A Challah for Hunger Bake in Madrid

Arielle Pearlman is a CfH alumna from Colgate University. She recently spent a year assistant-teaching in Madrid, Spain. Thanks to Arielle, we now have a copy of our challah recipe in Spanish that also includes a history of CfH and an overview of our advocacy initiative, the Campus Hunger Project.  

During my time in Madrid, the Reform Jewish community became my home, my safe haven and the individuals became my family. Just like this community was an important part of my experience in Spain, Challah for Hunger played an immense role in my college experience. Therefore, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to combine two things that mean so much to me than by leading a Challah for Hunger inspired workshop in Madrid. With the help of the organization Kahal, we were able to receive funding for the workshop and it ended up being a wonderful experience for everyone. I, along with the president of the community, prepped dough ahead of time to streamline the process. Then, with 15 members of the community, we made more dough, learned the braiding technique and baked individual challahs in different flavors. Our flavors included black garlic and onion, za’atar with sesame seeds, cinnamon raisin and nutella. While the challah baked, we discussed the history of challah, Challah for Hunger as an organization and their advocacy initiative, The Campus Hunger  Project. When the challah finished baking, we all enjoyed them together, testing each flavor and sharing which we liked best. Each participant was able to take another piece of dough with them to bake at home.

The experience of sharing a part of my world from the United States with the community I came to know and love in Spain was profound to say the least. Throughout my year in Spain, I was able to reflect on my experience as a Jew in America and the reality of Jewish life in Madrid. The reform community is small, yet incredibly strong and constantly growing and developing. Being able to share the experience of making challah from start to finish with individuals who had never had the opportunity to do such a workshop was beautiful and memorable. As I transition back to life in the U.S, I am glad I was able to leave a little bit of my world with the people who changed mine forever. The Reform Jewish community of Madrid is what I miss most and I will continue to cherish it moving forward.