CHAIWAY 18 – MAY 2016 NEWSLETTER

9a1ff30b-22b5-4803-ba88-0d5e30e09314CHAIWAY 18 Newsletter

The Road To A Better Life…

Shalom

Welcome to The May 2016 Edition Of The Chaiway 18 Newsletter from Traditions Jewish Gifts.

May 8th Is Mothers Day

Make Sure To Check Out Our Moms Treat Recipe Below As Well As Some Of Our Featured Gifts Just For Her. You Can Also Shop Our Online Catalog For The Perfect Gift For Her. Use The Link Below To View The Catalog

Jewish Trivia Challenge

During The Month Of May Or Hebrew Month of Iyar, Jews Celebrate Lag BaOmer That Occurs On A Specific Day Of The Counting Of The Omer.

Email us the SPECIFIC NUMERICAL DAY it falls on at contest@traditionsjewishgifts.com and if your answer is CORRECT, we’ll send you a coupon code for $5.00 off any items from our website.

MAY Jewish Calendar


Make sure to check out and download this month’s calendar! It has a “Wedding Season” Limited Time Special Offer on one of the days in May.

Exclusive ONLY to Our Newsletter Subscribers!

VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKE For MOM


A Mothers Day Treat She Is Sure To LOVE

Ingredients:

Macadamia Nut Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • seeds scraped from 3/4 of a vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling. Pulse the macadamia nuts, powdered sugar, and salt together until the macadamia nuts are finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse to mix. Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan with the flat bottom of a glass or small dish. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until very lightly browning. Leave the oven preheated.
  2. Make the cheesecake: While the crust bakes, make the cheesecake. Beat 1 package of cream cheese, half the sugar, and the cornstarch together on low speed for 3 minutes until creamy. Add the other package of the cream cheese and mix to combine. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the rest of the sugar and the vanilla bean seeds. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined after each. Pour the cheesecake over your prepared crust. Situate the pan down into a larger pan and fill the outer pan with hot water to a depth halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until the cheesecake filling barely indicating that it’s set up. Remove to a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  3. Make the topping: Beat together the sour cream, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar together until combined. Pour over your cheesecake starting at the outer edges and moving to the center. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven for 10 minutes before removing it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours.
  4. Make the whipping cream: Put 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Let it soften for 2 minutes before microwaving it for 30 seconds and whisking to dissolve the gelatin. Using a chilled bowl and beater, whisk the 2 cups of heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and powdered sugar together until the cream forms stiff peaks, stopping to add gelatin mixture about halfway through. Dollop the cream over your bars and gently spread it around. Spread the mixture evenly over the cheesecake bars. Use the foil sling to remove the bars to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.

Helpful Tips

Burned a pot of rice?

Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

Is your bread starting to go stale?

Just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

ONLINE Gift Catalogs

bbdcf590-7e86-473e-ba6c-1a15bd01444eFor an easy shopping experience, you might want to view our product selections through our interactive, flip style gift catalogs.

Packed with 100’s of items in an easy to read and navigate format. Click the cover image on the right to view our catalogs.

Featured Items For Mom

Here’s a couple of items we thought you might like.

 

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CHAIWAY 18 – APRIL 2016 NEWSLETTER

9a1ff30b-22b5-4803-ba88-0d5e30e09314CHAIWAY 18 Newsletter

The Road To A Better Life…

Shalom

Welcome to The April 2016 Edition Of The Chaiway 18 Newsletter from Traditions Jewish Gifts.

Test Your Passover Knowledge

Passover is celebrated as a commemoration of Jewish liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.

During Passover a Seder Is Held. Seder Which Means ORDER has 15 elements. Listed here are 14.

Email us at contest@traditionsjewishgifts.com with the missing element and we’ll send you a coupon code for $5.00 of any Passover item from our website.

  • Kadesh
  • Urchatz
  • Karpas
  • Yachatz
  • Maggid
  • Rachtzah
  • Motzi
  • Matzah
  • Maror
  • Korech
  • Shulchan Oruch
  • Barech
  • Hallel
  • Nirtzah

April Jewish Calendar

JEWISH-CALENDAR-APRIL2016

My Grandma Dottie’s Kosher For Passover Sponge Cake

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/b73c655244d43ac2db27055db/images/f10d6d7c-3c02-4f9a-9ce1-c3f59c707008.jpg

An easy Passover sponge cake recipe that has been a family favorite for years!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 eggs separated
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp. lemon rind
  • 2/3 cup Matzah Cake Meal
  • 1 tsp. orange rind
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup grated semi-sweet chocolate

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place cake pan in refrigerator.
  2. Beat egg whites and pinch of salt to form snow. Mix in 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat to stiffen to peaks. (Cover bowl with foil.)
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks for approx. 3 minutes at high speed. Add 1 cup sugar.
  4. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
  5. Add juices and rinds.
  6. Add cake meal and potato starch at low speed.
  7. Fold into whites 1/2 at a time.
  8. Fold in grated chocolate.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.  Can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Gamma Louise’s Passover Popovers

These are just delicious when served warm with a pat of margarine.

