Challah for Hunger: Teaming Up to Make a Difference

  • Team Schusterman

August 28, 2014

This story comes to us from Challah for Hunger, a not-for profit organization with over 60 active chapters around the globe, mostly based on university campuses, that bakes and sells challah bread and uses the proceeds to support social justice causes.  

Sapir Nachum is a fourth year student at the University of Virginia and is currently president of Challah for Hunger at UVA. Sapir recently served as a member of the Partnership Committee to select a national partner for Challah for Hunger.

At 2:00AM Israel time, I tuned in to our Partnership Committee's first video conference. While there are few things that can usually keep me up this late, Challah for Hunger has been a huge part of my college experience and not even the late hour could deter me from working with other Challah enthusiasts to shape the future of our organization. Specifically, our committee was tasked with looking for a new national partner for Challah for Hunger. Let’s back up three years, when I first began volunteering with Challah. While I cannot isolate my reasons for initially becoming involved, it was most likely some combination of wanting to meet other Jewish students and continuing to engage in community service efforts. At the time, I was not set on contributing specifically to hunger relief. Over the years, I watched our chapter grow, establish a reputation on campus, face frequent trial and error and continue to plan our next big event. Challah for Hunger provided me, and other students, with opportunities to become leaders in the Jewish community.

We received the perfect balance of guidance and freedom to focus on our own chapter’s goals. But perhaps most importantly, Challah for Hunger provided me with the satisfaction and fulfillment of helping those less fortunate than myself, and through Challah for Hunger at UVA’s educational and outreach efforts I began to learn more about hunger in our community and the stories of the people we helped. This summer, when I was presented with the opportunity to work alongside CEO Carly Zimmerman, Chapter Support Associate Elana Silberstein, Challah alumna Samantha Ringel, and fellow Challah chapter leader Mark Gilbert to select a new national partner, I could not turn it down.

Fast forward a few years later and there I was at 2:00AM talking about what our ideal partnership would look like and speaking to representatives from various organizations about their vision. To me, our new partner had to be an organization aligned with our cause so that we could work together to fight hunger globally. It had to be an organization that would provide students with materials to promote hunger awareness and opportunities to fight hunger in ways besides baking, such as participation in anti-hunger advocacy. I was looking for a partner organization to which we would not only donate funds in order to assist with hunger relief initiatives, but also one with which we could engage on a regular basis. This is exactly what I found in Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger. As I slowly get back into gear for the new school year, I am looking forward to experiencing all that our new partnership has to offer. I believe that together we’ll be able to make our educational initiatives go further and encourage more people to support our efforts to provide international hunger relief.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.