In a fun evening of Jewish unity, hundreds of Nassau County women will partake in the aromatic, delicious, and spiritual tradition of making challah bread together, in preparation for a Jewish day of rest that a million Jews worldwide expect to celebrate together.
The second annual Great Challah Bake will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Sands Atlantic Beach.
Last year’s Bake attracted a large and diverse group of local Jewish women: local businesswomen, mothers of school children, daughters of Holocaust survivors, women with little or no knowledge of Jewish ritual tradition, ladies who bake their own challah regularly, and everyone in between. Many brought their daughters, sister, mothers, aunts, nieces and cousins with them. The theme of this year’s bake is “kneading it together,” tying together this ancient practice that all Jews will enjoy taking part in.
Tickets for admission, which include all inspirational guest speakers, baking supplies, instructions, musical entertainment, an apron and a take-home package, are $36 and $25 per person.
It’s a wonderful ladies night out for Jewish girls aged 12 to 112, who will knead, braid, learn, meet new friends, sing and dance as they join together at this task. Author, teacher and Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff and Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt are the MCs for this year’s Challah Bake, and all who attend will receive a copy of Rabbi Hajioff’s book, Jew Got Questions?
Wednesday night’s Challah Bake is a precursor to a larger, international event on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24. This Shabbat Project is like a global flash mob, a coordinated action taking place at the same time in 500 cities around the world that all Jews can be part of. Guidelines on how to observe the Sabbath will be given out at the Challah Bake, showing how easy it is to do.
Each Challah Bake participant will receive a mixing bowl containing two and a half pounds of flour, all premeasured ingredients, and an apron. Women will mix, knead and braid the dough while learning about the ancient art of bread-making and it’s spiritual significance.
When the dough is ready, the women will pair up to say the 4,000 year old traditional blessings that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, said as the first Jews baked challah. Each participant will leave with the braided dough loaves to bake in her own home. While the women knead, braid, talk and dance, musical entertainment will be provided.
Last year’s participant Teri Gatti Schure said, “I was moved to tears at the sight of 1,200 women dancing, singing, and baking challah together. I couldn’t help but wish that my mother-in-law, who was a Holocaust survivor, could have been there with me.”
“Shabbat enables us to momentarily 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.
At the Challah Bake, participants will be given helpful materials with tips on keeping Shabbat. Participants can also be paired up with a host family for that Shabbat, to extend and enhance their experience.
To RSVP for this event, please visit www.theshabbosproject.org/li; group RSVPs are welcome.