Challah On The Merritt

Lea Kaner leads an active life.

The retired Bi-Cultural Day School teacher returned to her Stamford home a few days ago, after a summer in Israel.

Last night, she got on the Merritt Parkway. She headed to Westport, to celebrate Shabbat with her children — former 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner and Celia Offir — and their families.

But her active life ground to a halt. A multi-car accident closed all northbound lanes for almost 2 hours.

On the front seat was Lea’s freshly baked, homemade challah. (As I said, she is very active.)

Lea Kaner (2nd from left) and her 3 children.

After an hour not moving at all, she got out of her car. Soon, she offered her challah to fellow stranded drivers.

They were a diverse group. Only one woman knew what challah is — and she wasn’t Jewish.

So Lea went into teacher mode. She educated them.

A young man in his 20s who runs a gas station was worried about waking up early this morning. He particularly enjoyed the soothing challah.

Everyone else did too. All said it was delicious.

Eventually Lea made it to Westport. They had a late — but treasured — Sabbath meal.

There was no challah. But the chocolate cake Lea baked — and which remained in her car during the long traffic jam — was wonderful.

Lea Kaner’s chocolate cake.

11 responses to “Challah On The Merritt

  1. A wonderful little sketch. I’ll bet that’s one night on the Merritt those stranded motorists whom Lea kindly approached will never forget.

  2. Very Nice!

  3. This is one of my favorite stories out of this town. Thanks Dan

  4. Dorothy Abrams

    And perhaps start buying Challah. Almost as good as my daugahter-in-law makes

  5. Great story Dan. It’s obvious where Avi gets his strong roots of giving. Great family.

  6. Bravo to this delightful post!
    Bravo tovDan Woog !!

  7. Bravo to this delightful post!
    Bravo tovDan Woog !!

  8. Bill Macnamara

    What a wonderful story!!!!
    I salute this very kind and thoughtful woman.
    She made a a very pleasant experience for
    everyone around her. There is a lesson here
    For all of us to learn.

  9. Don L. Bergmann

    I hope the education included the fact that challah is great for French toast.
    Don Bergmann

  10. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    What a wonderful thing to do. Everyone who received her hospitality and love will always remember it. A perfect gracious thing to do when it so often feels as if we have forgotten how to love our neighbor, or in this case, fellow stranded traveler.

  11. Amanda Gelbert

    Love this story! Knowing Lea, this is no surprise! She is a special lady!