The Thursday night “Mega Challah Bake” at the Alex Aidekman Jewish Community Campus in Whippany, N.J., officially celebrated the Bat Mitzvah of Chaya Grossbaum, daughter of Chabad-Lubavitch of Livingston directors Rabbi Zalman and Toba Grossbaum. Although no records are kept on similar feats, attendees noted that the output of 800 loaves of the traditional Jewish bread was quite an accomplishment, especially considering that half of the bread was given away to others.
Grossbaum, who turned 12 in August, said that she wanted a meaningful Bat Mitzvah celebration that would give her peers and area women a chance to share in a meaningful project.
“There is no better way to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah than by doing actual mitzvahs,” she exclaimed.
Open to the entire Jewish community, the Oct. 14 event drew women and girls aged 10 and up from all segments of the community. People with special needs took part in the bakeoff, and a sign language interpreter was on hand for deaf participants. Each person created her own two “Loaves of Love,” one to keep and the other to give to someone in need.
Thank you for such a magical experience. Amanda and I loved sharing Chaya's Bat Mitzvah Celebration with your family and the 100s of other women.
We have delivered our challahs to two friends in need and wow, did it make us feel good.
One delivery was for a friend who lost her job and her son has recently been injured.
The other was to my daughter's piano teacher who has just come home from Care One Rehabilitation. She so loved the visit and the special treat of Challah!
We will be baking Challah in my family from now on.
Thank you so much for an amazing evening and the opportunity to back my first challah.
- A Friend
Tonight I had the honor and privilege to share in Chaya Grossbaum's Mega Challah Bake-Loaves of Love Bat Mitzvah. Over 400 women joined together to make Challah from scratch and learn about the Mitzvot of Challah.
I was able to share in this special evening with my friend Naneen, my mother and my 12 year old daughter...which was truly a blessing. Each of us made a challah for ourselves and one to give away. Mine will go to a friend who just had back surgery and will be home from rehab in time for Shabbos. My daughter's will go to a friend /cousin whose father just has been sent home under the care of Hospice and would be so touched to know Ruby has thought of her.
Glad to be able to share my photos on Facebook to spread the word of a REAL Bat Mitzvah...one where the Mitzvah is the most important part of the event!!
Bat Mitzvah Girl to Host Unique Celebration
While most Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations focus more on the “bar” (party) than on the “Mitzvah” (good deeds), Chaya Grossbaum of Livingston, New Jersey will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah on Thursday, October 14 by hosting a Mega Challah Bake. More than 400 women and girls will come together to bake Challah simultaneously at the Alex Aidekman Jewish Community Campus in Whippany, New Jersey. Although there are no records kept of any past events, this would seem to be a world record for the most Challah Bakers ever.
The event will unite generations performing this special Mitzvah that is particularly related to the Jewish women. Three generations of many families, including Chaya’s mother and grandmother, will perform this Mitzvah together (unfortunately her great-grandmother will not be able to attend, but has shared her personal recipe for the event).
“There is no better way to celebrate my Bat Mitzvah, than by doing actual Mitzvahs.” Chaya said. “Having hundreds of women do a Mitzvah simultaneously will be a very exciting and powerful moment.”
In addition to making their own Challah for Shabbat, each participant will be making an additional Challah to give to someone who can use a little love, expanding the impact with yet another Mitzvah. The “Loaves of Love” will be distributed to elderly people living alone, someone in the hospital, or anyone who can use a little love, to share the freshly baked feeling of care and concern. A blog (www.megachallahbake.com) has been setup for people to share their “Loves of Love” stories.
“Chaya has always shown a special excitement for doing Mitzvot and she is thrilled to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah in this way.” Her mother, Toba Grossbaum said. “Hopefully this will be an inspiration for others to appreciate this special milestone in a new light.”
The event is open to the entire community. Women and girls ages 10 and up are invited to attend. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaya’s parents, Rabbi Zalman and Toba Grossbaum, are the Chabad representatives in Livingston, New Jersey and run the highly acclaimed Friendship Circle (www.fcnj.com), an organization dedicated to helping children with special needs and teen volunteers.