We’ve reached a pinnacle, where our loved ones must be kept at arm’s length, and our affection must be delivered via postman. Which is really an ideal setup for those hoping to send a little piece of Israel to their friends and family this winter.
You may not be able to visit the Holy Land for the time being, and vice versa, but we can send what we love most about Israel to every corner of the world.
Here are our picks for Israeli, and Israel-themed goods, worth gifting during this most unique Hanukkah and Christmas season.
A beautiful set of photos from the Israeli desert landscape
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then how many are four worth?
This set of photographic prints captures the spirit of the Israeli desert, from the Ramon Crater to the majestic Judean hills, in a compact enough size that your loved ones could display the show-stopping beauty of Israel in several corners of their home, wherever that may be.
A coffee table book for the hummus lover in your life
A compelling coffee table worthy cookbook from the chef and owner of Tel Aviv’s busy Falafel Hakosem restaurant, alongside contributors from varied backgrounds, the book takes you on a hummus-fueled journey through the Levant, bringing people together instead of dividing them over this one humble (and delicious) dish.
A cute little gift for the person who loves to cook
Let’s face it, we’re all doing a lot more home cooking these days! And since there’s almost no hope of getting to the shuk anytime soon, the second best option would have to be sending out this adorable spice kit from Israeli brand Pereg.
Including little tubes of vibrant Israeli staples such as cumin, Moroccan paprika and Israeli grill spice, this collection can be used to whip up your favorite Israeli dishes and brighten up your cooking during the cold, dreary winter. This easily qualifies for the gift-one-to-a-friend, get-one-for-yourself-rule.
Some charming Israeli jewelry
Whether it be a unique hamsa necklace, or a stunning statement necklace, made from ancient Roman glass found at Israel’s archaeological sites, everyone loves to receive jewelry, right? Good for gifting anytime of the year, either of these would be especially well received by the strung-out family member who could use an extra special little treat right about now.
A Tel Aviv-themed bedding set
For your wanderlust-struck friend, who just can’t get over that missed vacation or trip that’s on the backburner, try gifting a night scene of Tel Aviv, into which they can literally snuggle down for some sweet dreams. It might not be the same as bar hopping in Israel’s city that never stops, but it’s worth a shot!
A Jerusalem-themed wine luge to make the holidays fun
Although intended for a Friday night kiddush, we don’t see why you can’t use this wine fountain (with eight kiddush cups) for a little Hanukkah or Christmas fun. The equivalent of a chocolate fountain, but in Jerusalem-themed pewter, and for wine, it really is a centerpiece that will be the talk of the lucky recipient’s holiday table any year. Gift it alongside a bottle of Israeli red, and you’ll be golden.
Some ironic Israeli artwork
This “snowless” snow globe containing a scene of an Israeli lifeguard post was created as one of a series of three 3D-printed, hand-painted and signed artworks by artist Shaul Cohen.
Representing a series of quirky yet mundane Israeli scenes (the others are of a popular lottery stand commonly seen throughout cities, and a fortified cement bus stop for soldiers), the collection’s name, “Chutzpah in a Bubble,” reflects the artist’s collaboration with The Chutzpah Center’s “Originalities” project encouraging Israeli artists to think outside the box.
A concept that keeps Israel an important player in the world’s high-tech scene, chutzpah also is what makes these works a unique present for the beach bum who’s been missing Tel Aviv’s sand and surf and is instead stuck in a snowy winter wonderland elsewhere.
This floating dreidel decoration will be the talk of your Zoom session
Before you call us cheesy, take a moment to contemplate the fun that this gift brings! It may, after all, be all your office mates need to up the merriment during that umpteenth Zoom meeting this year. It lights up, it constantly spins, and it brings some serious Hanukkah spirit to the table. As a fun gift to help set the vibe, we’re sold.
For the person who –whoops!– forgot to clean the remnants of last year’s wax out of the menorah
This past year has been nothing short of a disaster, so why not spring for a fresh start and buy some new Judaica for your downtrodden friend?
And while you’re at it, you might as well throw in some of these glitzy gold candles, because you deserve to treat your friends and/or family to a nice show!
A modern replica of an ancient oil lamp
Isn’t half the fun of Hanukkah recalling the bravery of the Maccabees? Nothing brings an ancient flair to the festival more than turning off the lights and getting into the holiday spirit with the flicker of an ancient oil lamp replica—yes, the kind you see in museums and at archaeological sites! It’s definitely a good one to gift the history buff in your life.
