2016-07-06 / Voice at the Shore

Chabad holds Mega Challah Bake July 21

By ELLEN WEISMAN STRENGER Voice shore editor


At left, Shterna Kaminker, co-director of the Chabad Israeli Center, provides step-by-step instruction on challah-making to the 600 attendees of the Chabad of Camden and Burlington Counties Mega Challah Bake earlier this year. The challahs on the right were among the many baked at the event. At left, Shterna Kaminker, co-director of the Chabad Israeli Center, provides step-by-step instruction on challah-making to the 600 attendees of the Chabad of Camden and Burlington Counties Mega Challah Bake earlier this year. The challahs on the right were among the many baked at the event. Two hundred women, making challah together in the same room—braiding, baking and bonding together in a show of unity—that’s what Chabad at the Shore hopes to see at its Mega Challah Bake on Thursday, July 21 at 6:45 p.m. at the Chai Center, 6605 Atlantic Avenue in Ventnor.

“We had 600 women in Cherry Hill!” said Renee Gross Taus, a Margate summer resident who recently took part in a Cherry Hill-area Mega Challah Bake, which was held at a catering hall. Taus is now helping with preparations for the upcoming Chabad at the Shore event.

“Baking challah is a time-honored mitzvah and tradition dating back to our matriarchs,” said Ella Rapoport, program director of the Chabad at the Shore, who is running the event along with her mother, Tova Rapoport. “No matter your background or affiliation, we invite all Jewish women to continue this tradition in one great evening of unity.”

“The Challah Bake was a beautiful night for women,” said Taus of her Cherry Hill experience. “Very powerful! It was beautiful doing something that women have been doing for thousands of years. Chabads have done it all over the country. My daughter went to one in Alabama!” she added. “It really unites people.”

“The one coming up at the shore should be fantastic,” added Taus. “There is something special about Atlantic City’s water and Tova Rapoport’s challah recipe. Everyone is coming to find out Tova’s secret recipe! Her challah is exceptional.”

Chabad at the Shore is expecting 200 women for its first-ever Mega Challah Bake because “that’s what we have room for,” said Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, spiritual leader for Chabad at the Shore’s Chai Center. He expects the event to fill up fast. “We’ve gotten 15-20 hostesses, each responsible for filling a table.” Women can choose to be part of a group or sign up individually for the event.

“It’s really a night out for women,” he added. A wine bar and refreshments will be offered for the first hour before the serious food prep begins. There will also be some entertainment and/or storytelling while everyone is waiting for the dough to rise.

Each woman attending the Challah Bake will make two challahs, said Rapoport, “one for themselves and one for a friend or someone else who will appreciate a taste of Shabbos.”

Women will also leave knowing how to make a challah at home. The program will offer hands-on instruction on the art of making challah, and each participant will take home their own set of cooking tools needed for making challah, as well as an apron with the Mega Challah Bake logo.

“This is a high-energy, Jewish unity event for women, to celebrate the traditions together,” noted Rapoport. “This is being done around the country and it’s catching on quickly.”

Reservations for the Mega Challah Bake, which costs $36 per person, are required by July 17. For more information or to reserve, go to www.chabadac.com/ChallahBake or call (609) 822-8500. 

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