BFB: How do you choose the causes you support each week?
CBG: As of this month, our fundraising system is to choose a different organization to support monthly. The choice of organization for which to fundraise for is inspired by our Jewish values and steadfast belief–like baking and eating traditional Jewish bread
each week– that all humans are created btzelem elokim, and thus deserve to be treated as sacred. This means supporting causes that fight to restore agency, freedom from fear and persecution, and bring joy to communities that experience the regular effects of discrimination in our country.
BFB: Can you tell me a bit more about how you connected with Pittsburgh Steeler Zach Banner and how that has impacted your business? Have you worked with other public figures/influencers?
CBG: As Jewish individuals, human rights activists, daughters of a proud USC Alum, and absolute die-hard Steelers fans (and season ticket holders for over 25 years—yes, we shlep 7 hours both ways from New Jersey to Heinz Field for every home game), when we first heard Zach Banner’s message condemning a teammate’s anti-Semitic comments, we saw him as a perfect place to highlight the power of coalition building and of fighting for freedom through joining forces and lifting up each other’s communities.
Zach works to address critical social issues starting with youth empowerment, and has advocated for adding the Black Lives Matter decal to the Steelers helmet. He does this all while being one of the few non Jews who spoke out against this recent wave of anti-Semitic rhetoric.
We, of course, care about ending systemic racism with no contingency and aren’t waiting for anyone’s support to firmly speak out against it.
We are excited, though, about the power of our movements when they see the intersection of all forms of prejudice and speak out against white supremacy whether it’s directed at Jewish people, Black people, Muslim people, Latinx people, trans/lgbtq+ people. We wanted to use our platform to support the amazing work Zach
does in embodying this unity, fighting racism while also speaking out against anti-Semitism.
Partnering with his organization, B3 Foundation hopes to strengthen our communities’ mutual allyship, our solidarity with the Black and Brown communities, and Zach’s standing behind the Jewish community.
BFB: For those unfamiliar with challah, can you explain what it is and share your favorite flavor?
We want people to know, why challah? The symbol of challah is powerful. After creating the dough, and ritual separating out and burning a small piece of it, one engages in the practice of braiding. In taking these different strands of dough, crafted in isolation and unifying them, we are reminded of the powerful ways that our human beings are also enmeshed with each other, inevitably connected, while also maintaining our unique experiences and histories. In this moment of social change, awakening us to how
our lives are literally all connected, yet impacted uniquely by race, class and our histories.
Creating the challah affirms that weaved into our Judaism is a responsibility to heed our interconnectedness with others, and support their fights for justice and equity. Act locally, think globally. With each passing week we echo the Jewish teaching, “If I am not for me, who will be for me? And, if I am only for myself, who/what am I? (Pirkei Avot 1,14).
The Jewish community has a long history of standing with other minority communities to promote the needs of all. We want to honor this tradition. We envision that through community engagement and spreading the love of challah, we can impart the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world, to the widespread (and often overlooked) diverse communities which make up our society.
We make four different flavors of challah: Plain, Everything But The Bagel Seasoning (a Trader Joe’s favorite), Coffee Crumb, and Chocolate Chip. People often ask us what the top two favorites are, but honestly all flavors get the equal attention they deserve — they’re truly incredible.
For the month of September, we switched up the flavors a bit and swapped out Everything But The Bagel and Coffee Crumb and included Raisin to represent a sweet new year!
All four of our flavors will be back next month and coffee crumb is probably our family’s favorite, and the one Zach received, if that counts!
Through their efforts, the Challah Back Girls have been able to unite people of all backgrounds and faiths through their love of challah and of giving back.
The company has raised about $15K, have shipped to almost 40 different US states, more than 300 different US cities, and produce at least 200 challahs a week from their medium-sized kitchen.
To order delicious challah, visit ChallahBackGirls.com.