One of the most beautiful moments of the week is Erev Shabbat when the candles have been lit and the table is laid ready for the Shabbat dinner.
Most Jewish families still try to unite for Shabbat and continue the ancient Sabbath traditions.
Modern tastes and styles vary, but most of us can close our eyes and easily picture a traditional Shabbat dinner table with a crisp white tablecloth, linen napkins, polished silver candlesticks or candelabra, a Kiddush cup set, a silver soup tureen, and perhaps a wine fountain.
A great addition to a Shabbat table is a handmade challah board and knife set from Jerusalem.
Challah (Shabbat bread) is an integral part of the Sabbath ritual, and a challah board is a vital part of any Shabbat set.
Challah boards were traditionally made of wood or sterling silver, but modern challah boards can be made out of virtually any food-safe material.
We’ll look at three popular modern challah boards you can buy online.
We’ll also give you a quick guide on buying a personalized or custom challah board online.
Every Jewish home should have a good quality challah board for Shabbat, and they are also beautiful and unusual wedding gifts and housewarming gifts.
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The Three Most Popular Types of Modern Challah Board
- Silver Challah Board
- Glass Challah Board
- Wooden Challah Board
Most people consider a silver challah board an old-fashioned (or at least a very traditional) Judaica. Traditional handmade silver boards are still trendy, but you’ll be amazed at some modern designs. 925 sterling silver is ideal for crafting stunning challah boards that are both elegant and functional.
We especially love to work with 925 sterling silver when we create challah knives. Shabbat bread doesn’t require a sharp steel blade, and a serrated silver edge produces a fast cut.
One of our favorite examples of a challah knife is a beautiful hollow silver model by Jerusalem silversmith Avi Nadav. The design is simple, stylish, and perfectly proportioned, and the handle is decorated with handpicked Israeli amethysts.
Another beautiful handmade silver challah knife (also by top silversmith Avi Nadav) uses an entirely different form of decoration.
Avi set the knife handle with a Hebrew blessing in silver solder and highlighted the letters with a brightly colored enamel background. The effect is stunning, and the knife is an actual work of art.
Stylish Handmade Glass Challah Boards
Glass probably wouldn’t be your first choice for a Shabbat challah board. You might be worried about accidentally breaking it or that it would look out of place amongst your Shabbat silverware or other tableware.
When you check out, outYou’ll be amazed when examples of glass challah boards; you’ll be shocked glass is highly robust, but the designs are also superb!
One of the beautiful things about modern glassware is that we can use the latest technologies to paint it. This glass challah board displays a striking cityscape by Jerusalem artist Menucha Yankelevitch.
The painting captures the early Shabbat sunset over the holy city of Jerusalem, with an ancient and gnarled olive tree in the foreground.
Menucha Yankelevitch explored an abstract theme for his Shabbat Kodesh painting. A swirl of blue and black colors portrays worshipers greeting the arrival of Shabbat. The Hebrew words “שבת קודש” are painted above them and blend into the crowd.
This is a striking glass challah board that will attract a lot of attention and admiration.
One advantage of glass challah boards is that they are easy to keep clean. Unlike silver, they don’t tarnish and never need to be polished. It should last a lifetime if you’re reasonably careful with your board.
Our glass boards are ideal for anybody with modern home decor or who loves Israeli art. The paintings by Menucha Yankelevitch provide a unique spiritual link to Jerusalem.
Beautiful Polished Wood Challah Boards
Nothing beats polished hardwood when it comes to challah boards. Hardwood is a traditional material for any chopping board or cutting wood due to its practicality, easy availability, and simplicity.
Our hardwood challah boards are beautiful luxury items handcrafted by expert artisans in Jerusalem. They are superbly decorated and perfectly finished.
When you buy a wooden challah board online, you can choose from maple, mahogany, or walnut.
All the wood is ethically sourced and carefully selected for its blemish-free grain. Polished hardwood has its natural beauty and only requires minimal decoration. Our favorite boards have just a single band of enameled silver for ornamentation.
The silver is crafted into swirling natural designs, and you can choose from various colored enamel.
A wooden board and knife set are excellent choices for buying a challah board with a knife. A handcrafted silver knife looks unique, set upon polished maple or dark mahogany.
A wooden challah board is easy to clean and care for, and you can bring out the natural colors by rubbing the wood with food-grade oil.
Concrete and Wood Challah Board
You must see the unique concrete and wood challah board set if you’re looking for ultra-modern tableware. The set is entirely handcrafted in Israel (including the precision concrete casting process).
It includes a wooden cutting section for the challah and a contrasting concrete area where you can place the knife, candle holders, or a Kiddush cup.
Modern Judaica easily compares to any designer tableware for style and functionality. Our concrete and wood challah board combines wood’s natural warmth with cast concrete’s practical functionality, creating a striking effect.
This is a unique housewarming gift for anybody who loves minimalism, Scandinavian design, or art deco.
How to Buy a Personalized Challah Board
When buying Judaica online at ICOJ, you can request a personalized or custom challah board. Our artisans can take any item from the online store and adapt it for you.
The most common requests are family names, Shabbat blessings, lines of Hebrew scripture, or personal dedications.
Most people prefer a subtle personalized design along the edge of their challah board, but we can usually decorate the surface or front.
Personalizing the knife may be possible if you buy a challah board and knife set. It’s relatively easy for one of our jewelers to engrave the blade or handle of the knife.
We may also be able to add silver solder, stamping, beading, or enamel work. Luxury options include gems or semi-precious stones like Israeli amethysts, pink onyx, lapis, or emeralds.
A personalized challah board and knife set is a popular wedding gift. Every young couple should have a complete Shabbat set when they set up their new home together.
You’d be surprised how many people completely forget about a challah board when they create a wedding registry.
The same applies to Havdalah sets – they’re often overlooked as people focus on Kiddush cups and Shabbat candlesticks.
Custom Challah Boards
A unique option for Judaica lovers is to commission a custom challah board. Our designers will work with you to create a special one-off piece that will be yours alone.
If we make a cause that won’t reuse or market the design of a challah board for you (or any custom Judaica), we won’t reuse an order for a challah board or want to brainstorm with an English-speaking designer, contact us. We can arrange a Zoom meeting or a call at your convenience.
Shabbat is a beautiful and sacred part of the Jewish faith. A vital part of the traditional Shabbat dinner is the challah bread; having a high-quality board to present it with is an integral part.
With a range of options in style, material, and size, there’s something perfect for every Jewish home and family.
So if you’re looking for a housewarming gift, wedding gift, or even something to treat your family with, why not buy a personalized or custom challah board online? It’s sure to be enjoyed by all who share in the Shabbat meal each week. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing Wherever it goes, your thoughtful purchase will become an integral part of celebrating this sacred holiday!