Celebrate Passover, the arrival of spring and the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom (sakura) season with elegant small tumblers that might be used for wine or spirits (try Morad Passion Fruit or Wild Berries wine, made in Israel and kosher for Passover) or as small table vases. The boxed set of four cups, each decorated differently in shades of pink and green, are made in Japan.
$32, Magpie, 488 Amsterdam Ave. (83rd Street), Manhattan, (212) 579-3003, magpienewyork.com; $16.95, Morad wines available at Skyview, 5681 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, (718) 601-8222.
Ties That Bind
Rabbi Yael Buechler, who thinks creatively about the holidays, adds a whimsical touch this season with a matzah-printed scrunchie, made of satin, smoother than anything leavened or unleavened. As she suggests, “Keep your hair chametz-free.”
$6.50, MidrashManicures.com or West Side Judaica, 2412 Broadway (89th Street), Manhattan, (212) 362-7846.
Can I Have That Recipe?
Share a favorite holiday recipe by engraving a hand-written copy onto a square serving board made of maple. To order, bring in a recipe or call to send a photo to La Terrine. The tableware and gift shop, in business in New York City for 43 years, specializes in imported items from Italy, France and Portugal as well as work by local artisans.
$145, La Terrine, 280 Columbus Avenue (73rd Street), Manhattan, 877-TERRINE (837-7463)
Celebrating women’s courage and leadership in the Exodus story, this striking seder plate resembles the tambourine used by Miriam after the parting of the Red Sea. Handcrafted in Israel, the multilayered plate is made of acrylic, engraved glass and brass with cymbals at the edges. It is the work of Tel Aviv’s Studio Armadillo, whose strong designs that are modern, playful and original takes on tradition are represented in The Jewish Museum’s collection.
$236 ($212 museum members), The Cooper Shop at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (92nd Street), Manhattan, (212) 423-3211, shop.thejewishmuseum.org.
The Art of Play
A color reproduction of an original set of playing cards (c. 1920) in The Jewish Museum’s collection, this deck features King David and Queen Esther among the royalty cards; suits are represented by pomegranates, stars of David, menorahs and fig leaves. The cards were designed by Ze’ev Raban, a founder of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy.
$20 ($18 museum members), The Cooper Shop at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. (92nd Street), Manhattan, (212) 423-3211, shop.thejewishmuseum.org.
Signs of Spring
Brooklyn artist Daniel Joseph Durkin creates beautiful color prints with birds and greenery: He makes scratchboard illustrations, using painted wood or masonite, scraping away layers to resemble a woodcut, then adds color to create the look of a watercolor painting. His “Warblers in Dogwood” is a herald of spring; the prints are signed by the artist.
$23, Magpie, 488 Amsterdam Ave. (83rd Street), Manhattan, (212) 579-3003, magpienewyork.com.
Stories are at the heart of this holiday. Here are some fine new books for kids: In “The Best Four Question”s by Rachelle Burk, illustrated by Melanie Florian (Kar-Ben), the youngest at the table, in her premiere role, prepares what she thinks are the best questions ever, “How many matzah balls are in Grandma’s Chicken Soup?” and “Why does Uncle Benjy always fall asleep at the seder?” At first puzzled, the adults answer her and then gently teach her the traditional version. Tracy Newman’s “Around the Passover Table,” illustrated by Adriana Santos (Albert Whitman), introduces the steps of the seder, in appealing rhyme, with a diverse gathering around the table.
And, it’s always good to hear about the adventures of the wise people of Chelm. Shlomo Abas’ “The Sages of Chelm and the Moon,” delightfully illustrated by Omer Hoffman (Green Bean Books), is a funny and fresh retelling of the folk tale. Here, the townsfolk plot to buy a new moon —that won’t disappear and make their nights so dark they can’t find the way home. Both Abbas and Hoffman live near Tel Aviv.
Time For Pesach
Artist Jeanette Kuvin Oren, known for her large-scale installation pieces of fiber arts and calligraphy, has turned some of her colorful designs into Passover items, like her Passover Matza Ball Soup Clock — three matzah balls float in a bowl of gleaming chicken soup, carrots, parsley and all. Kuvin Oren, who has studios in Connecticut and Israel, also turns her designs into pillows, trays, prints and tote bags.
Buy Her Bag, Not Her Body
Keep the themes of Passover alive: Help end modern-day slavery. The Nomi Network is a nonprofit that acts on the belief that changing one person’s life can change the world. It cites a January United Nations report that since 2010 there has been a steady increase in modern-day slavery tied to sex work and forced labor. Fighting human trafficking, Nomi works to raise awareness and create economic opportunities for women in places where trafficking is most prevalent, providing skills training, legal services, scholarships, micro-lending training and more. The network raises funds in traditional ways and also sells items made by the women it helps — some items carry the slogan “Buy her bag, not her body.”
The Diamond Ikat Backpack, designed in New York and made in Cambodia, is styled well, with handwoven fabric and many pockets. Buying their products, made in Cambodia and India, helps to provide jobs for survivors of human trafficking and also for women at risk — and helps renew and sustain their lives.
$54. Donate at nominetwork.org, or shop at buyherbagnotherbody.com.