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Challah for Christmas!

GLIDE’s blend of meals, celebration and social justice adds up to a delicious holiday feast for the community

When Rabbi Michael Lezak joined GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice last year, one of his main goals was to connect broader Bay Area Jewish communities to GLIDE’s dynamic work. And what a year it’s been! Michael has brought in hundreds of community members from local synagogues and schools to serve meals, engage in proximate justice training courses, and, with the help of a steady volunteer group and our Daily Free Meals team, bake challah to give out to GLIDE staff every Friday morning on the principle that “you need to feed the people who feed the people.”

The challah project has become so popular that GLIDE is going wide with it for our community this Christmas. Rabbi Michael, Chef Jeff Kirshbaum (of Osher Marin JCC’s Mitzvah Kitchen), and their Social Justice Baking Team (SJBT) will be baking 2,500 loaves of challah, starting this Friday! The floury affair will take place over the course of four days, and the challah will be served on December 24th as a complement to our wonderful Annual Prime Rib Luncheon, sponsored by the Betz family and the House of Prime Rib.

GLIDE Workforce Development Coordinator Ndeya Snow shows off her freshly baked challah!

“George Gundry and I thought, how amazing would it be to serve our guests some of the fabulous challah that the SJBT bake?” explains GLIDE Culinary Manager Joselyn Barrera. “We approached Rabbi Michael, and he also thought it was a great idea. Since then this has turned into a HUGE production!”

According to the Meals Team, they are preparing an additional 500 to-go meals, which will also include the warm, freshly baked challah! Rabbi Michael and the volunteer crew will be distributing these meals throughout the Tenderloin on Christmas Eve to our neighbors living on the streets.

Rabbi Michael Lezak putting braided loaves of challah into the GLIDE oven.

“Chef Jeff and the Rabbi have spent so much time organizing this and are extremely excited to bake on the morning of the 24th!” says Joselyn.

The Meals Program and Center for Social Justice extend their sincere gratitude to the Hilton Hotel across the street from GLIDE for their continued support, as they are graciously allowing SJBT to use their ovens to bake the rolls fresh. We also offer our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Joe Betz and his family. This is the 25th anniversary of the Prime Rib Luncheon, and we are honored that they have made this immense commitment and contribution to our community.

Stay tuned for plenty of photos and social media action around this massive undertaking on Christmas Eve Day!

Three generations of the Betz family serving up delicious prime rib on Christmas Eve last year.