Open your hearts and roll up your sleeves

September 24, 2014 by J-Wire
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Baking Challah will be an integral part of next month’s Shabbat Project.


Photo: Judy Wilkenfeld

Say the word Shabbat to any Jew around the world, and they’ll be quick to respond by making a mention of challah. The picture of the Shabbat table is simply incomplete without the presence of those two braided beauties, always set to disappear faster than you can say “hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz”.

Challah is not just a food; it’s much more than egg, flour and a few other ingredients baked to perfection. Challah is the smell that tells us its time to relax. It’s the sound of the family joining around the table reminiscing on the week that was. Challah is the taste of gran’s famous chicken soup or mum’s tender roast. Challah is the heart of the Shabbat meal, braiding the Jewish people together in shared sights, smells and tastes.

It is no surprise that making this plaited pleasure is imbued with tremendous spiritual significance. Together on Thursday the 23rd October 2014, as a part of The Shabbat Project, the Sydney Jewish community will be unlocking the secrets of this age-old tradition in the largest challah bake to ever hit Sydney.

Join the ladies of the Monday Morning Cooking Club in perfecting the art of challah baking, sure to satisfy both the stomach and soul! With light refreshments to be served, all your cooking utensils provided and your Shabbat challahs for the week taken care of, the massive communal challah bake is sure to be a recipe for success!

The challah bake will be taking place in Alexandria (venue details to be released prior to the day) and is limited to adults and students from 12 years.

Tickets are $25 for adults or $18 for students aged 12-18. Book as a group or on your own at from September 15!

Doors will open at 7:00pm and the event will begin at 7:15pm, guests will take home their challot and the recipe to make sure everyone gets a taste of the magic!

Don’t miss out as the Jewish community comes together for an evening of spiritual invigoration. Open your hearts and roll up your sleeves as we kick off The Shabbat Project in Sydney in this massive communal challah bake.

Join us in keeping it together!

Q: So what is the Shabbat Project?

The Shabbat Project is an international grassroots Jewish identity initiative that unites Jews to keep one Shabbat together.


Q: When is it?

The Shabbat of 24/25 October, 2014… but… in the weeks leading up everyone is starting to prepare – their knowledge, their homes, their guest lists.


Q: Who is involved?

Almost the whole world! 170 cities, 11 time zones, 30 countries, dozens of languages. Observant to first-timers, young and old – the real question is… “who isn’t involved?”


Q: What do I need to do?

If you want to be counted in, sign up for updates and information on our website Pledge to Keep it Together.


Tell your friends about it, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram with our hashtags #keepingittogether, #shabbosproject and #massivechallahbake


When you register, be sure to encourage every member of your family to do the same.


  1. Who is in charge?

We all are! This is a grassroots initiative – shules, schools and communal organisations are all participating; each in their own way.

There are hundreds of volunteers already hard at work in various committees from Challah Baking to Education to Home Hospitality.


  1. What is being organised?

The Shabbat Project organising team are offering four things:

  1. Massive Community Challah Bake – Thursday Oct 23
  2. Shabbat Afternoon Activities – from 3.30pm – 6.30pm across Sydney
  3. Havdallah Celebration – Saturday Oct 24
  4. Shabbat Showbags – with items on how to keep Shabbat, games to play with the whole family and ideas on how to enrich your experience. (limited numbers)


Shules are organising extra things on top of their usual services such as meals, guest speakers, tishes and fabregens.


Jewish day school teachers are collaborating to produce the best and most exciting Shabbat programs.


Community organisations are planning meals, functions, extra newsletters and special children’s programs.


Individuals have already begun planning big dinners and lunches for their friends, changed arrangements so that they are free on the Shabbat Project weekend and generally started to share their enthusiasm.


Q: Why do it?

By experiencing the magic of Shabbat, we give ourselves an opportunity to disconnect from the routine and challenge of daily live, focus on family and relationships and be part of a really extended Jewish family!


Q: Does it cost to participate?

There are only two ticketed events that have a nominal fee – the Massive Communal Challah Bake and Havdallah Celebration.


This is not a fundraising project, it’s all about each of us connecting with the nearly 10,000 other Sydney-siders who will be Keeping It Together on 24/25 October.


Join us in Keeping it Together!


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