Correction: The original title, "Hillel uses challah to build community and give back" incorrectly identified the Hillel as the same organization as Challah for Hunger. Challah for Hunger is an independent nonprofit.
Two Thursdays a month, UNC's chapter of Challah for Hunger sells bread in the Pit to raise money for hunger relief. This week’s special: Nutella challah.
“It is the traditional Jewish bread and so we eat it at every big occasion, every holiday and service,” said junior Bella Reiss, Challah for Hunger executive board member. “So baking it and spreading it to the community sort of raises awareness to Judaism as a whole.”
Volunteers typically make 50 loaves of bread the Wednesday evening before and sell out by Thursday evening. All proceedings are donated to either Mazon, a Jewish hunger-relief organization, or to Carolina Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry that provides free food to students who are facing food insecurity.
“I hope when people leave, they know that they are directly affecting the communities around them,” said Ariel Brown, president of Challah for Hunger.
This is the organization’s third year of donating to Carolina Cupboard.
“It is nice knowing that we are helping actual Carolina students by (doing) this,” Brown said.
Members of Challah for Hunger start preparing for the bake events weeks in advance. They make the dough for the bread two weeks ahead of time and freeze it. The morning of the bake-day they add oil to make the dough rise. They then bake cinnamon sugar, chocolate chip, plain and a special flavor of challah for the week.
A loaf costs $4 and a roll costs $2. They also have pre-order options on their website.
Anyone can volunteer to make challah. Reise said the process is relaxing and a nice break in her day.
“I like that volunteers come and don’t know anything about our organization, but they have fun and learn a little bit about Jewish culture or challah bread or just have fun with their friends,” Reiss said. “I just like that it’s a space you can do that.”
Executive board member and junior Elizabeth Byrd began volunteering her first year and said she enjoys being a part of this organization.
“It’s really fun,” Byrd said. “But it is also a great way to give back.”
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