2,500 uplifted at the Sydney Challah Bake

October 24, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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More than 2,500 women baked their Shabbat challahs to launch Sydney’s Shabbat Project bringing together Jews across the entire religious spectrum and reconnecting many who had been unaffiliated.

Giora Friede

Giora Friede

Sydney chairman of the Shabbat Project Giora Friede told J-Wire: “It was a very special event with many saying that it ranked among the best ever witnessed in Sydney. It was amazing to see the orthodox, the progressives, the Chabadniks and the hitherto unaffiliated all dancing together. It was highly spiritual and emotional experience. For Shabbat itself, challah baking is an essential part of the overall process.”

Ilan Kidron started singing as the participants were kneading their dough. It was rolling-pins down and dancing shoes on as the Alexandria warehouse became a sea of spiritually-lifted women dancing to his music.

Friede added: “If we get one person who has reconnected with their Jewishness I will be over the moon…but I suspect there were many more than one”.

He said that every Jewish organisation affiliated with the JCA had been contributed to the funding of the project.

An exuberant Friede said: “We were packed to capacity. If we had had the room we could have accommodated another 1000, It was something special to get people to unite in a meaningful way through Shabbat which is the core activity of Jewish life.

Project Leader Rabbi Benjy Levy said: “It is truly amazing to see the results when all aspects of the community work together.”

The Shabbat Project was inaugurated in South Africa last year and this year is being embraced in 212 cities and 33 countries around the globe.

Peter Philippsohn, president of Jewish Community Appeal noted: “What happens when you get 2500 people in a room and 8000 eggs as well as some flour, sugar and yeast?  You get over 5000 challot and a community galvanised by the spirit of The Shabbat Project Sydney.
Last night’s event captured the imagination of our community and the feeling in our warehouse was one that in all my years involved in our community I have not felt.  It was about mothers, daughters, cousins, aunts, uncles, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends.  And new friends.  Baking together in the tradition that has kept us together for all these years. “


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2 Responses to “2,500 uplifted at the Sydney Challah Bake”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    As the men/gorgeous ladies ratio was some 150 to ONE, I should have been there and my wife somewhere in Hawaii.

    Gorgeous Alpha Male aka OW

  2. Scott Leonard says:

    Hi Henry
    Just to clarify, this event was better than most around the world as it included several men, a fact overlooked in the opening paragraph. A great time was had by all as a result of the inclusivity.

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