What should I get for a coworker moving to Israel?
December 15, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Office Gift Filter: My senior coworker, who has been something of a mentor for the past year, is about to move back to Israel to care for his parents for the next two years. What would be a good "best-wishes" kind of gift?

We're in DC. He's late-30s, married with two small kids, not really religious (and I espcially don't think anything Hanukkah-themed is appropriate in this case). We've talked a good deal about Middle East politics and current events, but apart from that and his family I haven't really learned much about his interests.

I was thinking something in the $20-30 range, but really have no idea what. And "moleskine" is not the answer to every gift question.
posted by kittyprecious to Shopping (4 answers total)
it is a lovely and thoughtful gesture on your part, but keep this in mind:

he is going back to israel, every ounce of weight (for the plane) and every cubic inch of space (for shipping containers) is going to be precious to him and his family. if they are at all typical to israeli expats moving back, there isn't an inch of room to spare.

i lived in israel for six years, and had to constantly deal with coming back and people giving me gifts of things like BOOKS, or crystal paperweights, or bookends - which were lovely, again, and thoughtful, again, but i had to figure out how to pay to ship it, or what much-needed item was going to have to be taken out of the suitcase to accommodate the pile of gifts. in the end i would leave it all behind because a pair of shoes (which cost 1/8th of what they would cost in israel) would in the end be more practical and needed than the book from aunt lorraine.

i would take him out to lunch and wish him well. that would certainly be appreciated.
posted by micawber at 9:53 AM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Food is always a good go-to gift. A nice bottle of wine could also be consumed before they leave.
posted by jquinby at 9:57 AM on December 15, 2008

I'm with Micawber on the whole meal thing- Who wouldn't pass up a free lunch?? I know that spending time with someone who values my company would mean quite a bit to me. A gift does tend to come with it's burdens especially if you are moving overseas. Space is at a premium.
posted by agentsarahjane at 11:49 AM on December 15, 2008

Thanks for the points about luggage...I was already thinking something small and light. There isn't really time to go out, and we don't really eat together. Hmmm.
posted by kittyprecious at 2:06 PM on December 15, 2008

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