Ingredients:

  • 7 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 1/2 Cup Matzah cake meal
  • 1/2 Cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
  2. Bring water and shortening to a boil.
    Stir in dry ingredients and stir constantly until it forms a ball and leaves sides of pan clear, electric hand mixer works well.
  3. Cool slightly and beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Fill greased glass custard cups or muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 50 minutes.
    Makes about 10 popovers.

 

Helpful Tips

Don’t Waste Lemons

If you need only a few drops of lemon juice, avoid cutting the lemon in half — it will dry out quickly that way. Instead, puncture the fruit with a metal skewer and squeeze out exactly what you require.

ONLINE Gift Catalogs

bbdcf590-7e86-473e-ba6c-1a15bd01444eFor an easy shopping experience, you might want to view our product selections through our interactive, flip style gift catalogs.

Packed with 100’s of items in an easy to read and navigate format. Click the cover image on the right to view our catalogs.

Featured Items

Here’s a couple of items we thought you might like.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/b73c655244d43ac2db27055db/images/69aeeccb-7d70-4def-8afd-9fd90eebdf1b.jpghttp://www.traditionsjewishgifts.com/media/six-pack-jerusalem-coasters-at10917.jpg

 

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CHAIWAY 18 – March NEWSLETTER

9a1ff30b-22b5-4803-ba88-0d5e30e09314CHAIWAY 18 Newsletter

The Road To A Better Life…

Shalom

Welcome to The March 2016 Edition Of The Chaiway 18 Newsletter from Traditions Jewish Gifts.

Happy Purim!

This Month’s BOGO! Buy 4 Get ONE FREE!
(see details below)
Introducing Celebration Cakes!

The perfect way to celebrate is with these 4″  complete cake kits that cook in the microwave in under 2 minutes! AND they’re Kosher and taste good too!

We actually made one of these at the office because we wanted to make sure you’d be satisfied. And while they aren’t as decedent as you would buy from a bakery, they’re yummy and come complete with everything you need, including the microwavable dish, mix, frosting and decorations.

They’re easy enough for KIDS to make, with adult supervision of course.

Plus we’ve posted step by step photo instructions that are easy to follow.

Passover is Coming…

We’re back from the 2016 Gift Show and we’ve got some great NEW Items for PASSOVER!

Here’s just one of the new items! See them all HERE.

MARCH Jewish Calendar

Bubbe’s Hamantaschen Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups pitted prunes, cooked, drained and mashed
  • 2 cups dried apricots, cooked drained and mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup white sugar, or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place prunes and apricots into a large pot filled with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Cook the fruit uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain fruit in a colander and mash together in a bowl using a fork. Set aside.
  2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Whisk eggs, 1 cup sugar, oil, lemon zest, and orange zest together in a bowl and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture, kneading with hands until the dough comes together. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut circles out using a cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass.
  4. Mix prune and apricot mixture, lemon juice, walnuts, and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the cookie. Pinch the edges firmly together to create a triangle, leaving the center open to expose the filling. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

LOOK! MARCH BOGO!

For Every Four (4) Mini Celebration Cakes you Purchase, you’ll receive the 5th FREE ! Your Choice of Happy Purim or  Mazel Tov Celebration Cakes.

Mix or Match. Great any time GIFTS!

Great for Kids and Adults Alike. Offer Good While Supplies Last.

BOGOS Apply To ONLINE ORDERS  ONLY
View BOGO Cakes HERE

Helpful Tips

No More Rock Hard Ice Cream – Keep ice cream ready to serve by placing the container in a Ziploc bag, remove the air and seal. This keeps the ice cream from over freezing and getting rock hard.

ONLINE Gift Catalogs

bbdcf590-7e86-473e-ba6c-1a15bd01444eFor an easy shopping experience, you might want to view our product selections through our interactive, flip style gift catalogs.

