It was a chocolate-filled Shabbat for dozens of families across Orange County.
“Chocolate lifts everyone’s spirits,” said Chana Burston, who baked more than 60 chocolate crumb challahs for the chocolate-themed Shabbat care packages. The packages were distributed via Chabad Cares by Chabad of Orange County, led by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston.
“Shabbat is a highlight of the week for a Jewish family, often celebrated with family and friends, and for many Shabbat has been lonely throughout the quarantine,” Chana Burston said. “We wanted to create a unique Shabbat package that would add sweetness to all who received it.”
The Burstons called this initiative “Chocolate Challah for the Quarantined Soul” and included a large chocolate crumb challah, chocolate spread, chocolate liquor, chocolate rugalach and a set of Shabbat candles and matches. All was presented in an elegant Shabbat box.
The package was free of charge. Many volunteers helped deliver packages.
“There was a tremendously positive response to the Chocolate Shabbat,” the rabbi said. “Everyone was asking Chana for her unique recipe.”
Stacey Finkelstein of Middletown wrote to the Burstons that “The thoughtfulness and deliciousness is amazing – thank you!”
Anita Reich of Monroe added that “The Chocolate Challah made Shabbat even sweeter for our family.”
Samira Galler of Monroe wrote “This Challah was baked with love! What a delicious treat!”
Previously, Chabad Cares has offered other holiday and Shabbat care packages such as “Chicken Soup & Challah for the Quarantined Soul.”
Chabad Cares also distributed several hundred home-cooked and healthful frozen kosher meals to community members in need.
“We want to help lift the spirits of the community members in Orange County,” Chana Burston said. “For many, these meals have helped many get through this difficult COVID crisis, whether it’s an elderly couple that is trying to limit exposure to go out and shop, or just to lift the spirits of family who could use a ‘boost’ during this time.”
The kosher frozen meals were delivered free of charge by Chabad Cares volunteers.
These initiatives were made possible through Chabad Cares, with sponsorship of Dr. Ira and Karen Kanis, as well as through a grant from Community Foundation of Orange & Sullivan.
To learn more about Chabad’s outreach activities and resources during the pandemic visit www.ChabadOrange.com.