by Abby Sauberman
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, my family found it difficult to make it to the grocery store each week to get a challah for Shabbat. Additionally, ingredients like flour and yeast were sparse in grocery stores, but I was able to get my hands on a large quantity of these ingredients. Being an avid baker and aspiring pastry chef, I started using my free time to bake challahs for my family.
But I wondered how I could use this skill for the people in my community facing a similar problem. That’s when I reached out to my rabbi, Rabbi Farbman, to help me spread the word that I would be baking challahs for members of my synagogue. I decided that rather than profit off of this, I would donate all of the proceeds to The Jewish Federation’s and Jewish Foundation's COVID-19/Maimonides Response Fund. Each challah is a minimum donation of $10 and delivered straight to my customers’ doorsteps. Over the past five weeks, I have donated over $500 to the fund.
My challah-baking Fridays have become the highlight of my week. While baking 10-12 challahs in my oven is time consuming and exhausting, it is a challenge that I enjoy. I have gotten to know more members of my synagogue and community; I value these newly formed connections. Hearing positive feedback from my customers and seeing pictures of their half-eaten challahs or French toast creations make my weekends extra special. I hope to continue this project all summer and possibly even longer. I plan to document my progress on my Instagram account (@baking_by_abby) where I feature some of my other products.
To place an order, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Challahs can be delivered to Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge and New Haven. Abby Sauberman, who lives in Woodbridge, will be a senior at Amity High School.