Creator, director, performer (2018)
In 2018, as I was newly re-engaging with my Judaism and becoming more interested in observing Shabbat, I began to experiment with how to make good tasting gluten-free and vegan challah. As I was yearning for a community to spend Shabbat with and realized that I would greatly benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of others on embarking upon this journey (I had never baked before), I decided to turn my quest into a durational performance piece where every Shabbat I invited a baking partner into my West Philly kitchen to attempt creating the perfect gluten-free, vegan challah.
When I posted the invitation for my project on my Facebook page, I announced that the project would only end when the perfect gluten-free, vegan, and halachic challah was created. When someone signed up to participate in the project, I sent them a message a few days in advance letting them know that not only would we be baking challah, but we would be eating a meal together. I invited them to select the main dish for our meal that reminded them of home, whatever that meant to them. When we were in my kitchen cooking, I only spoke to them in Yiddish and invited them to speak a language that was connected to their family. Through (mostly) non-verbal communication, I worked with different people as a team each week to create challah, their dish, and to heat up my pre-prepared matzo ball soup. At the end of each evening, we created a scrapbook page together of the experience and I sent them home with a container of matzo ball soup.
Here is that scrapbook.