How do Jewish foodies satisfy their urge to engage in tikkun olam? They bake for a good cause! Challah for Hunger is the best known of these organizations, but not the only one. In Israel, one baker’s commitment to tzedakah has found a permanent home in Bakery29. For Rosh Hashanah, its pastry chefs create the moistest, most fragrant, and most decadent honey cake in Tel Aviv — all for a good cause.
Located in a restored Bauhaus building in the gentrifying Ahad Ha’Am Street in Central Tel Aviv, Bakery29 turns out gourmet baked goods with a mission. All profits go to the IMPACT college scholarship program for low-income combat soldiers who have served in the IDF.
Local wildflower honey is combined with a sprinkling of cinnamon, Muscat wine, a hint of grated orange peel, and a touch of coffee in the cakes which are baked fresh daily. The recipe has been handed down in the family of Bakery29’s proprietor, Netta Korin. “My mother is an amazing baker,” Korin shared with me. “This is the Rosh Hashanah cake I grew up with. My family brought it to Israel from Eastern Europe. They called it ‘lekach’ in Yiddish. It doesn’t feel like Rosh Hashanah unless the smell of this cake baking fills my home.”
Korin was born in Israel, but her family relocated to the United States when she was a child. At 25, she discarded a successful career on Wall Street to move back to Israel and open a bakery, with the hopes of finding a non-profit to donate her profit to.
The scholarship she settled on, “Opens people’s eyes to the possibilities of who they can be. The first soldier I interviewed to be a scholarship recipient had served in the combat engineering unit. I asked him what he was planning to do after the army,” she says. He responded, “I think I can be a mechanic.” Korin exclaimed, “Of course he could be a mechanic! Or he could study at the Technion, and become an engineer!” He received a scholarship, and became the first person in his family to attend college.
Korin also likes the fact that the scholarship provides support services for its recipients and requires them to volunteer 130 hours of their time at another non-profit. Her baking for good feels a bit like “Pay it Forward.” Each cake helps set in motion actions for the greater good.
Bakery 29 is kosher dairy, with certification from the Tel-Aviv Rabbinate. Ehad HaAm 29, Tel Aviv; 03-560-2020