While many youngsters really enjoy a good pizza pie, young adults from central Jersey's special needs program, Jacob's Hands, got together to bake a very different kind of pie – a hand-baked, round matzah. At the Shoprite in East Brunswick, CEO Richard Saker teamed up with Chabad of East Brunswick's Rabbi Ayreh Goodman and Rabbi Yosef Carlebach and installed a Model Matzah Bakery for children, teens and their families to stop in and try their hand at baking this ancient bread that Jewish ancestors baked on their way out of Egyptian bondage some 3,300 years ago.
In advance of Passover, "we saw this as an opportunity to give the kids in our community a novel, hands-on experience before Passover," stated Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, Director of Chabad of East Brunswick, a local Jewish outreach and educational group and Hebrew school.
With "shows" scheduled for two weeks prior to the Jewish holiday of Passover – which will begin at sundown this Saturday night, a special demonstration held this past Sunday afternoon at Shoprite brought together 30 special young adults to relive the exodus from Egypt, through pounding, rolling and baking their very own matzahs.
Beginning with a few sheaves of wheat, the participants experienced the hustle and bustle to beat the timer to ensure that their crunchy breads were completely finished baking with the allotted 18 minutes.
The delightful, interactive presentation featured the winnowing of the wheat kernels, grinding and sifting the wheat into fine flour, adding water, mixing and kneading the dough, rolling the dough with special rolling pins, poking holes in the dough to prevent rising, and baking, all within 18 minutes of when the water first touched the flour.
Jewish teachings instruct that dough begins to rise after 18 minutes, a product called chometz that is forbidden to consume over Passover.
The participants also heard the story of Passover from rabbinical student Shalom Ber Ginsburg of Chabad of East Brunswick, made their very own arts and crafts matzah cover for their Seder tables, and received real, hand-made matzahs imported from Israel for their own Seder tables.
The general public is urged to obtain this authentic, hand-baked matzah for the Seder table; it is available at the Shoprite in East Brunswick Kosher for Passover section. More information about Passover is available by contact Rabbi Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 732 333-3220.