After a positive outcome last year, Elon Chabad and the Panhellenic Association partnered again to bring their second annual Mega Challah Bake. This year's rendition of the event featured speeches, a musical performance and bonding experiences.
The event is being held in time for all attendees to enjoy the sacred bread before members of the Jewish faith celebrate the upcoming high holiday of Passover, during which the most religious of the Jewish population abstain from eating leavened or bread made with yeast for a whole week.
The bake brought over 150 women to Oaks McCoy Commons Sunday. The Challah Bake student ambassadors said the event’s goal is to foster a relationship between Panhellenic and Jewish communities. Nearly 20 student ambassadors were dedicated the prior week to plan and execute the event.
When Elon University junior Rachel Solomon arrived on campus three years ago, she was searching for a place that felt like home. Quickly she found what she was looking for at Elon’s Chabad House.
Solomon is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and fell in love with the Jewish tradition of baking through participating at similar events put on at her Texas synagogue. She often bakes the braided bread with her mother at home. This made her keen to help after co-director of Chabad Rivka Minkowitz approached her with the opportunity to help prepare for the bake.
Challah is a bread, traditionally eaten on the Jewish observance of Shabbat, the day of rest. Minkowitz said the tradition of baking Challah has a strong influence on Judaic female identity and comradery.
“This year is special because we bake in honor of the matriarchs who came before us during the year of Hakel,” Minkowitz said. “While the matriarchs can’t relate to the glitz and glamor of our modern society, they can relate to the sacred sisterhood that our dough symbolizes”.
Recently appointed Student Co-President of Chabad and Elon Senior Elana Selman attended the event last year. She helped plan this year’s event and says preparing for it took months of work. She was happy with the turnout at the event, as she was able to embrace the wide community of women.
“I'm really excited to have my sorority sisters here and get to know girls from all the different Panhellenic orgs and people who are non-Greek as well,” Selman said.
Elon Freshman Abby Loubaton attended the event as an unaffiliated and she said the event is a good way “to have all these people who are focusing on sorority stuff now and are in sororities to also think about their Jewish identity as women.”
Each attendee received a commemorative t-shirt and a bowl with enough ingredients to make two raw challahs to bring home and bake with them.