Sydney Sherman | Mustang News

Students gathered Nov. 14 to bake and break challah bread to help fundraiser  for those who are food insecure.

“I think everyone loves challah, even people who aren’t Jewish and don’t really know the significance behind it,” biological sciences junior and Challah For Hunger President Emma Witkin said.

Challah bread is braided and typically eaten during Shabbat and major Jewish holidays.

Challah for Hunger is a national organization that combats food insecurity for college students, spanning across 85 campuses nationwide. Witkin helped form the Cal Poly chapter last year and has led the club ever since.

YouTube video
Video by Lauren Brown

Baking bread

Witkin began the night by saying a blessing in Hebrew, the official language of Israel. The purpose of the blessing, Witkin said, is to sacrifice a piece of the dough and ask for healing for someone in their lives, whether that be physical, mental or spiritual healing.

After the blessing, she took a small portion of dough and wrapped it in aluminum to burn while the challah baked. Once the prayer was complete, the assembling process began.

“The Jewish community here in [San Luis Obispo] is small, but it’s mighty,” Jewish Student Life coordinator for San Luis Obispo Hillel at Cal Poly and Cuesta College Bobby Naimark said.

The club sells four kinds of challah — plain, cinnamon sugar, sesame and poppyseed — in two different sizes, personal ($5) or family ($10).

Sydney Sherman | Mustang News

The club also donates the money raised to fight food insecurity, Witkin said. Half of the donations go toward an organization that of the national chapter’s choice, which is still undecided this year. The other half is decided upon by the individual chapters.

“Right now, my treasurer and I are looking into donating to the on-campus food bank and possibly having them purchase kosher foods through the donations that we give them,” Witkin said.

Club marketing outreach coordinator Hannah Stein said that in Judaism, there are two important aspects: Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam.

Tzedahak, according to Stein, loosely translates to donating or charity.

“And then there’s something called Tikkun Olam, which means fixing the world,” business administration junior Stein said. “So I think that this club is a part of fixing the world.”

Challah For Hunger’s challah recipe. Austin Linthicum | Mustang News
Challah For Hunger’s challah recipe. Austin Linthicum | Mustang News

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