Packed with 100’s of items in an easy to read and navigate format. Click the cover image on the right to view our catalogs.

Featured Items

Here’s a couple of items we thought you might like.

 

 

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CHAIWAY 18 – FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER

9a1ff30b-22b5-4803-ba88-0d5e30e09314CHAIWAY 18 Newsletter

The Road To A Better Life…

Shalom

Welcome to The February 2016 Edition Of The Chaiway 18 Newsletter from Traditions Jewish Gifts.

An Exciting February

New and Exciting Gifts are Coming!

The 2016 Gift show is right around the corner and we’re excited to see what’s in store.

And because you receive our newsletter, you’ll be one of the first to know about the 2016 new product line-up, so make sure to read our upcoming emails and visit the site often.

It’s All About Love

Celebrate the one you Love – No matter how young or old your sweetheart is, we have a great selection of gifts that are sure to be cherished for years to come. Hint: Look to the right hand side of the page.

We’ve also included a recipe for this month that would help make the perfect romantic dinner for 2 or get together with other couples.

February Jewish Calendar

Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ⅓ c. light soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. Honey
  • 2 to 3 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese or Dijon mustard
  • 1 skin-on salmon fillet
  • 2 package shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large bunch green onions
  • 2 package instant microwave Jasmine rice
  • Toasted sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

    1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Stir together 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, and next 3 ingredients; set aside 1/2 cup of sauce. Place salmon, skin side down, on a large parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons soy mixture.
    1. Bake salmon at 475 degrees F for 8 minutes. Toss mushrooms and next two ingredients with 1 tablespoon of soy mixture. Scatter vegetables around fish in hot pan and brush fish with soy mixture. Bake 8 to 10 more minutes or until desired degree of doneness and vegetables are just tender.
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Stir rice and remaining 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and sesame oil in a serving bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Lift fish from skin with two large spatulas and transfer to a platter with vegetables; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice and reserved 1/2 cup sauce.

BOGOS Have Arrived at Traditions!

33b03e27-259c-4dd9-964e-89c868504c25Traditions thinks that it’s time to reward our loyal customers. We’ve created a Buy One-Get One offer for our most used and purchased item; Shabbat Candles.

Now when you buy 5 boxes of 12 Shabbat Candles, either all at once or cumulative, you’ll receive your 6th box FREE.

In order to qualify for the BOGO you must register or login (if you already created an account) on our website so we can track your candle purchases.  Shipping is not included and will be charged separately.

BOGOS Apply To ONLINE ORDERS  ONLY

Helpful Tips

Remove Wax – Remove wax from candlesticks and drip trays by placing the item in the freezer for about an hour and then peel the wax right off. When the item comes back to room temperature, remove any wax residue with warm soapy water or wet cloth.

ONLINE Gift Catalogs

bbdcf590-7e86-473e-ba6c-1a15bd01444eFor an easy shopping experience, you might want to view our product selections through our interactive, flip style gift catalogs.

Packed with 100’s of items in an easy to read and navigate format. Click the cover image on the right to view our catalogs.

Featured Items

Here’s a couple of items we thought you might like.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/b73c655244d43ac2db27055db/images/784d8b8e-79b2-432a-ae3f-8f3fb9fa6542.jpghttps://gallery.mailchimp.com/b73c655244d43ac2db27055db/images/448ce8be-0a56-451c-9feb-cf367ca33456.jpghttps://gallery.mailchimp.com/b73c655244d43ac2db27055db/images/402c967f-c626-4a06-82da-d4c88018609a.jpg

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CHAIWAY 18 – JANUARY NEWSLETTER

9a1ff30b-22b5-4803-ba88-0d5e30e09314CHAIWAY 18 Newsletter

The Road To A Better Life…

Shalom  & Happy New Year

Welcome to The January 2016 Edition Of The Chaiway 18 Newsletter from Traditions Jewish Gifts.

The First Of Many

As this year comes to a close and a new one begins, Traditions announces it’s first of our NEW monthly Newsletter.

CHAIWAY 18 will cover the latest news, tips and techniques to make life easier, a recipe now and then, some fun stuff and highlights of our most popular products. And of course a savings or two along the way.

We truly hope you’ll enjoy and look forward to the issues ahead in 2016.

Keeping You Up To Date

One feature we think you’ll appreciate is the Monthly Jewish Calendar that you can print and post in your home with the Jewish and English days, Torah Portions for Shabbat, and monthly candle lighting times for your location. And of course any holidays that may fall within the specific month. CLICK on the Image Below To Print the Calendar.