A bottle of Israeli whisky made from chickpeas
We Israelis really are crazy about chickpeas! They are, after all, the main ingredient in the nation’s two most popular dishes, with which we are simply obsessed—creamy hummus and crunchy, fried falafel.
But chickpea-based whisky? Yes, apparently, it’s a thing, as not one, but two versions of it are produced by the Golan Heights Distillery.
And no matter what holiday you’re celebrating this winter, we can all agree that whisky can never be considered a bad gift. Encourage the lucky recipient to try it on its own, or in an Israeli version of a hot toddy (let us know how that goes!).
While you’re at it, you might want to throw in some wood-and-steel flasks or beautiful oak-honey whisky tumblers from Haifa-based Nisnas Industries, to really buck up their spirits.
DIY falafel kit from one of Israel’s most famous restaurants
How do you keep an Israeli-made restaurant empire going through a time of crisis? Keep buying their products! If you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, Melbourne, Paris, Vienna or Tel Aviv, then you can order a compelling lunch from the chef Eyal Shani’s famous Miznon Restaurant.
However, if you’re more than an arm’s length away, order a make-it-yourself falafel kit containing all the goods with which to fry up those fresh balls of love at home.
A great gift that ships anywhere in the US through the Goldbelly site, this kit is a present that certainly checks the box of “the fried foods we must consume” during the weeklong Hanukkah celebration.
Learn from Israel’s best chefs via Zoom
Gift a Delicious Experiences or Delicious Israel gift card, and the recipient could be cooking up an Israeli feast literally with the best of them, over Zoom, in no time. And while Delicious Experiences isn’t exclusively comprised of Israeli chefs, there are some of the biggest names from the world of Israeli and Jewish food on its list, including Chef Nir Mesika (formerly of Timna in New York), and Chef Roy Ner, of Sydney’s Nour Restaurant.
Even more exciting, the 1.5- to 3-hour cooking sessions could be your best bet for connecting with family in Israel and abroad this holiday season, which we can all agree is a gift in and of itself.
Goodies that capture the Israeli spirit
If you know anyone who’s longing for a little taste of handcrafted artisanal products coming out of Israel, then you’ve got to hook them up with an IsraeliBox this holiday season.
Available as a one-time order, or in a variety of subscription options, it’s all the things you love most about Israel, from some of the county’s best and most innovative craftsmen and small business owners, wrapped up in one (very cute) package.
Every box contains a treat to eat, a little something fun, a piece of Judaica, a beauty product, and an item from one of the 12 nonprofit social causes the company is partnered with, making it a fun and surprising gift to unbox, every time.
A big box of Israeli-made munchies
Who wouldn’t love digging into some much-missed Israeli supermarket snacks? These would be perfect consumed during an Israeli-themed movie night, but it would also be fun if the unfamiliar diner recorded their reactions upon tasting to share with the sender (or the world) via TikTok or YouTube.
Firgun is Israeli slang for giving props to the accomplishments of others. Captured here, framed and printed on transparent glass, it’s a gift that can be proudly displayed in the home of many a displaced Israeli or Israel-phile.
A CD from one of Israel’s most soulful recording artists
This CD from Idan Raichel — one of Israel’s most commercially successful and treasured musicians — came out last year, but with all that’s going on, you probably missed it.
Don’t fret, you can catch up in no time by listening to Raichel’s soothing Hebrew music, which carries a global appeal and remains relevant over time. And since music can be a healing force, it also makes for a thoughtful holiday gift this year.
Time for peace
Fine watch entrepreneur Morris Weiss, a recent immigrant to Israel from the UK, created a luxury watch inspired by Israeli accomplishments and the recent Israel-UAE Abraham Accords. Within six days of its launch in mid-November, the IDW (Israeli Designer Watch) garnered 31,000 video views and 1,500 likes for a social-media post by an Emirati owner of the watch.
The blue-and-white watch comes in a limited edition of 300 pieces and boasts a transparent, individually numbered case-back, exhibiting the inner workings of the watch. The crown on the side to adjust the time is topped with a prominent Star of David. Weiss says he is “now refining a design for an even more precious, high-end watch which will incorporate the flags of both the UAE and Israel.”
Priced at $526, the IDW watch is available from idweditions.com.
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