“Volunteering dates get a higher response rate than other suggestions; they’re also more popular in winter,” says a recent Buzzfeed piece titled How To Date Anywhere in the Country. I thought about this week this past Wednesday night, during our Challah for Hunger NYC launch party at our downtown location. If you haven’t already heard of it, Challah for Hunger is an amazing social justice organization. Founded in 2004 by a handful of college students in California, it brings people together to bake and sell challah, to raise money and awareness for social justice. There are well over 40 chapters around the world, and it’s an organization that continues to grow every year. Chapters are made up of volunteers who get together regularly to bake and sell challah – and the profits go to amazing causes, like the American Jewish World Relief Service’s work in Darfur. The whole project is an unlikely but really wonderful combination of hands-on work, activism, leadership, socializing, community and Jewish identity. So, we were really excited to launch our own chapter at Aish Downtown.
I decided that we needed to have a little launch party to get the word out. The event drew a really nice crowd – a group of young, vibrant, community minded individuals who’d been looking for a social volunteer project. We brought in the Challah Fairy – another truly vibrant mover and shaker who started delivering her challahs to friends’ houses a number of years ago and now runs a bakery and mobile challah class. Challah is truly a symbol; of Jewish identity, tradition and continuity. It’s bread that sustains people physically and spiritually. It’s a symbol of family, Shabbat and the love Jewish people have of helping those in need – no matter who those people might be. Challah for Hunger lets people bond, help other people, and fuse new communities everywhere. It’s also super fun. We had music, some drinks and everyone got to take home beautiful challahs braided with the help of the Challah Fairy.
Our chapter is going to begin to operate within the next few weeks. We’ve got some great volunteers geared up and ready to help us make it happen, and we’re always looking for more. If you’re interested in being a part of our brand new Challah for Hunger NYC chapter, drop us a line and let us know! And now, back to how I began this article – I think Challah for Hunger is a perfect date opportunity. What a wonderful way to get to know someone! So come help out, bring a date or a friend, and have an awesome time, doing something fun, meaningful and charitable! Buzzfeed also says New Yorkers love frozen yogurt dates – I suggest making challah and then going out for some fro-yo :-)
Shabbat Shalom! Wishing you all a peaceful and restful (albeit snowy) Shabbat!