Free Jewish Calendar

A Better Brisket

dead9b50-4d64-4cc1-b71e-3b81993e2ab3INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket, first-cut
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 head garlic, cut in 1/2
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed (recommended: San Marzano)
  • 3/4 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle brisket liberally with olive oil then season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Place the brisket in the pot and sear on both sides to form a nice brown crust. Remove from pot and set aside before adding carrots, onion and celery. Brown vegetables, then add the garlic, tomatoes, red wine, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Add the brisket back to the pot, cover and roast in the oven for 3 hours until the brisket is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes. Strain out the vegetables and pour off some of the excess fat, then pour over the brisket and garnish with parsley.

BOGOS Have Arrived at Traditions!

33b03e27-259c-4dd9-964e-89c868504c25Traditions thinks that it’s time to reward our loyal customers. We’ve created a Buy One-Get One offer for our most used and purchased item; Shabbat Candles.

Now when you buy 5 boxes of 12 Shabbat Candles, either all at once or cumulative, you’ll receive your 6th box FREE.

In order to qualify for the BOGO you must register or login (if you already created an account) on our website so we can track your candle purchases.  Shipping is not included and will be charged separately.

BOGOS Apply To ONLINE ORDERS  ONLY

Helpful Tips

SLOW BURN – Storing your candles until ready to use in the freezer makes them burn slower and more evenly, ultimately lasting longer.

ONLINE Gift Catalogs

bbdcf590-7e86-473e-ba6c-1a15bd01444eFor an easy shopping experience, you might want to view our product selections through our interactive, flip style gift catalogs.

Packed with 100’s of items in an easy to read and navigate format. Click the cover image on the right to view our catalogs.

Featured Items

Here’s a couple of items we thought you might like.

eb6e46e4-cc01-42d9-9068-028281099bd160e1c4f5-3971-4bf0-ba8c-cba9b8a2ac9d8cc71191-7375-4430-b410-53c6c1ad6ccf

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Life Is A “CHAIWAY”, Live Life And Take Route 18

TraditionsJewishGifts.com adds to their collection of unique Jewish gift ideas with their exclusive line of “CHAIWAY 18” gear.

"Chaiway 18" License Plate - Live Life And Take Highway 18
“Chaiway 18” License Plate – Live Life And Take Highway 18

This exclusive design was created by Richard H., one of Tradition’s Graphic Gurus.  The uplifting design makes you smile at the thought of taking your car and driving down the “chaiway” of life!

 

There is a License Plate in the collection that can be used on your car or hung on a wall as decoration.  There is a Car Magnet that is durable to use on your car but can also be placed on any magnetic surface inside.  Lastly, there is a “CHAIWAY 18” Key Chain.

Life Is A "CHAIWAY", Take Route 18!
Life Is A “CHAIWAY” Car Magnet, Live Life And Take Highway 18
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Hanukkah Gift Ideas For Children

This Hanukkah, take some time in considering the gifts that you select for your children or grandchildren.  While it is an obvious choice to select something that is fun and popular, this year consider some of these new and exciting Hanukkah gift ideas for children at TraditionsJewishGifts.com.

These gifts offer hours of fun while using and improving their fine motor skills, enhance visual perception, develop speech & language skills, and reinforce focus, attention, and processing speed.  Trust me, they will never know that these toys are also educational!

Hanukkah Gift Ideas #1

Hanukkah Gift Ideas
Spot It! Shalom Is Recommended For Ages 7 To Adult And For 2 To 8 Players. This Award Winning Game Is Well Known As An Educational Tool That Helps Children With The Following Skills: Visual Perception, Speech & Language, Focus & Attention, And Processing Speed.

Hanukkah Gift Ideas #2

Hanukkah Gift Ideas
Colorful And Easy To Use, This Building Block Child’s Menorah Not Only Teaches About The Hanukkah Tradition, It Allows For A Full Range Of Creative Play. The Brightly Colored Pieces Offer Easily Interlocking Combinations For Hours Of Patterning Practice And Builds Fine Motor Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination And How To Think In Three Dimensions. Recommended For Children 6 And Older.

Hanukkah Gift Ideas

Hanukkah Gift Ideas #3

Hanukkah Gift Ideas
This DIY Hanukkah Menorah Kit Is A Great Gift For The Entire Family! This Kit Has Everything You Need To Build Your Own Menorah. Once This Family Project Is Complete, You Can Light This Menorah With The Same Hands That Built It. This Kit Includes 40+ Steel Parts And Assembly Instructions. A Phillips Head Screwdriver Is Needed For Assembly (Not Included). For Ages 8 And Older With Adult Supervision Recommended.

