Area women will gather for challah baking event

For some it will be a new experience, while for others it will be a familiar weekly ritual. But when hundreds of Jewish women gather at the Radisson Hotel, Freehold Township, on Nov. 14, everyone will share a powerful spiritual experience.

The event, which will begin with registration at 6 p.m., followed by the program from 6:30-9 p.m., is jointly hosted by Chabad of Western Monmouth County and the Chabad Jewish Center, Toms River. There will be refreshments before the baking of challah (bread) begins and entertainment by local talent throughout the evening, according to a press release.

For the first time, the attendees will bake chocolate babka (cake) in addition to challah. The event is for women only because challah is specifically a “mitzvah” (a commandment or good deed performed out of religious duty) for women, said Chana’le Wolosow of Chabad of Western Monmouth County.

“When a woman prepares challah,” she added, “all channels are open for her to ask for the blessings she needs in her life and in others’ lives.”

Sara Schapiro of Chabad of Western Monmouth County said she has held challah making
demonstrations in the past, but doing this as a large area-wide event is extra special.

“There is so much power when so many women are doing this together,” she said.

The ballroom will be set with pre-measured ingredients at each place. Each woman will mix her own dough, wait for it to rise, and then learn how to separate and shape the dough into two braided challahs. The loaves will be taken home for baking and enjoyment the following evening, which will be the Sabbath, according to the press release.

Tickets for the event will be $30 before Nov. 1 and $36 following that date. Donations are appreciated and those over $360 will be acknowledged. Sponsorships are available. Reservations are required. While registering, there will be an opportunity to add the names of people to be displayed when the participants pray as a community during a moment of silence. For more information and to make reservations, visit www.chabadwmc.org/challahbakersvp