Yachad opened its first retail gift storefront on November 27, just in time for the Chanukah and holiday season. The new store, Yachad Gifts, is located at 1545 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, open Sunday- Friday.
The Yachad Gifts team, Yachad staff, JUF vocational team, IVDU School students and teachers, and community members joined together for the official store opening ribbon cutting ceremony. Yachad Gifts’ employee Rosa Barr had the honor of cutting the ribbon and welcoming the public into the bright and shiny gift basket storefront. The grand opening event included door prizes, raffles and contests for customers and guests.
Spirited Yachad members, who work as part-time or full-time employees in the new store, were beaming with excitement as community members entered the gift store for the first time. They were quick to assist in answering questions about products and what makes Yachad Gifts different from other gift basket stores.
Yachad is the global organization dedicated to the needs of all Jewish individuals with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion in Jewish life. Yachad Gifts serves as part of that mission, providing vocational training and employment to individuals with developmental disabilities. The members that work at Yachad Gifts hold various roles within the Kosher gift basket hub in Brooklyn, including stocking inventory, production, packaging, shipping, data entry, sales and customer service. When asked how they felt about working at Yachad Gifts, all were happy to express their excitement to be a part of the store opening. “Yachad Gifts feels like home,” said one new employee.
Yachad Gifts has a rotating roster of individuals with developmental disabilities that have volunteer and paid positions. The store sells a variety of themed kosher gift baskets, and has done so for the past several years via its website, prior to the new store opening.
“Chanukah and Purim have been our busiest seasons,” said Yachad Gifts’ Manager Stuart Gourdji. But with the new storefront our assortment has expanded. Yachad Gifts has added wonderful and creative selections thanks to creative designer Ava Lang. She has designed gift baskets that broaden the store’s inventory to include gifts for Teacher Appreciation, Thank You, Baby Gifts, Shabbat Host/Hostess Gift sets and more.
Customers are also encouraged to ask the Yachad Gifts team to create custom gift baskets. Although Yachad Gifts has had an online presence for the past 3 years, the retail store is a great extension and even better window into the amazing work that is done by Yachad on a daily basis.
“The main goal for the retail store is to create a safe and productive employment and vocational training environment for individuals with disabilities, and spread awareness in the community about Yachad and the work the organization does to ensure that people with disabilities are fully included,” said Retail store manager Ariel Bluman.
Purchasing a gift basket from Yachad Gifts is more than just a gift buying experience—it supports individuals with disabilities in the community, allowing them to grow and develop job skills and lead fulfilling lives.
“Thank you to the entire team for their hard work in getting the store prepared and ensuring a great start. It was a successful, fun-filled week celebrating this exciting new chapter for Yachad Gifts. Be sure to stop by the retail storefront and visit their online website (Yachadgifts.com) to deliver delightful gifts to family and friends this holiday season!” added Stuart Gourdji.
Yachad Gifts Store hours: Sunday 11am-6pm, Monday-Wednesday 10am-7pm, Thursday 10am-9pm, and Friday 9am-two hours before sundown. Contact info: 855-505-7500 or email@example.com.