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Conservative Judaism/Bring bottle of wine to gentile home 1st visit


I am Jewish. I will visit a home for the first time. The owners are not Jewish. Is it customary to bring a bottle of wine?

Dear Fred,

Thanks for writing.

First of all, it is a lovely effort to visit new neighbors or friends in a new home, Jewish or not.

2. There are no hard and fast rules. Not even standard "customs" unless you are part of a group which does have such customs.

3. In terms of wine, yes it is one of the Jewish customs to bring wine. For some they bring wine that they can enjoy as well - e.g. kosher and mevushal. Some make the effort to bring an Israeli wine or a kosher wine from where the residents may have come - e.g. Chile, Australia, California, etc.

4. First time gifts in our family's tradition are based on a tradition of welcoming pilgrims to Jerusalem - bread, salt, coins for charity and/or a bottle of wine.

5. These days in Spring/Summer consider bringing some potted plants - herbs or vegetables as they would not have had time to set up a garden. They can be window planters or outside plants.

6. We also bring roses from our home during the growing season as I maintain about 50 "hybrid tea roses" of various colors, perfumes and varieties. Fresh roses in a vase are very much appreciated, and you are sharing something little of your own home to their home.

Best wishes and congratulations on your thoughtfulness.

Rabbi Dov

Conservative Judaism

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Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner


Write to me with questions about Jewish customs and law, history, philosophy and tradition for answers from a Conservative perspective or conversion. I am a graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and a member of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly. Having served in congregational pulpits since 1970, I now am President of the Foundation For Family Education, Inc. a non-profit educational endeavor. I established it to create new formats of hands-on programs and provide free educational downloads at In addition to general informational questions I welcome your questions about programs for social action, outreach to dual-faith families, inter-faith clergy projects, healing services, education for conversion, adult education for the congregation and the community. If you have questions about Informal and Formal Education I am ready to share my extensive experience with Youth Activities, Camping and Religious School/Hebrew High School on a congregational, community and national/international level.


I have served on the National Youth Commission for more than 25 years and serve on the Boards of the Conservative Zionist movement MERCAZ and the World Council of Synagogues. I have always dual-families and taught candidates for conversion with a great sense of fulfillment. I am very proud of 25 years on the Jewish camping staff of Camps Ramah. My greatest source of pride is my family! Ask me about them, please!:-)

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