Hello there thirty-is-the-new-twentysomething! That's right, I'm talking to you. Do you have a friend, sibling, cousin, or co-worker who recently procreated? Perhaps a girlfriend with a young family who could use a kid-friendly, modern guide to Shabbat? You do? Just as I expected. Well, here's something to consider: Mother's Day doesn't only have to be about your own mom. If you're looking for a gift to let the young moms in your life know you appreciate how hard they're working, consider Meredith L. Jacob's The Modern Jewish Mom's Guide to Shabbat. In addition to thoughtful and creative guidance on how to prepare the house, the table, and the family, Jacobs offers projects, recipes, and summaries of the weekly Torah portions with family discussion questions. There's even a chapter on how to keep Shabbat interesting and meaningful for teenagers.
If you're in search of a last minute gift for your own mother this Sunday, here are a couple of foolproof ideas:
Jewcers in New York, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey, Toronto, or Montreal should seriously consider making a visit to Sabon, an amazing bath and body company that was founded in Israel in 1997. Their lotions, massage oils, soaps, cleansers, and serums combine aromatherapy oils, Dead Sea extracts, herbs, and flowers from the Israeli countryside. In addition to delicious products that are stylishly packaged, Sabon's soaps are made on an agricultural co-operative Moshav in Northern Israel, they use boxes made from recycled materials and fully biodegradable packing material, they never test on animals, and they support Dead Sea conservation via Friends of The Earth. US and Canada locations can be found here. Sabon also has an Israeli site.
For those who can't get to a Sabon storefront, Ahava is another good bet for Mother's Day. Described as the "only cosmetics enterprise indigenous to the Dead Sea region," their rich, mineral-based products are available all over the world. Any number of their cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and nourishing solutions would be a welcome offering. For more traditional moms, try something along the lines of the Mineral Body Lotion or hand and foot creams. For more adventurous mamas, pick up a tube of the Energizing Body Mud Mask with fresh essences of mandarin & cedarwood.