The Together with Israel Challah Bake at Caulfield Shule on Thursday, October 26 saw the building packed with Jewish community members.
Co-founder of Chag in A Box, Zoe Fried, conceived the idea a couple of days after the Hamas attack on Israel. She approached Caulfield Shule with her idea to unite the community. “I want to bring everybody together,” she said. She decided to run it under her business name, rather than as an individual. The event took on momentum with the shule on board, and then the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJWA) (Vic) said they’d love to be a part of it too. “So, we did it in collaboration,” Fried said.
“I wanted to do something to unite the community. There were a lot of people, especially in my age group, [the] 18 to 30-year-old category, who wanted to do something.”
“I wanted an event where everyone felt united and resilient.”
Fried believes there’s a lot of power in tradition, and in times of adversity, people tend to turn towards tradition. It strengthens the community’s unity. “For example, the baking of challah is a hold on our Jewish roots,” she said.
Her organisation skills were put to good use. Not only 400 aluminium trays, baking paper and gloves but 420 kilograms of dough from Glicks were delivered to Caulfield Shule. “It was a team effort with everyone coming together,” Fried said.
Lisa Ezekiel, CEO of NCJWA (Vic), said, “This is an amazing example of our incredible community coming together, in unity, to show solidarity for Israel and raise money for our brothers and sisters. We are all here for the same reason.”
Rabbi Rabbin said, “In the warm embrace of community, we kneaded our hopes and dreams into every strand of dough.
“With over 400 people joining in harmony, our challah bake at Caulfield Shule was a testament to the unbreakable bond of solidarity with Israel, where love and faith rise together,” he said.
During the night there was a special live connection to the Sar-El army base in Israel, where Australian Liron Leibovich is currently stationed in the volunteer program directly on the IDF base to work alongside Israeli soldiers. Leibovich spoke about the Israeli spirit and how they have come together during these hard times.
Then guest speaker Rachel Mihalovich, executive director of Rabbinical Council of Victoria Inc., talked about her two children who are currently serving in IDF.
“It was heartwarming to see so many young adults unite to organise and attend such a special event in solidarity with Israel and praying for the safety of all our brave soldiers in Israel. I know that my daughters and the other Australian lone soldiers in Israel appreciate all the outpouring of support from our community.”
The money raised from the sale of tickets was donated to MDA and UIA.