Bakers across the country have joined together to take a stand — or “Bake a Stand” — against anti-Semitism, with a direct impact on a Cincinnati institution.
Organized by Whitney Fisch, a social worker and amateur baker who relocated from Los Angeles to Cincinnati to become the executive director of Hillel at Miami University, this nationwide bake sale runs through June 13 with the goal of raising awareness about the recent increase of anti-Semitic acts across the globe, as well as to raise funds for the local Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center.
“I’m a social worker by training and generally I cannot sit and watch stuff happen that makes my blood boil, enrages me, so I have to do something,” Fisch tells CityBeat. “And I don’t just want to be an armchair activist. I also want to help educate in ways that bring joy.”
Organized with food bloggers Lindsey Love and Leah Koenig, Fisch says the impetus of the sale was to create an event where all the funds “go to a righteous organization that’s doing good work in anti-Semitism and, also, let’s make sure we don’t forget the education piece.”
More than 50 people are participating in Bake a Stand: Bake to End Antisemitism, by either making and selling baked goods or offering other items for auction.
For example, Florida food stylist Sam Adler is selling coffee-chocolate-chip and funfetti cookies; Puerto Rico-based cookbook author Amy Kritzer is auctioning off Nutella funfetti rugelach, an autographed cookbook and a surprise box from @moderntribe_jew; Atlanta chef Danielle Oron is giving away a box filled with cookbooks, kitchen tools and cocoa-tahini tea cookies; and the team behind New York Shuk is donating 15% of their June online sales. Search #bakeastand on Instagram to find more participants.
For her part, Fisch — the only Cincinnati-area baker on the list — is making challah and chocolate babkas for local pick-up.
She says everyone who signed up to participate was allowed to set their own prices and method of delivery. They also received graphics with recent stats on anti-Semitism, as well as a mission statement and information to educate the public on who the Jewish people are.
"There’s a gross misunderstanding of who Jews are," Fisch says. "We're not just a bunch of white people."
This isn’t Fisch’s first time baking for a cause. Two years ago she hosted a bake sale in L.A. to raise funds for families separated at the country's southern border.
"Because I love baking, because I love cooking and it's something my kids can do with me and I can explain to them why we’re doing it, it just kind of wraps up my passions in one," she says about the concept.
While the sale ends June 13, participants can continue to bake, sell and raise awareness beyond that deadline. On Sunday, however, a “final tally will be done to see how much was raised with bakers sharing totals as well as receipts of their donations,” says the Holocaust & Humanity Center.
“We are overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve already received bakers and influencers across the country,” says Sarah L. Weiss, chief executive officer of the Holocaust & Humanity Center. “With anti-Semitism on the rise, our mission of ensuring the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today has never been more important.”
Fisch expands on that notion.
“(The Holocaust & Humanity Center's) mission is really combatting any forms of injustice and hate for every vulnerable community,” she says.
“We are joining together to support every person that makes up this remarkably diverse community, and to affirm that anti-Semitism is unequivocally not OK and never justified," Fisch sums up in a release. “Through innovative programs and partnerships, (the Holocaust & Humanity Center) challenges injustice, inhumanity and prejudice, and fosters understanding, inclusion, and engaged citizenship, working to fight for social justice, while promoting the notion that all people deserve to live in peace.”
The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center is located inside Union Terminal at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. For more info, visit holocaustandhumanity.org.