More than 225 women and girls got together in Palo Alto on Nov. 14 for the Great Pink Challah Bake, co-hosted by the Jewish Study Network and the Oshman Family JCC.
Pink dough? “No, we’re not making pink challah,” Sarah Felson of the JSN said with a laugh.
Rather, the evening event was held in part to raise awareness of genetic mutations that drastically raise the risk of breast cancer. Myriad Women’s Health, a Bay Area-based genetic screening and testing company, was there to provide information and encourage women to find out about their risk factors.
“They even put a questionnaire on everyone’s seat,” Felson said.
People who have mutations of the BRCA genes are at higher risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer, which can affect both men and women. It’s estimated that in the general population, around one in 400 people have a BRCA mutation, but for Ashkenazi Jews, it’s one in 40.
At the event, participants were given ingredients for making dough and instructions on how to mix and knead. Loaves were taken home for baking.
The event was co-sponsored by South Peninsula Hebrew Day School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, the Friendship Circle, NCSY, Kehillah Jewish High School, Meira Academy, Club Z and B’nai B’rith Girls. It was held at the Mitchell Park Community Center in Palo Alto.
Though there have been many challah bakes in recent years, this particular event was held in conjunction with the sixth annual Global Shabbat Project, which aims to have people around the world celebrate one Shabbat together. This year’s selected Shabbat was on Nov. 15 and 16.