Online Judaica gift shop launches in SA

Buying gifts for a wedding, barmitzvah, bris or festival is now ‘kosher’, quick and convenient, with the exciting launch of JGifts in South Africa.

A joint initiative started by community member Simon Nainkin and Chabad Cape Town, JGifts is the new online portal to a wide and exciting variety of gifts that will leave you spoilt for choice. “We stock a full range of Judaica gifts, including mezuzot, Kiddish cups, challah covers, Shabbat tablecloths, candlesticks, Judaica books for kids, adults and scholars, gifts for Rosh Hashanah and other festivals, and handmade Judaica arts and crafts,” explains Simon.

“Our gifts are perfectly suited to bar and batmitzvahs, weddings, Shabbat and festivals. We are unique in that we offer Judaica baby gifts as well as educational books and toys for Jewish children. In fact, there is nothing Judaica that we do not cater for.”

One of the most important features of JGifts is that the website offers an online wedding gift registry. Couples can create their registry online and have a complete Judaica gift set for their wedding. Nowhere else in South Africa can a Jewish couple go to just one shop to get all their Judaica items for their new Jewish home. “Creating your dream wedding registry with JGifts has never been easier,” says registry manager Kirsten Nainkin. “Our online gift registry is also perfect for housewarmings. People don’t realise the variety of Judaica gifts a person can buy for the Jewish home that extends further than just the Shabbat table,” she explains.

“When I had my own wedding, the gifts I valued the most were those of a Judaic nature,” explains Simon, as one reason that motivated him to start the shop. “There are so many beautiful Judaica gifts, but my wife and I could not find a central place where we could have a Judaica gift registry. And while everyone buys these gifts, they are from a dozen places around Cape Town. JGifts has taken care of that by providing all the gifts online and in one central place. We offer easy online secure shopping, and complete convenience. Most importantly, engaged Jewish couples can now have the option to include our shop as part of their wedding gifts.”

From kippot to Carrol Boyes
Accessibility and convenience will make shopping for Judaica items a pleasure, and are two more reasons why Simon decided to start JGifts. “Recently, I was away and I needed to get a wedding gift for a friend. After trawling the internet, I was amazed to find that it was virtually impossible to find any online Judaica retailers in South Africa. I could not purchase anything Judaica within our borders, with delivery door to door.” In addition, “the bricks and mortar shops selling Judaica gifts are only accessible at set hours. An online shop is 24 hours and convenient.”

If there is one ‘bricks and mortar’ shop that is reminiscent of JGifts, it was the much-loved Beinkenstadt, which Simon sees as an inspiration. “People always talk about Beikenstadt, the old Jewish gift and book store, and our plan is to emulate the heights that Beikenstadt achieved in the community all those years ago.”

Indeed, JGifts will offer this and even more exciting options for gifts. “What makes JGifts unique is that we have teamed up with some exclusive art creators in Cape Town to make specialised Judaica gifts that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. For example, we have African beaded mezuzot, which are truly one of a kind, and perfect for sending to family and friends overseas. Our book collection is growing by the day and if there is a title we don’t have, we can certainly get it for you. JGifts can also arrange for custom-made kippot and benching books to be created especially for your simcha.” And it doesn’t end there, as Simon is working with specialist stores, such as Carrol Boyes, to bring you the perfect gift for every event!

Celebrate a simcha, do a mitzvah
In addition to celebrating a simcha, JGifts also provides the opportunity to do a mitzvah. “When I started this project, I immediately approached Chabad of Cape Town. Rabbi Levi Popack loved my idea and we decided to join forces. As part of our corporate social responsibility, we are donating proceeds from the sale of goods to the Friendship Circle, a non-profit Jewish organisation that provides services to children with special needs. From the start, we decided to give back.”

Finally, with Rosh Hashanah this month, JGifts will be stocking up with unique gifts for the chag. “We have unique handmade gifts from Sybil Anne Creations, made especially for Rosh Hashanah.” In addition, “we are currently running a special on all our products until the end of September. We are offering 20% off all products until the end of December, and if you order merchandise over R1000, we will throw in free delivery. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter on our website to be kept informed of our monthly specials.” says Simon.

In terms of delivery, JGifts can deliver nationwide and door to door. “We currently do not support international shipping, but this can be organised on special request. We use an approved courier to transport all our gifts.”

“I am extremely excited about JGifts,” concludes Simon. “It has already taken off so well and has been well received by the community thus far. JGifts will become a central part of the Jewish community in South Africa.”