At the event, children learned about the significance of matzah, which is the unleavened bread that Jews in Egypt were commanded to eat. They donned an “I baked my own matzah” hat and prepared to roll the dough. Their parents watched in pride, and the children took home the rewards of a personal box of matzah. Now when Passover begins on April 10 and ends on April 18, they will know how to carry out the job.
Rebbetzin Chaya Hecht, co-founder of Chabad of Forest Hills North, guided the eager children through the process. She stood in front of a booth which read mayim (water) and kemach (flour) on opposite sides, held together with a cartoon-like matzah banner and a table with a mixing bowl.
“Who wants to be our Mr. or Ms. Mayim and Mr. or Ms. Kemach?” she asked.
Children were given an apron and stood behind separate viewing windows, which when opened enabled them to pour in the water and the flour.
“It is separate, since we want it to be kosher for Passover,” she explained. “We also need to bake it for 18 minutes.”
Chabad of Forest Hills North was founded in 2012 by Australian native Rabbi Mendy Hecht and Brooklyn native Rebbetzin Hecht. The couple would rent short-term spaces, until they secured a long-term Chabad space for their growing community and programs at 108-05 68th Road in September 2016.
Its mission is to assist the community in the exploration of Jewish teachings through Torah, maintain traditions, and make the world brighter through mitzvahs, also known as good deeds.
“My hopes are that by coordinating these events and working with others, we can take young children and raise them in the right path of Torah values with morals and ethics, since at times, parents struggle to keep up in our modern world,” said Rabbi Hecht. “Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have been giving Passover lectures from a halachic and mystical perspective, and distributing customized boxed handmade shmurah matzah.”
A public Passover Seder, which has attracted over 50 guests for the last four years, is once again in the works.
“We will share the story of Exodus with beautiful mystical meanings, with song, and a tasty four-course homemade meal with handmade shmurah matzah and four cups of wine,” said Rabbi Hecht.
Young Israel of Forest Hills, an Orthodox synagogue, was founded in 1951 by several Holocaust survivors, and its current building was dedicated in 1958. The first synagogue-based Yom HaShoah commemoration in America, which was organized by Holocaust survivor Eli Zborowski, z"l, was held there in 1964.
For more information about Chabad of Forest Hills North and to RSVP for the public Passover Seder on April 10, visit ChabadFHN.com.