Buy bread for a cause

SATISFYING HUNGER: Junior Naomi Levy is the founder of the Challah for Hunger organization at UM, which raises funds for Darfur and Kosher Meals on Wheels. Courtesy Kimberly Standiford

Naomi Levy is hoping that challah bread and smiling faces will be a powerful sales incentive.

Every Friday, she and a group of friends plan to be at the UC Breezeway, selling the iconic Jewish bread to raise money for Darfur and Kosher Meals on Wheels in the Miami area.

Levy, a junior, is the founder of the organization Challah for Hunger at the University of Miami, one of 35 nationwide branches. With a semester goal of $1,500, she is proud to say that this semester’s projections will exceed expectations at over $2,000.

“It’s about making a small difference where you are. You have the power to make it,” Levy said.

She was presented with the idea to start a chapter at UM by her adviser at Hillel.

“I feel really passionate about doing things for other people, so Challah for Hunger was the right organization for me to get involved in,” Levy said.

Each week on Thursday evening, a small group of people meet at Hillel to make the bread from scratch. Freshman Zack Weinstock oversees the braiding efforts of the bread.

“I am responsible for allowing the dough to rise, then braiding it and putting in the flavors,” Weinstock said.

His involvement, however, is not simply a part of a Jewish tradition, it is about fellowship.

“Since I am a freshman, it’s so nice to be able to get involved and meet people and actually work on something that matters,” he said.

Another aspect of Challah for Hunger is that it is a community for students, Jewish or not, to experience a part of Jewish culture. Sophomore Brittany Bass plans to take over the organization next semester. Being a part of Challah for Hunger is a spiritual experience for her.

“Baking challah is more than about being a baker. When you walk into the kitchen, all of your problems disappear from the moment you step in until hours after you step out,” she said. “There are more problems in this world than just our own, and we braid an endless number of solutions into our challah each week, while we continuously build our relationships with each other.”

Jenny Hamilton may be contacted at