Senior Girl’s Challah Bake


Every year, the senior girls’ tefillah classes organize a challah bake for all the girls in the grade. This is an excellent opportunity for them to bond before they go off to college. All the senior girls come together to make challah for Shabbat, speak with each other, smile, laugh, and learn. Dr. Barouk and Mrs. Wolf are the two girls’ tefillah teachers who participated in the event. In doing so, the girls and their tefillah teachers started the year with a great connecting experience. 


In addition to the senior girls and their teachers, Deborah Benchimol attended the challah bake. Deborah is the mother of Sholem. She came with a big smile and inspired all of the girls. She told stories about Sholem and about her journey to Judaism. The girls loved hearing her speak and laughing with her. She is an inspiration to everyone. Deborah has gone to challah bakes since the class of 2021 and plans to continue this tradition for years to come. 


The event was hosted at Joelle and Liat Kirsch’s house. When Joelle was asked why she would host something like this, she responded, “I have always been raised to talk to the new kid and be kind to others. When I heard that Dr. Barouk was thinking of having a challah bake, I immediately volunteered my home and made it happen. I think it is a mitzvah to host something like this, and I love seeing people happy. During the event, I looked around and saw all the smiling faces. It was a wonderful experience to see the girls from our grade gain friendships in a way they hadn’t before. Also, Dr. Barouk reached out to Deborah Benchimol, Sholem Benchimon’s mother. We all sat around in a circle and listened to her inspiring stories and journey to Judaism. We really appreciated her coming to bake and speaking with us, and we are so happy we were able to share this experience with her. All in all, I think the event was a success. We all had a blast and formed strong, lasting friendships.” 


Natalie Esquenazi, another senior, decided that she would help contribute by purchasing all of the ingredients to make the challah. “When I caught wind of the challah bake, I immediately thought of what I could do to help. I contacted the Kirsch family and asked if I could help buy the ingredients. In addition, I went to their house early so I could help set up. My mother, sisters, and I always attend challah bakes. They are something very special to me and mean so much. My family and I have hosted many challah bakes over the years, and I always gain so much joy from it. Helping out with this one made me so happy. I hope our senior girls continue bonding and have events like this.” 


At the challah bake, the senior girls, Dr. Barouk, Mrs. Wolf, and Deborah Benchimol all had a blast, spending quality time together and sharing stories. The memories created at the challah bake will be unforgettable and last a lifetime.