Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Richard!

Baking with adults with different abilities

The Challah for Hunger Volunteer Corps supports community initiatives in Philadelphia. This group of volunteers come together to help make our Social Change Bakery Programs a success!

You may be curious about what it’s like to volunteer for Challah for Hunger: You’ve found the right place. My name is Rich and I’m here to speak about my experience as a member of CfH’s Volunteer Corps.

First, let me give the overview of my volunteer experience. In November 2017, I joined CfH and learned how the organizations empowers volunteers to fight hunger in their communities. After learning how CfH leads challah baking programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, I participated in a special training on facilitating challah baking programs for adults with different abilities.

The training was led by Mary Holmcrans, CfH’s energetic and bubbly Repair the World Fellow, who then brought me to a challah bake with Judith Creed Horizons for Achieving Independence (JCHAI). Since then, I’ve been hooked.

Each month I head down to the Rohr Center for Jewish Life in Haverford, where JCHAI Transitions bakes take place. My main role is to assist Dr. Beth Rosenwasser, who runs JCHAI’s baking program. She is, for all intensive purposes, the head honcho, the facilitator, the counselor, the director of people, the social skills coach, the socially-minded educator. Throughout the two-hour program, Beth helps us build a sense of community and provide a positive environment for developing social and living skills.

Each portion of the night has been tailored by Beth to empower people with different abilities and allow them to share their own personalities with each other, from the way we introduce ourselves in a circle to the dinner and discussions we have about nutrition and advocacy after the challah baking is finished.

Because not only do we get to build community by baking challah, we get to do it over great food. After we’ve finished up in the kitchen, we get to have some of the everything-bagel-seasoned challah dipped in the savory soup of the month.

It’s cool.