Challah Bake Off at Ilford United Synagogue helps to mark Shabbat UK

PUBLISHED: 15:07 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 31 October 2017

Challah Bake Off at Ilford United Synagogue (Credit: Marian Myers)

Challah Bake Off at Ilford United Synagogue (Credit: Marian Myers)


Members of Redbridge’s Jewish community came together to take part in a host of events for a special Shabbat celebration.

At Ilford United Synagogue, in Beehive Lane, over 70 people attended the sellout Challah Bake Off last Wednesday.

It was amongst 350 events which took place across the UK to mark Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s Shabbat UK, an initiative calling upon all Jews – from the

most secular to the most committed – to observe one special Shabbat with all of its traditions and laws.

Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest and seventh day of the week, on which traditionally religious Jews remember the Biblical creation of the heavens and the earth in six days.

In practical terms the Shabbat starts a few minutes before sunset on Friday and runs until an hour after sunset on Saturday.

This meant, from sundown on Friday October 27, to sundown 25 hours later on Motzei Shabbat (Saturday Night), Redbridge’s Jewish population made an extra efforts to observe Shabbat as fully as possible.

Marian Myers, community administrator at IUS, thanked Francine Mandell, who organised the event.

She said: “We had a brilliant time at the bake off.

“It was a bit messy, as you can imagine when there is a lot of flour flying around!

“It was a great opportunity for Jewish women to come together and socialise.”

Members of the synagogue also enjoyed a communal Friday night dinner and sing-a-long Carlebach service.

As part of the project, which is in its fifth year, Rabbi Mirvis called on communities across the UK to engage with Shabbat by switching off all of their electronic equipment, abandoning motorised travel and spending quality time with their families and friends instead.

He said: “ShabbatUK is no ordinary fixture in the Jewish calendar.

“It is a phenomenon which inspires so many Jews across the country regardless of affiliation or level of religious observance. I have been so inspired to see how this year, parts of our community who have never previously taken part, have celebrated at events around the country.

“My sincere hope is that people take the message of Shabbat to heart, to become more inspired, proud and committed Jews.”

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