It’s a few days before Passover and Maya Lotan’s office is packed with boxes.
No, it’s not because Lotan is moving, or because she’s clearing out all her hametz, the leavened products traditionally forbidden on Passover.
Lotan is the CEO of Days United, a premium direct-to-consumer brand that offers holiday celebration boxes to help families from particular faiths and cultures celebrate their traditions.
Right now, colorful Jewish culture boxes cover the workstations in Lotan’s office. Each one is packed with guides, gear, and activities for celebrating a different Jewish holiday: Tu Bishvat, Purim, Lag Ba’omer, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, and, of course, Passover. There’s a pegboard with prototypes and a bright laser-cutting machine.
Lotan excitedly holds up a challah bread cover, part of a Shabbat experience box that includes several fun, engaging and educational activities for kids and adults.
“See,” Lotan says. “There are 52 stars to embroider, so each Shabbat they can add one with their family, and at the end of the year they have an heirloom they’ve made together and can keep forever.”
A native of Israel, Lotan has warm memories of celebrating Passover with her family as a child.
“We had a long, long table, overflowing with people, sharing kneidlach and our favorite foods,” she recalls, using the Yiddish word for matzah balls. “We were all dressed in white, hiding the afikoman, singing almost all the songs, and making a lot of joyful noise as we fell asleep. When my grandfather passed away, I knew Passover would never be the same. The first time I felt whole again was when I was celebrating my first Passover with my parents and my babies.”
It was on the Jewish bonfire holiday of Lag Ba’omer not long afterward that Lotan, by then a mother of three, decided she wanted to do something concrete to maintain Jewish traditions and pass them down to her children. So she called her mother and asked for clear, step-by-step instructions on holiday rituals and customs. Lotan then used her experience in engineering and design to transform the customs into a few fun and engaging activities for the kids and adults.
Maya invited neighborhood friends and families to join in the celebration. Thus the idea for Days United was born.
Before she knew it, Lotan had an assembly line of grandparents, husbands, kids, and even teens helping to build and pack these early culture boxes. Lotan set up a simple website and social media account to sell her merchandise. She was flooded with orders from other families longing for the same need to preserve and celebrate their own traditions. So far, Days United has culture boxes for Jewish, Chinese, and Indian traditions.
This Passover, Days United’s Passover Box is being ordered both by those gathering again in person for the first time in three years and those who intend to celebrate with each other virtually. Among the fun and educational activities in the boxes are: a Passover scavenger hunt, decorating cups for Elijah and Miriam, baking meringues, making a cool afikomen cover, and more crafts.
“It warms my heart to see my son take a huge interest in our cultural holidays and get excited when they approach,” said Joanna F. from Texas. “I really feel the Days boxes help him connect in a fun and creative way.”
Sofiya P. from Maryland commented: “Keeping Jewish culture alive with my grandchildren is very important to me. This allows them to learn about the holidays with important information in a fun way.”
The boxes have become so popular that subscriptions to the Days United Jewish Box often sell out in advance.
Lotan, who launched Days United as a benefit corporation – a for-profit organization guided by a social mission – reflects on her passion: “I feel so lucky to work with a super talented team, doing something we all love, and to be able to have such a positive impact on so many families. Passover is extra special for me.”
This is a paid post, Kveller’s editorial team had no role in its production.
This is a paid post from Days United, a premium direct-to-consumer brand and platform that offers holiday celebration boxes, original cultural gear, digital content, and fun educational experiences to help families and communities celebrate holidays and life events and continue the traditions of their heritage. To learn more about the Passover Box and the Jewish Subscription click here.