Challi is a special type of bread that is made in the Jewish culture to be eaten before every Friday night dinner. It is a ritual of the Jewish people to have two breads and say a blessing on them before eating our meal on Friday night, as we celebrate and welcome in the Sabbath. Challi is so unique. It is braided beautifully and baked at home. It is one of the most comforting foods I have ever tasted. On Friday nights, we sit as a family, munching together, and every week I understand why I love Challi so much. Yes, it is delicious, but even more so it represents the family time I get to enjoy every Friday night. Learning this traditional skill of braiding the Challi was a crucial point in my life, one that began my transformation from a child to a woman. Twelve-year-old me concentrated intensely as my mother and grandmother explained and modelled the correct way to braid.  “Last over first, second in the middle,” they would say, as their nimble fingers braided quickly and with ease. Challi is important in my heritage because it is a unique food that has been passed down and represents family time, tradition, and religion. I am honored to be a link in the chain and to pass down this recipe to my family in the future. 

– Vivian Gindi

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more