What brought you to Challah for Hunger?
I am a Fellow at Repair the World working on food justice issues through volunteering and program planning. As part of this fellowship program, I partner with organizations to create volunteer programming and to recruit volunteers. I was lucky to be paired with Challah for Hunger to help run the “Beyond the College Campus” Program. This year, I have been organizing bakes for different organizations around Philadelphia. I have been able to create curriculum teaching hunger issues and have been able to hone my challah baking skills!
What’s your happiest moment of your year?
I led a bake for an Interfaith group at a synagogue about a month ago. We taught four families with kids of all ages how to make dough and braid challah. During my lesson on hunger issues, the three year old at the event started talking about how it is hard to get food when you do not have a car. We ended up having a great conversation about the differences between hunger in cities and in suburbs, all sparked by a three year old. Later on when we were braiding our challahs, the same child looked up at me and said, “It looks like a challah! I made a challah!” Kids are incredible!
What’s something you learned?
I learned that dough won’t rise in a cold kitchen, kneading is actually important, and how to make any flavor of challah with the three strand method. More importantly, I’ve learned that if a participant doesn’t understand something that I am teaching, there is usually something I can do differently to help them understand. With braiding, I can rotate the dough to make someone see how to do it from a new perspective. I have also learned that no matter how a challah looks, it will still taste good!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done for Challah for Hunger?
I led a bake at the end of a busy day, which meant I had to carry around rising dough in my bag for the majority of the day. I made the dough in the morning at my house, waited for it to do its’ first rise. Punched it down, covered it with plastic wrap, put the bowl in my bag, and went on with my day. The dough and I went to two meetings before heading over to the alternative spring break program I was leading. It was well worth it for the delicious outcome!
What flavor are you dying to try?
I have been meaning to make a cheddar and jalapeño (challapeño) challah all year. Maybe this Friday will be the day!
Email Loren to learn more about our “Beyond the Campus” programming Philadelphia.