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Chabad Briarcliff-Ossining Plans ‘Loaves of Love’ Event

Highlighting: “Rising: The Book Of Challah,” by Rochie Pinson. IYYUN Publishing. 2017. Hardcover. 352 pages. ISBN-10: 0991472047.

Rabbi Dovid and Rebbetzin Miriam Labkowski came to the Westchester communities of Briarcliff Manor and Ossining, New York, as Chabad shlichut more than 16 years ago. They brought with them a dedication to ahavat Yisrael and provided a home for any Jew looking for a warm and spiritual place to grow. Rabbi Dovid, originally from Crown Heights, the headquarters of Chabad Lubavitch, was ordained at Central Chabad Yeshiva in Brooklyn. Miriam, originally from West Bloomfield, Michigan, grew up under the tutelage of her parents’ successful Chabad House. She is the educational director at Chabad Briarcliff-Ossining. Together, they have been bringing engaging and spiritual experiences to the Jewish community to help fulfill their mission to make Judaism relevant and joyous to all.

On Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m., Rabbi Dovid and Rebbetzin Miriam will continue their mission with “Loaves of Love,” an event they will be hosting as a pre-Rosh Hashanah intergenerational challah bake at their Chabad House, 15 Campwoods Road, Ossining, New York. The event will feature Rochie Pinson, author of “Rising: The Book Of Challah.” Pinson will share her story and wisdom about the mitzvah of baking challah, understanding our purpose in life, our interconnectedness with ourselves and others, and with Hashem, as well as the meaning and spirituality involved with baking challah. She will also guide women and girls ages 12 and up in making a challah centerpiece for their Rosh Hashanah tables.

Pinson is a mother, artist, author and challah baking expert. She is rebbetzin of a large and growing community in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and together with her husband, Rav Dov Ber Pinson, founded The IYYUN/Chabad Center for Jewish Spirituality. In her capacity as rebbetzin, she is a mentor to hundreds of women in her community and beyond. She also lectures and leads seminars around the world.

In Pinson’s book “Rising: The Book Of Challah,” she shares her experiences and insights taken from decades spent perfecting the art of challah baking and teaching challah workshops around the world. Her beautifully illustrated, clearly worded book—with amazing photographs—takes readers through every step of the rewarding process of making challah. “Rising: The Book of Challah” is both a manual for baking and braiding a magnificent homemade loaf and a metaphor for the nurturing that occurs in all of our lives.

For Pinson, the act of making the challah, along with the mitzvah of taking off some dough with a blessing, became meditative, therapeutic and soul-refreshing. “The intent of challah is to reveal our innate power to nurture and nourish, and reclaim our mothering potential in all the forms it can take,” she said.

Her book is relatable to the modern Jewish woman and helps readers understand that while nurturing is essential to our being, it has become somewhat of a lost and underappreciated art. As Pinson points out, “Warmth, sweetness and soul are the perfect recipe for challah—and as it turns out—for nurturing as well. In my weekly challah baking I am endlessly awakened to the potential for ever more mindful nurturing. If challah baking taught me anything—it’s that we never know what to expect—and it’s always going to be wonderful—and probably fattening.”

Copies of “Rising: The Book Of Challah” will be available for sale at the event.

For more information visit www.chabadbriarcliff.com/challah, or email Rabbi Labkowski at [email protected] or Miriam Labkowski at [email protected]. For more information about Rochie Pinson, visit www.therisinglife.net  or her Instagram page @rochiepinson.


Susan R. Eisenstein is a longtime Jewish educator, passionate about creating special, innovative activities for her students. She is also passionate about writing about Jewish topics and about Israel. She has two master’s degrees and a doctorate in education from Columbia University.

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