Making challah among ‘organized chaos’

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Molly Kramer- Photos by Samantha Cooper

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tu B’Shevat, and it was organized chaos inside the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington’s social hall where 200 people — 180 of them children — were making challah.

Children were yelling and covered in flour as their parents tried to decipher recipes and get their little ones to still long enough to mix yeast and water.


Organized with Chabad of Potomac, the Kids Mega Challah Bake wasn’t a bake at all. The families were given the loaves to take home and put them in the oven or given to the center to bake and be donated to Interfaith Works, a nonprofit that helps the poor and homeless.

In honor of Tu B’Shevat, the new year of trees, the challot could be topped with dried fruit — including blueberries, apricots and raisins — and sprinkles, both chocolate and rainbow.

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Zachary Demner, 6, was in the middle of making dough with help of his mom and dad. He said he’s done it before.

“[My favorite part] is letting it sit because when we’re making it at home, we can play while we work,” he said.


Jamie Kramer had bought her 18-month-old daughter, Molly, to “learn how to make challah,” though Molly seemed more than content to bang a wooden spoon on the bowl.

While the dough was rising, comedy juggler Michael Rosman entertained the crowd with tricks that involved lighting marshmallows on fire, balancing a young member of the audience on his shoulders while riding a unicycle and, of
course, juggling.

Lily Watson, 7, who attended with her twin sister, Penelope, and father, Marc, said her favorite part was winning a small Torah in the raffle, which she kept tightly hugged in her arms. Penelope’s favorite part was “seeing [my friend] Morgan and being in the challah bake.”

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