Giving made-in-Israel products for Hanukkah and Christmas gifts is a meaningful way to show support of Israel and introduce loved ones to delicious and beautiful items from small businesses.
Here are five Israeli companies that ship gift boxes of local products abroad all year. Before ordering for the holidays, be sure to inquire about shipping deadlines.
After moving to Israel from Canada in 2012, Emily Berg noticed a stark contrast between the small-batch, organic, sustainable items she found in Israel and the Israeli products sold at North American mall kiosks and duty-free shops.
She launched Blue Box in August 2015 as a way to connect small-to-medium producers in Israel with consumers across the world. The business was renamed Matana (Gift) in May 2017.
For $40 per month (other pricing options are available), Matana sends three to five handpicked items from one Israeli farmer, artisan, designer or entrepreneur as well as a postcard describing the vendor’s story.
Goodies might include, for example, cold-pressed olive oil, camel-milk soap, organic date energy bars, za’atar pesto, anise-flavored wildflower honey, Ethiopian tahini, desert-fruit jam, merlot- and rosemary-infused Dead Sea salts, halva-flavored almond butter, stationary, citrus-extract shampoo, souri olive tapenade and pomegranate leaf tea.
Although the December shipment has just left Israel, you can still order Matana as a Hanukkah gift. Your recipient will receive an e-card and their box will go out with the January shipment.
You can select such delicacies as dates, honey, wine, liqueur, chocolate and olive oil, handcrafted artworks and jewelry to include in your SkyPics gift box along with Ron Gafni’s acclaimed aerial photography book Israel from Above (in English, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, French or Chinese) to convey a sense of the sights, aromas and flavors of Israel.
Baskets are custom assembled according to the gift-giver’s preferences for bulk or individual orders.
These gift boxes from Israel-Catalog.com in Kfar Bilu come in many different sizes and configurations to fit budgets from $30 to $125.
Among the items available are flavored honey; tahini; pomegranate wine or red wine; carob, date, honey, tahini and skhug spreads; halva; date syrup; olive oil; and an assortment of herbal teas.
Nati Rom started Lev HaOlam (Heart of the World) as a volunteer to help support and bring recognition to small Israeli family farms, wineries, businesses and artisans. For $99 (or €90) per month, recipients anywhere receive a unique assortment of seven or eight edibles and handicrafts.
Dried fruits, cosmetics, silver jewelry, ceramics, wine, tea, honey, organic cheese, boutique chocolate and extra-virgin olive oil are among the items in each box.
A special Hanukkah package from Lev HaOlam includes olive oil, a glass menorah, Hanukkah candles, earrings and matching necklace, a music CD, Seven Species of Israel magnets and Adanim herbal tea. Ordering deadline is December 19.
Israel Box (iBox for short) sends a surprise box of blue-and-white products from small businesses every two to three months to subscribers in the United States, Canada, Israel, UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Poland. (Central America, South America, Asia and Australia will be added in the near future.)
This is one to keep in mind for next year, since Hanukkah orders closed a few weeks ago and the next batch of boxes will go out in March, in time for the spring holidays.
“We guarantee at least five products in each iBox which will stimulate each of your five senses,” promise the founders, who launched iBox last June after a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Yossi Dray, the company’s creative manager, says the boxes cost $70 but the value of the contents is about $100.
Your iBox might include, for example, artisanal honey, a photo calendar, a T-shirt, a music CD, a bottle of wine, a shofar, cold-pressed olive oil, boutique cosmetics and handcrafted jewelry.