Thou­sands make the most of the bak­ing con­di­tions in Brent Cross

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

FIVE THOU­SAND women — and a small num­ber of men — used their bread-mak­ing skills to launch the Shab­bat UK pro­gramme with the Great Chal­lah Make in Brent Cross.

Cre­at­ing a po­ten­tial Guin­ness World Record for “the most amount of peo­ple in the same venue at the same time mak­ing bread ”, the north-Lon­don bak­ers were not alone as an­other 5,000 peo­ple took part in sim­i­lar events around the coun­try.

In Brent Cross, 9,000 eggs, 13 tons of flour, hun­dreds of litres of wa­ter and thou­sands of yeast cubes were used to cre­ate the chal­lot, some of which was do­nated to com­mu­nity food bank char­i­ties. Ad­dress­ing the bak­ers from a stage over­look­ing the prepa­ra­tion area, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis praised or­gan­is­ers and par­tic­i­pants for an “amaz­ing spec­ta­cle.

“We’re off to an incredible start and we have no doubt that this year will be even bet­ter than last year,” he said. “Strengthen your Yid­dishkeit, con­nect to your roots.”

Speak­ing to the JC, Rabbi Mirvis de­scribed the at­mos­phere as “sim­ply phe­nom­e­nal. We have an amaz­ing Jewish com­mu­nity and over Shab­bat UK we see the best of ev­ery­body.”

The idea be­hind the week­end was to “show com­mu­ni­ties that they can achieve some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary”.

He added that while the chal­lot pro­duced on the night were “tasty”, none could match those made at home by his wife, which were “incredible — the best”.

US Women co-chair Dalia Cramer and reb­bet­zin Joanne Dove led the chal­lah mak­ers through the pro­duc­tion process. Amid the con­stant chat­ter, fly­ing flour and reg­u­lar play­ing of the Shab­bat UK song, Hertsmere Jewish Pri­mary teacher Michelle Pomer­ance re­flected on the “amaz­ing achieve­ment” of bring­ing thou­sands of peo­ple to­gether.

Ms Pomer­ance, who took part with her sis­ter and mother, said: “We came last year, so we wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence it again.

“We’re do­ing a chal­lah bake at my school and I’m lead­ing it, so this is a test run. It’s a great start to what I hope will be a great week­end for ev­ery­body.”

Pe­ter Al­bert ,45, from Edgw are, at­tended with his fam­ily of eight, ex­plain­ing :“I couldn’t come last year, but the oth­ers had such a great time that I wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence it my­self. So I made a spe­cial ef­fort and took the day off work. I can’t get over how many peo­ple are here. This is the big­gest Jewish event I’ve ever been to. It’s great, be­cause it’s a shared en­deav­our and it brings ev­ery­one to­gether.”

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