February 6, 2024

Centennial Shabbat

The Centennial year of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ honors 100 years of caring for those in need; 100 years of responding to crises, near and far; 100 years of building community. 

The festivities began as more than 400 community members joined us at three exciting and inspiring braiding workshops with Challah Prince Idan Chabasov. Participants each received a Centennial apron, a bag of beautifully risen dough, and Idan’s entertaining instruction. He wowed us with his braiding prowess and coached us through the process of creating our own six-strand loaves to bring home to bake.

“For me, the challah is a lot more than just delicious traditional food – creating a challah, after all, is not just about mixing a few ingredients in a bowl. It’s a therapeutic process one goes through without even realizing it: One has to learn to enjoy the process and to be in the moment, even if the results are not as expected,” Idan explained. “My vision is simple – to follow the challah braid wherever it leads.” 

Armed with freshly baked challot, Centennial Shabbat on February 2-3 recognized this historic milestone with thousands of community members joining 44+ special opportunities offered by synagogues and social services partner agencies. Meanwhile, Greater MetroWest’s Israel partner communities from of Ofakim, Rishon LeZion, and Arad found strength and support in  supported Centennial Shabbat by helping newly settled evacuees displaced after October 7 and by baking and delivering challot to soldiers. 

Finally, young children around the community received a fun-filled Shabbat Activity Book with cartoons, puzzles, games, and activities that introduce them to Shabbat traditions, Jewish values, and the Greater MetroWest community. These were distributed through early childhood centers and at Centennial Shabbat programs. To order activity books for your children age 2-7, click here.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the challah braiding workshops and Centennial Shabbat events.

Centennial Shabbat chairs were Rebecca Gold, Alissa Nussbaum, and Sarah Schonfeld. The event was sponsored by Jay & Jodi Murnick, Lee Murnick, Amy & Mark McKeag and families in honor of Maxine B. & Theodore R. z”l Murnick.