With dozens of delis in New York, finding challah for “Fiddler on the Roof” should be a no-brainer.
But every week, Connecticut’s own Challah Connection shleps 16 kosher loaves to Broadway. That’s 2 per show.
The company was founded in 2002 by Westporter Jane Moritz, as a delivery service for challah only. She soon expanded into kosher gift baskets, including babka, rugelach, black and white cookies, dried fruits, nuts and candies.
Tevye (Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein) enjoys challah from Connecticut.
When a “Fiddler” representative was searching for props, Challah Connection stood out. You don’t expect someone to stand on line every night before the show, do you?
But the company’s “connection” with the show runs deeper than deliveries. It’s also the “official nosh partner” of “Fiddler,” providing additional food for special occasions.
Hooking up with the Broadway show has proved to be a great match. Moritz added a page to her website, offering products like Old Country Rolls, Tevye’s Tradition, Golde’s Bakery Gems and the Rich Man Gift Basket.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, you’ve probably heard stories of businesses that refuse to serve gay clients.
This post is not about how stunningly hypocritical they are, as they willingly serve divorced people, adulterers, and women who refuse to submit to their husbands.
And it’s not about some homophobes in far-off flyover country, who cannot understand that allowing 2 men or 2 women to wed has no effect whatsoever on their own marriages. Or that marriage, legally, is a civil institution; a religious ceremony is just icing on the cake.
This story is about a Westport woman, and what happened when she put rainbow cookies on her website to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling.
Jane Moritz owns Challah Connection. Her Norwalk-based company offers gift baskets — not just bread, but kosher meals, deli, fruit and babka — for High Holy Days, housewarmings, birthdays, graduations, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and shivas.
(They also ship baked good, nuts and dried fruit for Ramadan and Eid.)
Last month, when same-sex marriage became legal nationwide, Moritz displayed “rainbow cookies” on her website’s home page. She added a message: “Never have these treasured cookies had such meaning.”
Within an hour, she’d received 3 “hate emails.” She told The Jewish Week that people asked “what was wrong with me, how could I be a Jew, how could I be supporting gay marriage.” They said they would never order from the Challah Connection again.
Moritz responded on a Yeshiva World News message board: “We stand firm in the Jewish values that implore upon us to show compassion and kindness to all beings.”
To which someone replied: “Even though the Torah that you pretend to accept calls this behavior an ‘abomination’ punishable by death. I guess when Torah values conflict with liberal politically correct values we know which side you choose.”
Moritz told The Jewish Week that she is proud of what she did. She does not think it’s her place to judge anyone’s celebration of Judaism — or anything else.
She’s not alone. Orders poured in for the Challah Connection’s rainbow cookies.
That’s how far Jane Moritz traveled to make a nice Jewish meal for Sam, a sophomore at Allegheny College.
This was hardly chicken soup. Jane made brisket, cabbage and noodles, gefilte fish, potato kugel and more.
Jane and her boy did not dine alone. They were joined by Sam’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity brothers — and members of the Allegheny Hillel.
College president James H. Mullen also stopped by to nosh.
Jane and Sam Moritz
Last weekend’s event was one of the 1st joint Greek-Hillel events at Allegheny. The Hillel members enjoyed the comforts of familiar food — while the frat guys loved the unfamiliar meal. (Don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube video of the event.)
Sam — who is both a Hillel member and his house’s social chairman — was the catalyst for the lunch. His brothers loved the kosher care packages Jane sent, so he figured he’d go one step further: a Jewish meal, made by mom.
“When Sam asked me to come to his college and cook for 50 kids, I looked at him like he was crazy,” Jane — the owner of Challah Connection, an online Jewish gift and gourmet kosher gift basket company — says.
“But then I began to realize that this was a lovely opportunity to share our traditions — and that it was my ‘mitzvah’ (good deed) for the day.
“No matter where you come from, no matter what your religion or ethnic background, we all come together over great food.”
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