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Gift Baskets Offer Multiple Mitzvahs

Get a triple mitzvah out of your Hanukkah gifting with treat baskets that delight the recipient, support the work of a non-profit and employ special needs individuals. When you purchase through Yachad Gifts, a project of the Orthodox Union, you enhance vocational opportunities for Yachad members.

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Yachad works with special needs individuals, schools and vocational schools. It offers multiple Shabbat retreat experiences. As manager Stuart Gourdji explained, Yachad’s goal is to move people into mainstream society. At Yachad Gifts, they learn how to stock shelves and check inventory, assessing with a job coach suitable tasks, depending on what they want to achieve.

Yachad Gifts started as a web business and just recently opened a retail shop at 1545 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. Graduates work at box stores and shipping warehouses. All food items in the baskets, including plenty of chocolate, are strictly kosher and reflect several certifiers. There are about 50 Hanukkah options — and baskets designed for many other occasions as well.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz speaks about chocolate and Jews around the world. The second edition of her book, “On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao,” was recently released. Prinz is co-curator of the exhibit “Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate,” on view at the Bernard Museum of Temple Emanu-el in New York City (through February of 2018). Her blog is


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