Hanukkah Gift Ideas

Hanukkah Gift Ideas #4

Hanukkah Gift Ideas
This Fun And Colorful Craft Set Consists Of Foam Mosaic Squares Which Attach To A Cute And Playful Hanukkah Graphic To Stick Them On. Challenge Their Little Fingers To Match The Colors To The Correct Squares. Recommended For Ages For Ages 3 And Up.

Hanukkah Gift Ideas #5

Hanukkah Gift Ideas
The Chanukah Memory Game Is Fun For Kids Of All Ages, No Reading Required. Match The Most Cards And Win! Ideal For 1-6 Players, Ages 3+, Includes 72 Cards. Enhancing Memory Skills At A Young Age Is Very Important.

I invite you to visit our Hanukkah Gift Store at Traditions to find a wide selection of fun and educational Jewish gifts for your children’s Hanukkah!

 

Also, be sure to checkout our new 2015 Hanukkah Gift Catalog!

Hanukkah Gift Ideas

 

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Hanukkah Shopping Made Simple

catalog_blogIf you’re the type that likes a simple shopping experience, then our NEW 2015 Hanukkah Gift Catalog is JUST FOR YOU!

Flip through our online interactive catalog filled with everything you’re looking for and they want in one easy to read format that doesn’t require navigating through 100’s of web pages.

Ordering made easy… Browse the Catalog- Click the Product for Details – Add to Your Cart!

See Our New Catalog!

 

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Sitting Shiva, The Jewish Tradition of Mourning

shivaGiftbasket

Sitting Shiva is the tradition of mourning in the Jewish religion. Gathering together as a community is at the core of sitting Shiva, just as it is at the core of many Jewish traditions. The strength and support of friends, family and neighbors when sitting Shiva plays a key role in helping the bereaved through the process of grieving.

Shiva is the mourning period, traditionally observed by the parent, spouse, sibling or child of the deceased. During Shiva (“sitting Shiva”), which is traditionally a seven day period that begins immediately after the funeral, the family stays home to focus on their grief, remember their loved one and receive visitors. Although traditionally a seven day period, many families sit Shiva for a shorter period; perhaps 1, 2 or 3 days. The Shiva period is often announced at the funeral.


Sending prepared foods are customary as Jewish traditions discourages sending flowers or gifts other than food when people are sitting Shiva. In fact, Shiva begins with seudat havra’ah, “the meal of consolation,” prepared by family and neighbors. For those who are unable to make a personal visit, sending a food gift basket such as a Shiva Gift Basket or Sympathy Gift Basket with a thoughtful card is an appropriate and helpful gesture. However, it’s important to remember that people are visiting throughout and even after the Shiva period. The need for food to share continues for some time, so spacing out gifts is perfectly acceptable.”


Be sure to find out if the family sitting Shiva keeps kosher so you can send an appropriate food gift basket. And when you are thinking of what to write, a simple message when people are sitting Shiva is best. Consider a message such as “With our heartfelt sympathy,” or “We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts,” or the most traditional, “May G-d comfort you among all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”


For many, consoling the bereaved that are sitting Shiva can be difficult and uncomfortable. But Jewish customs are quite clear in describing proper etiquette and that helps alleviate awkward feelings. Generally, be a good listener and be as helpful as possible when people are sitting Shiva.
Soon after arriving, visitors should approach the mourners and sit quietly with them, possibly offering a hug or handshake, but letting the mourner begin the conversation. They may not feel like talking at all, and sitting in silence is perfectly acceptable. Or, the visitor can simply say, “I’m sorry,” and that can be enough. Just being there says it all-words are not always necessary when visiting those sitting Shiva.


It helps to remember that Shiva occurs during the most intense days of mourning. Those who have just lost a loved one will experience a range of powerful emotions, and that is an important part of the healing process. This is the perfect time to share stories, photos and cherished memories of the deceased. And if you don’t know what to say, remain silent.


