab girl and a Jewish girl. Yaffa and Fatima are neighbors in the Land of Milk and Honey, their homes separated by date groves. The girls, who have much in common, including prayer, fast days, special foods and family celebrations — even as they do them differently — find a way to help each other. Chiara Fedele’s illustrations enhance the timeless folktale.

Available at bookstores.
“The Passover Cowboy,” $17.95 hardcover.
“Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom, Salaam,” $17.99 hardcover, $7.99 paper.

Matzah Geometrics

Made in Israel, this striking matzah plate in white metal elevates the matzah, and can also be flipped over and used on its other side.

The Jewish Museum Shop — 1109 Fifth Ave. (92nd Street)
$64 ($57.60 museum members).

Stylish Cover-ups

Designed by Daphna Allen, an Israeli designer living in Spain, these hand-sewn linen matzah and afikomen covers feature delicate metallic blue embroidery in words and beautiful patterns.

The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (92nd Street), Matzah cover, $48 ($43.20 members); Afikomen cover, $30 ($27 members).

Songbirds and More

These handmade and hand-painted songbirds and small boxes are made with found objects in Pompano Beach, Fla., by Jim and Tori Mullan, a couple with a passion for nature and history. They also enjoy taking apart things and putting them back together. The birds might sit on a pair of binoculars or a ball, and each small box includes a little surprise, perhaps a key or tiny rosebud.

Maison 140 —140 Ninth Ave. (between 18th and 19th)
Boxes, $60 to $69; Bird on binoculars, $298; Bird on ball, $398.

Aligning the Planets

Made of sustainable Michigan basswood, these handcrafted nine blocks feature beautiful “out of this world” representations of the planets. From a company called Uncle Goose, they are a labor of love, with 11 different master craftspeople working on each block, including milling, printing and embossing. There’s also a set with Hebrew letters (28 blocks). These are heirlooms that can last for generations.

Magpie — 488 Amsterdam Ave. (between 83rd and 84th)
Planet blocks, $23; Hebrew letters, $43.

Pillow Talk

Recline at your seder leaning against a vividly colored, embroidered, handmade pillow from Threads of Hope, a project supporting disadvantaged women artisans in Peru. The women receive salaries for their work and are eligible for grants for housing, education, health care and community development.

Threads of Hope
Pillow covers, $65.

Family Stories

Document your family’s history and traditions. Photographer and filmmaker Judah S. Harris will guide you in genealogical research and/or interview family members on film to create a lasting gift. Additionally, Harris offers photo editing and photo restoration services.

Judah S. Harris Photography + Film

One hour of genealogical research, $185; two hours, $300; two-hour video session (including prep time), $850.

Think Spring

Use these flower-shaped metal hooks, made in India of recycled metal, to hang Passover kitchen utensils, belts and bags.

Magpie — 488 Amsterdam Ave. (between 83rd and 84th)

An Alternative to Macaroons

Inspired by their children’s outdoor charity bake sale, Jennifer and Chris Russell have been selling reimagined crispy rice treats at Treat House for the past five years. For Passover, they make their dairy-free kosher treats with matzah: one variation with chocolate chips and marshmallow covered with chocolate ganache, and the other with coconut.

Treat House — 452 Amsterdam Ave. (between 81st and 82nd) and 1566 Second Ave. (between 81st and 82nd)
12-pack, $32 online. Individually in the stores, $2.50. Available for shipping April 3, in stores April 6.
(Ten percent discount to Jewish Week readers with coupon code “passthetreats.”)

Farm-to-Seder Table

Masbia is an impressive network of soup kitchens and pantries in Brooklyn and Queens; its hot meals are served restaurant- style, with waiters serving needy New Yorkers. This year Masbia will provide more than 2 million meals. Donate $1,800 to its Charoset drive, and you’ll receive an overnight shipment of “high-end micro-greens” directly from the farm in Ohio where they are grown by Farmer Lee Jones, a pioneer in the sustainable agriculture movement.

You’ll receive, or you can ship a gift, anywhere in the U.S. (on ice, the way they are shipped to leading chefs around the world), bunches of delicacies perfect for the seder plate: pink tip parsley, petite green parsley, celery seedlings, four colors of radishes (purple, white, watermelon and black purple), purple radish seedlings, nickel-size red and purple potatoes — all of which can be used for karpas and maror.

For a donation of $180, you’ll receive copy of Naomi Nachman’s new book, “Perfect for Pesach.” 

Perfect for Pesach cookbook by Naomi Nachman


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