Photos: Tzipora Lifchitz
One hundred and fifty women gathered from across Jerusalem for a Unity Challah Bake on Thursday, July 16th.
Chabad of Baka organized the event to take place on the auspicious date of Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, to spread more kindness and unity in the nine days leading up to Tishah B’Av.
In the true spirit of achdus, Chabad of Talbiya and Yiboneh joined as co-sponsors, and many shuls and organizations around the Baka area publicized the event.
Ayala Gordesky, Chaya David, Alona Burger, and Edith Rivka Levitt were the Unity Challah Bake coordinators, and they ensured that the event was efficiently and smoothly run.
The venue was the Euphoria wedding hall in Talpiyot. The evening included a delicious buffet of catered salads, fruit platters and desserts.
“I never thought Challah baking could be so elegant,” Vita Goldstein, who traveled from Rechovot, commented, impressed by the beautiful hall and table decor.
The program featured Tamar Ansh, the internationally recognized Challah expert and author of popular books, including “A Taste of Challah.”
Tamar led the diverse crowd of women in Challah baking, beginning with the raw ingredients being mixed into dough, and concluding with creative Challah braiding and shaping. She interspersed practical tips with deep insights into the mitzvah of challah.
While the dough was rising, Judith Litoff and Nomi Goldberg led the group in unified song, a touching video of the Rebbe was shown, and Nechama Dina Hendel, shlucha of Chabad of Baka, shared words of inspiration about Jewish unity and Ahavas Yisrael.
An enthusiastic group of Mayanot women joined the program and added great spirit. Caroline voiced the feelings of the Mayanot students and others, saying, “The atmosphere of so many women united was amazing and special.”
The highlight of the evening was the roomful of women davening and blessing in unison, as they performed the mitzvah of hafrashas Challah.
Diane, a Baka resident and loving great grandmother, thoroughly enjoyed the Challah making. “This was my first time doing it,” she confided with a satisfied smile. Several other women, of varying ages, admitted that this was their first time making challah.
But it won’t be their last. As Eileen Eisenberg shared, “Now that I know how much fun it is, I want to make Challah more often.”
The powerful evening concluded with a chesed initiative, inspired by Chabad of Pittsburgh’s “Loaves of Love”, encouraging each of the women present to share one of their fresh Challah loaves with someone ill or a lonely neighbor or friend.
Through achdus and chesed, may we merit the building of the third Beis Hamikdash speedily- today!