The Great Big Challah Bake’s core ingredient was as strong as ever—community

by | Nov 25, 2020 | Other News

Women from Tidewater and beyond gathered on Thursday, November 5 on Zoom for the 6th Annual Great Big Challah Bake. Part of the global Shabbos Project, the local event was a collaboration between B’nai Israel Congregation and the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Darcy Bloch, B’nai Israel Congregation’s Sisterhood president and event chair, began the evening with welcoming remarks. The challah making demonstration was led by Shikma Rubin and Molly Mancoll, with the braiding demonstrated by Sierra Lautman. Chamie Haber, of B’nai Israel, taught about the importance of baking challah as one way of making Shabbat special, separate from the rest of the week, and therefore, holy.

“It was my first time making challah from scratch,” says Charlotte Zito. “The finished product was a huge hit. I baked the loaves with my daughter Louisa Zito, age 6, and we shared the prayers and experience during our virtual Shabbat with my parents-in-law, Michael and Susan Zito.”

Another appreciative participant, Helen Sissel, says, “I’m so glad I signed up and attended. I felt so connected and my challahs turned out super delicious. What an easy and yummy recipe!”

To learn more about programs like this, contact Sierra Lautman, UJFT director of Jewish Innovation at

– Sierra Lautman