Building the Perfect Jewish Registry

Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Many of our engaged friends have commented on how overwhelming registering can be because they’re unsure what to ask for and where to go. This is especially the case when it comes to Judaica. All of a sudden, you’re asked to consider items for the home, Shabbat, holidays and religious occasions that may not be on your radar. So, in honor of our friends and family who have recently gotten engaged, or have upcoming nuptials, here are some tips on building the perfect Jewish registry. We hope that this takes some of the stress out of preparing for your big day!

1) Even if you don’t think you will use it today, don’t rule-out including Judaica items on your registry.

We know from experience that close Jewish relatives and family friends love to buy Judaica for newlyweds. In other words, we strongly suggest that you think through this aspect of your registry as we can nearly guarantee you that every Judaica item on your registry will be filled, and you don’t want duplicates!

2) Take stock of what you currently have, what you want now, and what you may want in the future.

Keep in mind, while you may not be hosting annual Jewish holiday celebrations today, this doesn’t mean that you won’t in a few years (after all, hosting a Seder may be more appealing when you look for opportunities to put your 12 new sets of fine china to work). Shabbat may also be something that you don’t regularly observe at present, but you imagine doing more regularly once you have a family. For couples just moving in together a Mezuzah is a great piece to pick out together. Have fun with it, too! These could be future heirlooms

3) Think through annual Jewish holidays and celebrations to plan out what you’ll need.

This is a very valuable tip we received from Stacey Zaleski, Director of Merchandising at the Jewish Museum Shop in New York. We’ve taken her words of wisdom and outlined the typical Judaica items that complete a registry for a year of Jewish celebrations:

  • Shabbat: Candlesticks, Kiddish Cup, Challah Board, Challah Knife, Challah Cover, Shabbat Candles, Spice Box, Havdalah Set, Havdalah Candle
  • High Holidays: Apple & Honey Dish, Shofar
  • Hanukkah: Menorah, Hanukkah Candles, Dreidel
  • Passover: Seder Plate, Matzah Plate, Matzah Cover, Afikomen Bag, Hagaddah, Elijah Cup, Miriam Cup, Charoset Dish, Salt Water Dish
  • Home: Mezuzah, Scroll, Tzedakah Box, Serving Tray, Cookbook
  • Wedding Ceremony: Ketubah, Smash Glass, Shards Holder, Tallis, Kippah, Kiddish Cup, Challah Knife

4) Be picky about where you register, so you can get the items you truly want.

While some national retailers  (like Bloomingdales, Target and Williams-Sonoma)  have clearly made an effort to incorporate more Judaica products into their stores over the years, your options will generally be more limited than if you register with a Judaica-focused retailer. For those of you who want a broader selection of Judaica items to choose from, but live somewhere with limited local dedicated retailers, we recommend looking into a few online options:

  • Jewish Museums: Most Jewish museums have a gift shop and many (like the Jewish Museum in New York), not only carry a host of beautifully designed Judaica products (many of which are exclusive), but also have a registry function.
  • Etsy: While you’ll certainly have to sift through a number of options, Etsy is home to a broad selection of Jewish goods and includes some of our favorite Jewish designers from across the globe.
  • Amazon: When in doubt, always a good stop. Many Judaica stores with a national presence list as Amazon sellers. Amazon’s “universal” gift registry function also allows you to add items from any website, making it a good platform for those hoping to register for Judaica from a host of different suppliers.

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