The 2019 Great Big Challah Bake in Queens was held at the Yeshiva of Central Queens on Thursday, November 14th drawing well over two-hundred women from all Jewish backgrounds. Shabbat is meant to be shared with family and friends in a relaxed comfortable atmosphere. What a delightful experience is was for so many excited women to join in the mitzvah of preparing a challah for their elegant Shabbat tables. “Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, Chief Rabbi of South Africa, launched The Shabbos Project in 2014 as a worldwide endeavor for Jewish women to unite in doing mitzvot in honor of Shabbat Chayei Sarah and the women of Queens are proud to emulate his work with this tremendous display of ahava, love, for Shabbat and partake in the mitzvah of baking challah,” said event host Victoria Zirkiev, President of Chazaq’s Women’s Division.
The event was made possible with the help of Robbie Aboff, Chazaq’s Events Coordinator who envisioned and planned all details. Thanks is extended to Golda Fried and Rena Goldman who working alongside Leora Meirov of Chazaq to ensure no stone unturned. Sponsors include: YCQ, QJL, BJL, Seasons, Wassermans, Dr. Bennett from KGH Doc, Tova Lisker of TLC Wigs, Rivka Kazanofsky from RK Hoisery, Chayala Diamenstein of Petit Perfection, Sam and Beverly Goldberger of Towne Variety and in memory of Shalom Zirkiev’s grandmother Sonia Zipora bat Leo. The musical accompaniment was coordinated by DJ Yossi Music.
For celebrity chef Naomi Nachman cooking has always been a passion. In 2004, she started her own kosher personal chef business, The Aussie Gourmet and has since wrote 2 brilliant cookbooks Perfect For Pesach and Perfect Flavors, she hosts Sunny Side Up on Kosher.com and Table for Two on The Nachum Segal Network as well as the wildly popular Kosher Chopped competitions throughout America. Naomi in her charming manner walked the audience through the challah baking and braiding process while offering tips and pointers. She concluded with an easy salad demonstration and a cookbook signing.
When hundreds of women connect there is an ever-present need for innovation. Sivan Rahav-Meir is an acclaimed media personality, Yediot Aharonot columnist, Galei Zahal radio host and sought-after lecturer speaking about the broadcasting, Judaism and Zionism – an absolute powerhouse! She resides in Yerushalyim and is currently with her husband and five children on shlichut, serving as the World Mizrachi Shlicha to North America, where she inspires in various communities. Sivan captivated onlookers leaving all proud to be part of The Shabbos Project phenomenon.
Sivan spoke exclusively to the Bukharian Jewish Link in conjunction with OU’s Torah in New York and shed light onto issues women of today’s generation face.
Q: Jewish married women have countless responsibilities from sharing the finances, maintaining a professional career, household chores and the endless routines for children. What perspective can you provide for a woman to balance these tasks?
A: In Parshat Ki Savo (perek 28 pasuk 47) the Torah tell us that we must serve our Creator “b’simcha v’tov” with gladness and goodness of heart. We should take our responsibilities in stride and fulfill each with happiness until the limits we are most comfortable. We must check ourselves and ensure that our basic elements are not being neglected.
Q: Women are obligated in less mitzvot than men. What is one good deed that outshines where a woman can strive to improve?
A: Tefillah is an area where all women should devote time. When immersed in prayer, even for one time a day, a woman will find new strengths and have a renewed koach for caring for their children or elders.
Q: Do you have a favorite recipe?
A: Being in America there are so many kosher establishments and it is a treat to have a new experience each meal.
Q: Do you have a favorite book on your nightstand?
A: Being involved in media you will always find me with a Mishpacha or Ami magazine not far from reach.
Q: Young women especially newlyweds have a slew of obligations, yet many want to devote spare time to chessed opportunities and communal activities.
A: One must always ask themselves where they can best improve. As a Mizrachi Shlicha family time is of utmost importance. The Shabbos experience always has room for improvement where the family can join in activities and enter the week ahead more relaxed. Once we care for ourselves, we will suddenly have more time for extras.
Q: The average seminary student is often left awry when coming back to their hometown from abroad. They now have the burden of Western culture at their fingertips and miss the wholesome Jewish setting of Torah lectures.
A: Human beings are an imperfect creation. Limud, studying, is the center of our identity. We must find a balance to value Zionism and our love for Israel while filling our lives with moments of kindness with those we interact.
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