Jewish Insider’s December 2020 gift guide

This year, Jewish Insider is proud to present a December gift guide featuring a few of our favorite products available today. Whether buying a Hanukkah gift for family and friends or simply an item for yourself, you are sure to find the perfect purchase below. Happy Hanukkah from the team at JI!

When you buy through links, JI may receive an affiliate commission.

If the doldrums of 2020 have caught you, why not raise a glass to better times. For some liquid luck, nothing works better than a premier bottle of kosher wine.

Family-owned and operated Covenant Winery is offering a set of three 2018 cabernet sauvignons: two from Napa Valley and one from Israel. These wines count among the top cabernet sauvignons produced in the Jewish world. (All kosher for Passover.) Fermented with native yeast and bottled unrefined and unfiltered, they are a true expression of provenance. Each serves up its own unique taste and character. 

“The covenant winery shows the best of California kosher wines.” says Jewish Insider wine columnist Yitz Applebaum. “Serving the Covenant cabernet always makes the meal special and if you have the patience to let the wine open and save some for the end of the meal you get two bottles for the price of one.”

We can’t recommend these bottles enough. Now in collaboration with Jewish Insider, Covenant is offering special pricing to our readers.

This holiday season, drink l’chaim to Covenant Triple Chai!

Pricing information
Covenant Solomon Lot 70 Napa Valley 2018 ($150)
Covenant Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 ($100)
Covenant Israel Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($90)

Normal retail value for the three-bottle set: $340
Jewish Insider special holiday price: $255

Purchase the Covenant Triple Chai here.

For Rachel Shnay, who watched her mother run a jewelry company for 20 years, the rising price of jewelry outpacing inflation made for a market in need of disruption. Following on a model pioneered by eyeglasses company Warby Parker, Shnay founded her eponymous company — Rachie Shnay — on the principles of quality and lower prices. Her products — and popular Instagram account — are swiftly becoming a must-have accessory.

Shnay stays true to her Jewish roots. Among her most popular designs is the Mazel Collection, with each piece proudly displaying the Magen David. 

During the early days of the pandemic, Shnay even used her platform to raise funds to send kosher food to frontline hospital workers.

Prices vary.
Purchase Rachie Shnay jewelry here.

British-born watch connoisseur and entrepreneur Morris Weiss wanted to combine his love of classic timepieces and his love of Israel after recently making Aliyah. The result is the Israel Designer Watch (IDW). 

The watch uses a Japanese automatic movement — among the most prized in the watch world — which is powered by the arm movements of the wearer. An exhibition caseback displays the internal mechanics, while a stainless steel case holds the piece together in style. Two Magen David adorn the watch face and crown, each in the same Israeli-blue color as the hands and dials.

The watch, which is limited to 300 pieces, which was first issued to celebrate Israel’s achievements since 1948, was reissued in the last few months to celebrate the historic Abraham Accords. Now Weiss plans on developing an IDW watch combining the Israeli and Emirati flags. 

For a topnotch accessory with a deeper meaning, nothing beats the IDW watch.

$530, includes free global shipping
Buy the IDW watch here.

Drs. Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Birnecker have had an unusual journey from the world of academia to the Chicago gin scene. But the married couple’s KOVAL distillery, which focuses on quality ingredients and a single-barrel technique to develop subtle flavours, has taken the fine liquor industry by storm.

The founders, who are both Jewish, took their distillery’s name from the Yiddish word meaning ‘black sheep.’ And as the self-identifying black sheep of the distilling world, they have led the way in the growth of grain-to-bottle distillation.

Their (all kosher) whiskies, gins, and liqueurs are as drinkable straight as in any Hanukkah cocktail. 

“Smooth, interesting and a clean finish. A crowd pleaser!” says JI reader Noam Neusner of 30Point Strategies. “A well crafted and inventive family of whiskeys from a good whiskey town. For whiskey enthusiasts, Koval offers a well priced option that is in tune with more familiar top-shelf brands.”

Bottles between $9.99-$77.99
Purchase KOVAL whiskey and gin here.

Founded by friends Margie Stein and Nataly Neumann, NAMAR was founded earlier this year to fill the growing demand for on-the-go cutlery. But rather than replicate notoriously unreliable, unstylish and ubiquitous plastic cutlery, these two millennials decided to go in an eco-friendly direction. NAMAR cutlery, made from wheat straw, is strong, biodegradable and reusable. Stein and Neumann designed a minimalist look for their product in four pastel colors. Each set, which starts at $12, comes in a stylish case for easy storage and carry.

Starting at $12 per set
Purchase the NAMAR cutlery here.

The team at JI prides itself on providing you all the daily news in a five-minute read. But this holiday season, we invite you to return to the longform practice. Over the past year we’ve reviewed over a dozen books and referenced several more. Now we’ve partnered with Bookshop, a consortium of local bookstores, to bring you the JI bookstore. Check it out to see what books we’ve reviewed, referenced or recommended.

View the full bookstore here.

Need more advice? Email [email protected] for all your gift-giving questions and thoughts.

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