More than 1,000 Nassau County women will partake in the aromatic, delicious and spiritual tradition of making challah bread together at the third annual Great Challah Bake on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6:45 p.m. at the Sands Atlantic Beach in preparation of a Jewish day of rest that a million Jews worldwide will celebrate together.
Last year’s bake attracted a large, diverse group of local businesswomen, mothers of school children, daughters of Holocaust survivors, women with minimal knowledge of Jewish rituals, ladies who bake challah regularly and everyone in between. Many brought daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces and cousins. This year’s theme, Keeping It Together, ties together this ancient practice.
For $36, which includes baking supplies, instructions, musical entertainment, an apron, raffle prizes and a recipe book, participants will learn the historical significance of this delicious bread and how to prepare and braid two challahs. Women, ages 12 to 112, will knead, braid, learn, meet new friends, sing and dance as they join together. Emcee Jackie Bitton will lead the event and Slovie Wolff will express inspirational thoughts in honor of her recently departed mother, the renowned Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis. More than a dozen organizations will be joining together to make this event a success.
The Challah Bake is a precursor to a larger international event on Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12. Called the Shabbat Project, the coordinated event will occur simultaneously in 500 cities around the world. Guidelines on how to observe will be provided at the Challah Bake.
Challah Bake participants may sign up to spend the Sabbath, from sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday, with a local family to experience a traditional celebration.
“Shabbat enables us to [unplug for a day and] set aside the distractions, demands and pressures of daily life, offering us the time and space to renew our inner selves and to reinvigorate our most important relationships,” said Rabbi Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa and founder of the Shabbat Project.
“I was moved to tears at the sight of 1,000 women dancing, singing and baking challah together,” said Teri Gatti Schure, a participant from last year’s bake. “I couldn’t help but wish that my mother-in-law, who was a Holocaust survivor, could have been there with me.”