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Fox Chapel

Jewish Sisterhood hosts 'challah whisperer' for cooking class

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, 10:24 a.m.
Amy Jaffe , Etti Martel, Cindy Vayonis and (back row) Robin Simon, Jill Horvat and Sally Meyers gather to bake challah bread for the Jewish Sisterhood Oct. 23 event. Along with recipes from around the world, cookbookauthor Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson will demonstrate bread braiding.
Amy Jaffe , Etti Martel, Cindy Vayonis and (back row) Robin Simon, Jill Horvat and Sally Meyers gather to bake challah bread for the Jewish Sisterhood Oct. 23 event. Along with recipes from around the world, cookbookauthor Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson will demonstrate bread braiding.

Challah is the Jewish bread served on holidays and at Friday Shabbat.

The traditional bread loaded with symbolism can be intriguing, an edible Van Gogh, said Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson, author of “Rising.”

A quick taste of the recipe book exemplifies the variety of Jewish cooking. Pinson, the self-described “challah whisperer,” will demonstrate an assortment of braids during an Oct. 23 class in Fox Chapel.

Hosted by the Jewish Sisterhood, the 6:15 p.m. session will include a reception and hands-on braiding with Pinson.

During the second session at 7 p.m., Pinson will demonstrate additional techniques inspired by cultures world-wide.

Tickets begin at $100 and include an autographed cookbook. VIP tickets cost from $250 (flowery apron) to $500 (golden raisin), and include both first and second sessions and a copy of the cookbook.

The event will conclude with a buffet of breads.

Sisterhood Executive Director Shternie Rosenfeld is busy baking for the sampling session. She chose varieties inspired by other countries, including a lemon-pita flatbread, Kalamata olive and sautéed onion. The chocolate challah Rosenfeld calls heavenly.

Some loaves will have toppings like poppy seeds or caraway. There will be gluten-free bites as well.

“While the premise of an entire cookbook devoted to challah seems simple, the reality is anything but,” Rosenfeld said. “As it turns out, challah is a pretty amazing food and lends itself to so much practical life wisdom as well.

“Woven within the baking secrets will be gems of Torah wisdom and stories of Chasidic legend.”

The Tuesday event kicks off a new year for the Jewish Sisterhood.

Founded in 2016, the group draws from the North Hills, East End and Fox Chapel area. The Sisterhood provides diverse programs, stepping in for the dissolved Chabad of Fox Chapel.

For information or tickets, contact Rosenfeld at foxchapeljewishsisterhood@gmail.com or 412-589-2677.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer.

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