You’ve been invited to eat with your Jewish friends on one of their Jewish festivals. What should you bring? To avoid awkwardness, Jewish people have very strict dietary guidelines. It is best to not bring too many food items. Ask them if you can bring something closed to eat, or leave the edible gift section and buy something unique for the festival. These gifts can be purchased in Judaica shops and online judaica webstore.
We’ll try to help you understand some of these festivals and the appropriate gifts.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, falls around fall. It is solemn as it marks the start of the High Holy Days, but also celebrates G-d’s Kingship. On both days, there are long prayer services and festive meals. Honey dishes make a wonderful gift to give your host. A Rosh Hashanah-specific fruit, the pomegranate, makes a great gift. This category includes pomegranate-shaped candlesticks and decorative glass and ceramic pomegranates.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights or the Festival of Lights in winter, is an eight-day festival. A Menorah is lit on each night of the festival. A Menorah can be quite expensive unless you’re very close to your host. A Dreidel is a traditional, special spinning top associated with the holiday that makes a great gift for children and the young at heart. There are many Dreidel options.
Purim is a fun festival full of sweet treats, wine, and other festive activities. Children of hosts can have their children catered for with a Grogger or Ra’ashan (Hebrew), which is a noisemaker used in traditional Purim readings of the Scroll of Esther – the scroll that relays the miraculous story of the day.
Passover, a spring festival, celebrates the redemption and restoration of the Jewish people from Egypt. The Seder night is the first night of Passover. This night is when the Passover story is told in detail and a festive meal served. In memory of the unleavened bread they brought with them when they fled Egypt, Jewish people refrain from eating leavened foods for seven days (8 in the Diaspora). A special Kiddush cup, Afikoman covers or Matzah tray are appropriate gifts for this holiday.