Mar 30, 2012
By Susan Varghese
With Passover nearing, Five Towns Judaica stores are stocking up shelves and prepping some of their top items. Judaica Plus, Five Towns Judaica and J. Greenstein & Co Antique Judaica are anticipating a busy next week and offer some recommendations on some holiday must-haves.
David Hertz, owner of Judaica Plus in Cedarhurst noted that there are new Haggadahs (the book used to tell the story of the Exodus at the Seder table) including “The New American Haggadah,” and new to the store, “The Rav Kook Haggadah.” “ The New American Haggadah comes with better illustrations, explanations, nicer pages and better translations,” Hertz explained, adding that the haggadah’s author is the famous writer Jonathan Safran Foer
There are also options to keep kids’ attention. “There are a ton of new arts and crafts and toys for the Seder to keep kids involved and interested,” Hertz said. “Some items are the walking matzah ball and flip frog toys. There are also a whole array of matzah ties, pillow cases, and other matzah accessories.”
In addition to accessories, Hertz said, “There are a lot of designer Seder plates from Israel and U.S. There are also Jerusalem Stone Seder plates that we have a whole new selection of and Quest designs which has wood and sterling silver plates.”
For gifts, Hertz recommended Hand Washing Cups. He currently has hand painted, limited edition washing cups that are accented with 24 carrot gold paint by Anna Carmi.
Even if you’re not looking to buy a slew of new things for Passover, it’s always good to get an update, Hertz said. “You don’t need to update the Seder plates, but there are always new and modern designs available. Modernize your accessories. The toys are all new to keep kids interested. Old toys don’t keep kids happy and excited at the Seder.”
Five Towns Judaica in Lawrence also has some new items jumping off the shelves, like their jumping frog toys for kids. “They’re little flipping frogs. Adults can use them, too. I definitely know some adults that use these guys,” Adam, one of the managers, joked. “They’re just fun.”
They have new Seder plates, as well. “The three tiered Seder plate – matzahs can go in a little compartment at the bottom; it’s very nice,” Adam added. “There is just a lot of beautiful stuff out there right now. If you’re using the old silver or glass plates, there are some new things that add a nice touch to the table while keeping tradition.”
J. Greenstein & Co Antique Judaica in Cedarhurst focuses on rare and unique collectibles. Abe Kugielsky, Director at J. Greenstein said that goblets are a popular item. “I get more demand for goblets. People come in want to buy the largest goblet that we have – the Goblet of Elijah,” Kugielsky said. “I’d recommend something that has some Jewish history and not just an antique goblet. Something with a Jewish description on it as opposed to a goblet with no Hebrew on it.”
Kugielsky said that they have a Polish goblet from the 1820’s with Hebrew inscription that was used every Saturday night at a Havdalah service, German goblets from the 1880s, Polish goblets from the 1850’s, and an Austrian goblet from 1852. “These are real collectible items. For a holiday gift, there’s nothing like a collectible Judaic piece of history,” Kugielsky said. “When you go with a goblet, its something that relates to the holiday well.”
Judaica Plus is located at 445 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. (516) 295-4343. Five Towns Judaica is located at 311 Central Avenue in Lawrence. (516) 569-9690. J. Greenstein & Co Antique Judaica is located at 417 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. (516) 295- 2931. JGreenstein.com
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