South Africa’s ‘Great Big Challah Bakes’ Kick Off Global Shabbos Project

10/22/2015 - 20:00

Cape Town, South Africa - Flanked by guitars and drums, master of ceremonies Nicole Green grabbed a microphone atop the outdoor stage and shouted, “Are we ready to rock Cape Town?”

More than 1,700 Jewish women knead dough under a tent during the Great Big Challah Bake on Oct. 21, 2015 in Cape Town. RNS

The Key Also Rises

05/05/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In my dreams, I sometimes find a hidden door in my Manhattan apartment that opens to a room I never knew existed.

I awaken with a start — and a sigh. Oh, how we could use that extra space, what with two growing children of the opposite sexes whose dynamics I once described on this page as “Enemies: A Love Story.” But to move? In Manhattan? This involves a nightmare of brokers and board applications, money and mortgages, all in an exorbitant market with limited inventory. I should know. After a decade of dreams, we are currently suffering through this headache.

Elicia Brown

Schmoozing With The Challah Fairy

Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy," is busy at her bakery in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.

08/21/2013 - 20:00
Food & Wine Editor

Meet Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy." Maybe you’ve seen her challahs at Seasons, or at Prime Butcher Baker, or even visited her café in New City, New York. Fischer started baking challahs out of her home when her children were young, delivering them to her neighbor’s mailboxes on Friday afternoons. That’s how she got her title, the Challah Fairy. When her kids got a little older, she decided to turn her knack for kneading into a business. She's playful when it comes to inventing new flavors for her challahs. Her oreo challah is a best-seller, and around Thanksgiving people eagerly await her apple-cranberry challah. Her plain, poppy, sesame and crumb ones are always for sale. In the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah Fischer is busier than ever baking challahs and taking orders. Fortunately, she made some time to schmooze about non-challah related things, like why froyo is overrated and her signature omelet trick.

The Challah Fairy. Photo courtesy Chanalee Fischer

A Kosher Slice

Cake Land at home with Yorkville's other Jewish businesses.
07/22/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The far Upper East Side neighborhood dominated by New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center does not lack baked goods, what with Dunkin’ Donuts, Bagels & Co. and numerous coffee carts dispersed throughout the area.

Yet since a Chabad mikveh, or ritual bath, opened in 2005, the area has been attracting more Jewish institutions, such as a the Moise Safra JCC, about to open on Lexington and 84th, and the V-Note, a vegan restaurant with kosher certification on 80th and First Avenue.

Cake Land, a kosher pareve bakery gets a new Yorkville location. Fotolia

Shabbat Hours In Miami

A bakery mulls selling the store to Ryan and Ro Ro in its quest for kosher certification and Shabbat hours.

07/09/2013 - 20:00
Food & Wine Editor

Step one: Bake the best sourdough bread ever. Step two: Make it kosher.

That's Zak Stern's philosohpy behind his successful bread bakery, Zak The Baker, which is in the early stages of becoming kosher.

Last Friday Zak The Baker announced via Facebook that the bakery would become kosher, posting a picture of the “Shabbos Goy Baking Crew,” who will keep the bakery running during Shabbat.

Zak Stern (3rd from left) with baking crew. Photo courtesy Zak Stern

The Disservice Orthodox Judaism Does

I broke gender norms, and it was delicious.

Last Wednesday, for my first time, I baked two loaves of challah for Shabbat. I participated in an enjoyable event held regularly at my campus Chabad. Baking challah and its accompanying mitzvah, our instructor helpfully explained, is traditionally a “woman’s mitzvah.”

Did I just witness gender formation? Was female identity constructed just there before my eyes and is it really so simple?

Must we check our brains at the kitchen door when we learn how to make challah? Wikimedia Commons

Jewish Continuity For $14.99 Plus Shipping

I’ve been covering Jewish education for almost 15 years and have interviewed countless people telling me about the myriad challenges (not to mention the financial investment required) of maintaining and passing on our illustrious Jewish traditions.

For interfaith families alone, there is an entire cottage industry of websites like this and this brimming with suggestions, resources, how-to’s and so on for learning about and transmitting our aforementioned traditions.

Intermarrieds Cooking Up Trouble

A few years ago, when I wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal about increasing numbers of gentile moms raising Jewish kids, I was amused by the editor’s headline choice: “But Will The Chicken Soup Taste As Good?”

In fact, a sizable number of non-Jewish men and women who have married into the Tribe are taking on the responsibility of cooking the family’s chicken soup, along with other traditional Jewish dishes.

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