Challah for Hunger is an on-campus organization that makes and sells challah to combat hunger. Challah (pronounced like “holla,” with a Spanish “j” sound) is traditional Jewish Sabbath egg bread made with flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil and eggs.
At Berkeley’s Challah for Hunger chapter, the challah is vegan, so there are no eggs added. Each week, there is one special flavor, in addition to the usual rosemary garlic, chocolate chip and cinnamon sugar. In the past, they’ve made raspberry chocolate, pesto and sun-dried tomato, za’atar (a Middle Eastern herb), olive, Mexican chocolate (chili power and chocolate), apple pie and cranberry orange challot (the plural form of challah). For Challahween, the special flavor was pumpkin chocolate challah.
Every Thursday from 7-8pm at Hillel, volunteers can help braid challah. The organization welcomes everyone to come braid with them. As Ariel Kent, co-coordinator of Challah for Hunger, explains, “You do not have to be Jewish to come braid with us.”
After all the braiding is finished, everyone gathers together for motzi. During the blessing, each person connects to a large loaf of challah by touching someone who is linked to the bread. Afterwards, the loaf is passed around, and each person gets a piece.
You can buy freshly baked challah for $2 a loaf every Thursday night around 8pm or on Sproul Plaza the next day. In addition, Challah for Hunger is starting a delivery system at locations such as Underhill and Channing Circle. All proceeds are donated to charities: 50% goes to an international organization, Doctors without Borders, while the other 50% is split between San Francisco Food Bank and Urban Adamah.
Challah for Hunger is a wonderful organization driven by a spectacular goal. “If you want to give back to the community but don’t know how, [braiding challah is] such an easy, fun way to do that,” comments Carly Schaeffer, co-coordinator of Challah for Hunger.