Dutchess County, NY sisters, Sabrina and Giselle Goldfischer, have devised a new way to raise both awareness and money for social and racial justice organizations — and it’s pretty delicious.

Many people started baking bread during quarantine, but not many of them turned their finished product into a vehicle for delivering social justice. Sisters Sabrina (19) and Giselle (17)  Goldfischer are doing just that — supporting racial and social justice initiatives by baking and delivering challah bread all around Dutchess County, NY, in exchange for small donations to various organizations. They call their pop-up summer fundraiser, “Challah with Heart.”

“During all the incredible mobilization around racial justice issues and watching Black Lives Matter protests and attending protests we were thinking, ‘how can we sort of contribute to these organizations and how can we have an impact in our own way?’” said Sabrina during an interview over Zoom. Giselle agreed, adding, “We were so inspired by the movements that were happening and really wanted to take action.”

The pair now uses their unique challah-baking talent to mobilize the communities of their hometown, Poughkeepsie, as well as other parts of Dutchess County. 

June 27, 2020: Challah bagged and ready for delivery.
Credit: @challahwithheart on Instagram

“I think that most of our clientele isn’t Jewish,” said Sabrina, “so also being able to educate and take it one step further by supporting these organizations doing such critical work has been a really awesome experience.” The sisters agreed that their main goal was to educate, whether it be by exposure to a sweet Jewish bread or through awareness of organizations that are worth funding. 

Baking and delivery

The sisters estimate having spent two to three months perfecting their challah recipe. However, they are still experimenting with new flavors. Among the more popular ones are s’mores and cinnamon sugar. They also have cinnamon raisin, rainbow, and chocolate chip. Their favorite parts of the process are testing new flavors and braiding the loaves. They also love the chaos that their house becomes the night before a delivery day.

The Goldfischers provide touchless door-to-door delivery in order to maintain social distancing. To make their jobs a little easier, they have limited their business to Dutchess County. Although they request a receipt, payment is on the honor system. They suggest donating $5 per challah but have noticed that people are often more generous with their donations.

June 17, 2020: Touch-free, door-to-door challah delivery in action.
Credit: @challahwithheart on Instagram

“We didn’t want us to be the middleman. So, we give the link for whatever organization we’re supporting and ask that you email your receipt to challahwithheart@gmail.com. So far, no one has taken advantage of the challah business, and people usually give more than $5.”

Heritage plays a role

Baking challah has not only been a unique tool for educating their local community about amazing organizations, but it has also become a way for the sisters to connect to their heritage. 

“A lot of Jewish people value being able to give back to communities, and it’s a part of our religion and culture and doctrines,” said Sabrina. Giselle added that making challah is a very rewarding and wholesome way of spreading love. After all, you are giving someone a special gift which you made with your own two hands. 

So far, the Goldfischers have supported three groups: Color of Change, Fair Fight, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). They have earned $320, $250, and $265, respectively. 

These three organizations support a myriad of marginalized groups and are for positive change. Color of Change fights for racial justice. Fair Fight advocates for voter rights and works to end voter suppression. SPLC fights against hate groups and works with educators to promote tolerance in schools. 

“You can’t extinguish hate more generally without combatting antisemitism, without combatting racism, all these specific types of hate toward different groups,” said Sabrina. She went on to emphasize that though they are doing work on a small scale, they think it is important to do their part. They believe these organizations are a good place to start.

Despite COVID-19 and the current era of intense uncertainty surrounding social and political issues, Sabrina and Giselle are doing what they can to get involved. Their message, though simple, is important to internalize — there are countless creative ways for all of us to engage in the fight toward a more accepting and loving society. 

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