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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
September 27 , 2023

UM students reopen Challah for Hunger on campus

Junior Allie Rodman and Sophomore Samantha Weissman reopened the Challah for Hunger chapter at UM in the spring semester of 2023.
Junior Allie Rodman and Sophomore Samantha Weissman reopened the Challah for Hunger chapter at UM in the spring semester of 2023. Photo credit: Allie Rodman // Contributed Photo

Miami has developed a reputation for being vibrant, diverse and innovative, and UM students are constantly coming up with ways to better our world.

Junior neuroscience major Allie Rodman and sophomore political science major Samantha Weissman restarted Challah for Hunger last spring. The nation-wide organization bakes challah, a traditional Jewish braided bread served on Shabbat, and donates proceeds to select charities.

“Through their different events and initiatives, they hope to raise awareness and funds for different organizations that help people facing food insecurity,” Rodman said.

Weissman and Rodman are both from South Florida and grew up baking challah, which Rodman recalls as her favorite part of the week.

“Challah for Hunger is a great way for people to come together and de-stress, and do something so comforting,” Rodman said.

Rodman first heard about Challah for Hunger from her close friend, a student at the University of Michigan.

“My initial reaction was that it sounded like so much fun,” Rodman said. “I didn’t really know the deeper meaning behind Challah for Hunger. My friend started telling me about Challah for Hunger’s mission and how they operate on a daily basis and I thought it sounded like a cool idea.”

Shortly after Rodman learned about the organization, Weissman asked Rodman if she wanted to reboot UM’s Challah for Hunger chapter. Their test bake last semester raised about $135 in total and completely sold out. The bake featured four flavors and several students showed up to support the UM chapter.

Challah for Hunger is owned by Nazun, a non-profit organization that donates proceeds from the bake to a local food bank or an organization of choice. A percentage goes to students who cannot afford a meal plan, dining dollars or meal swipes at different universities.

“It combines a lot of different things together, which is really nice, like food insecurity and raising awareness about Judaism has been nice, too,” Rodman said.

This semester, Weissman and Rodman hope to work with Greek life and other cultural/religious organizations so they can take part in challah bakes.

“We want to do more challah bakes, do it bi-weekly [and switch up] what organization we give our money to, whether it’s the Kosher Food Bank in Aventura or our local Coral Gables Food Bank,” Weissman said. “We don’t just want to give back to one organization — we want to split it up so that we can continue to work towards our mission.”

The cousins hope to expand the organization with new members and involve more students in the braiding and baking process, along with having members choose which organizations they send the proceeds to.

“Not all the money goes back to Nazun, so we can pick a local organization… it will make it more meaningful to the people who come to the bakes,” Rodman said.

If you would like to get involved, or learn more about Challah for Hunger, follow them on Instagram @umiamichallahforhunger for updates on their challah bakes and sales.

“Anyone who wants to come is welcome to come,” Rodman said. “We want to spread the word [that] it’s open to anyone,” Rodman said.

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