If there is a chance to be helpful, make an offer, or just complete the task, when appropriate. Run errands, pick-up at the airport, host someone coming in from out of town, cook or clean-up, or take care of children. Whatever can be done to remove daily chores from those sitting Shiva becomes an immense help. Shiva calls should be thought of as an act of kindness, not as a burden. The visit can be an hour or less to avoid tiring the family. Different families will observe Shiva in different manners. It is traditional for mourners to have a tear in their clothing to symbolize their loss, they may sit on low stools or even on the floor to show the depth of their sadness, and some show a traditional disregard for vanity and personal comfort by maintaining only the most minimal standards of personal care, dressing simply and covering mirrors. Usually a 24-hour candle burns in memory of the deceased. In some homes, mourners will recite Kaddish up to three times a day with a minyan, which is a group of 10 Jewish adults. At times it is difficult to gather a minyan, so visitors who can participate are especially appreciated.


Shiva Gift Giving – Frequently Asked Questions

Sending a sympathy or shiva gift is certainly one of life’s most difficult tasks. What makes it difficult is our own unease with death combined with a feeling of helplessness—“how can I truly help?” This is particularly so when the death is a tragedy. But as we all know death and even tragedy is part of life.

Following are some of the most commonly asked questions by both Jews and non Jews alike, who are attempting to console those in mourning with a special gift.

What Is Shiva?

Shiva is the 7 day Jewish mourning period. During shiva, friends and family visit those who are mourning as an act of support and friendship. Visitors, along with the mourners sit, nosh (eat) and through conversation, celebrate the life that has ended.

When Is Shiva?

A shiva schedule is typically announced at the funeral or obituary. Although shiva is 7 days, many mourners shorten the period. Shiva is never on Shabbat, which begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. The first Shiva typically begins after the funeral, which is often followed by the burial. Funerals often start between 11am – 2pm and are around an hour. The burial is on average, another 2-3 hours depending on the distance of the cemetery from the funeral (often in Synagogue or Funeral Home). First shiva can begin anywhere from 4:30pm to 7pm and doesn’t usually last past 9 or so.

I am going to the shiva, to make a shiva call, what should I expect?

Shiva is a sad occasion but you should not feel nervous or uncomfortable. Just being there is enough; you need not worry about saying the “right” thing. If not sure what to say or how to act, it’s best to say little. However, you can never go wrong by being supportive and helpful: “Anyone need a drink?” “Can I help clean up?” “How are you feeling?”

What should I bring to shiva?

Bring food that can easily be served and shared. Avoid food that requires work on the part of the mourners. Kosher cookies, cakes, candies, nuts are all welcome at shiva as long as they are crowd pleasers and easy to serve.

I am far away and can’t go to shiva, what should I do?

Send a card or shiva gift basket. Never send flowers! Shiva gifts should be foods that are well liked by many (don’t forget young kids, if they are part of the mourning family) and easy to serve. Our 3 most popular shiva gifts are Sympathy Comfort Gift Basket, Sympathy Essentials and Caring Conversation Shiva Basket.

When should the gift arrive?

Ideally, the earliest your gift should arrive is the first day of shiva, which is usually the day of the funeral and burial. Shiva gifts are welcome anytime during the shiva period and even beyond (see next question).

What if I have missed the official shiva period, should I still send a gift?

Although the official shiva period is over, the family will still be receiving visitors and food will be needed to feed them. Sending a gift at this time is completely acceptable and shows your care.

How Do I Choose A Gift?

Your choice should be based on your allowable budget (don’t forget shipping), any personal preferences you may have and/or any dietary restrictions of the shiva family that you are aware of.

Does My Shiva Gift Need to be Kosher?

Sending a kosher gift is a recommended. Even if the mourners are not kosher observant, it is quite possible that some of the attendees are. Shiva is not a time for inconvenience or difficult moments.

What Should the Gift Message Say?

For most of us, this is perhaps the hardest part of sending a sympathy or shiva gift. Often, we try to convey too much into the message. Keeping your message simple is key. Following are some of our most frequently used gift messages. Feel free to use as is or with your own personal touch. Don’t forget to sign your name!

-With heartfelt sympathy

-Our thoughts are prayers are with you during this difficult time

-We are so sorry for your loss and send our warmest condolences to you and your family

-May [name of deceased] be a blessing to all who knew him/her

-May G-d comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem

Where should the shiva gift be sent?

Shiva usually takes place at the home of a family member. This is where the shiva gift should be sent.

How should I address the gift—to my friend? To the entire family?

While you may have a specific friend or colleague in mourning, it is a nice gesture to address the gift to the entire family. For example, instead of Ms. Suzie Miller, The Miller Family.

If you are sending a gift to someone who is staying with friends or family, you can address it as follows: The Miller Family, c/o The XYZ Family.

Information used with the permission of Jane Moritz from the Challah Connection.

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