1. When was CfH at Melbourne founded and how?
Challah for Hunger Melbourne was founded in 2011 by Dean Levitan and Helen Lewitan when they returned from a gap year in Israel on “Israel By Choice (IBC).” They assembled a team around them and started from scratch, running successfully for 2 years. After a brief hiatus in 2013 it was restarted in 2014 by Anthony Janovic and Adam Shapiro and is now baking on a regular basis for the second year running.
2. How many people are involved with challah baking and selling?
We get about 80 volunteers aged between 15-25 to make dough on Thursday night and have a dedicated team of about 20 people who go out to the local Jewish school campuses to sell the challot on the Friday afternoon.
3. What is the most popular challah flavor at Melbourne?
Cinnamon sugar has definitely been our strongest performer, white chocolate comes a close second.
4. Where do you sell challah?
We sell our challot at Jewish day-schools around Melbourne, Mount Scopus College, Bialik college, The King David School and Leibler Yavneh College.
5. Where do you give your donations locally? And Why?
We donate to local Jewish and non-Jewish small charity organisations as we believe the smaller the organisation the greater impact our donation has on the community. We’ve given to the local organisation C-Care in the past, while half of our money goes to a charity called Stand Up, which is also based in Melbourne.
6. Describe your leadership team- who runs the show?
Our leadership team consists of duty managers and a core team of volunteers who attend all meetings and have input in all decisions made. Anthony Janovic and Adam Shapiro are the project managers, No’am Geffen is the baking manager, while Jainie Mills is the event manager and Chelsea Fisher the social media manager. Josh is our photographer, Karni, Gabi, Amy, Jacob, Ricki, Saul, Eran and Nat run our events and their roles are constantly changing with the group.
7. Do you partner with any other organizations? If yes, who and how?
Somewhat, we are under the auspices of Stand Up and our goals align mutually with C-Care, so naturally we tend to do some projects together and have a strong relationship.
8. What is your best advice for chapters that are just starting?
The key element to a great chapter is to build a solid team base and try network with other social enterprises within the area. The people around you need to be dedicated and passionate. Also, partner with venues and schools and build those relationships as early as possible.
9. What’s your favorite Challah-pun (Challahday, Challah Back, etc)?
Baking a difference!