Today marks a bittersweet day for me. As I have prepared to go to college and begin a new chapter in my life, part of that process has involved finding somebody new to take on the responsibility of continuing Challahlujah. Though I will miss leading this project, I am excited to announce that Sabrina Avolio will be taking it on. I can't wait to see what you do with it, Sabrina!
I am proud to announce that earlier this month, I was accepted into the Bronfman Youth Fellowship program! Beginning with an intensive five-week trip to Israel this summer, myself and twenty-five other Jewish students from around North America will read a diverse range of Jewish texts and engage in thoughtful discussions about what we learn.
I'm looking forward to connecting with Jews of different backgrounds and learning about the ways in which their versions of Judaism are similar and different to mine. I am also excited to visit Israel and to explore both the modern, urban regions and the areas with immense religious and historical significance, and especially the ways the two areas blend.
Another successful round of challahs delivered today! During baking, I tried a new technique that I have not tried before. I made tangzhong and incorporated it into the dough. This technique is often used in East Asian bread making to achieve softer, fluffier bread. It involves cooking a portion of the flour and liquid of a recipe into a gelatinous paste, or tangzhong, before mixing it into the full dough. I had never seen it tried before with challah, and it turned out wonderfully.
I am thrilled to write that today was the first round of deliveries I completed after getting my COVID-19 vaccinations! It was wonderful to be able to return to a form of normalcy in this small way, and I look forward to continuing these personal deliveries.
For the first time since the lockdowns last March, I was able to personally deliver challah to a number of community members. Unfortunately, social distancing guidelines prevented me from interacting with them as much as I used to be able to. However, it was wonderful to be able to resume regular deliveries and I look forward to continuing!
Here is a video I made for Congregation B'nai Brith with my good friend Sarah, teaching you how to bake special round challot for Rosh Hashanah.