Philly Faces: Fighting Hunger With Challah

Joshua M. Finer. Photo courtesy of Joshua M. Finer

Joshua M. Finer is an analyst at Argosy Private Equity and a Temple University graduate on the executive board of the Temple University Young Alumni Association.

Finer recently was named board treasurer of the Jewish organization he holds close to his heart, Challah for Hunger. Finer spoke about Challah for Hunger, the impact he wants to make and what’s already been accomplished.

Q: What is Challah for Hunger?

A: Challah for Hunger is a nonprofit. It’s based out of Philadelphia; however, there’s campuses and arms all over the country. Challah for Hunger’s primary focus is building communities inspired and equipped to take action against hunger, and that’s primarily focused on college campuses, food insecurity causes there.

Each college campus hosts a Challah for Hunger organization, and they bake challahs and sell it to raise money. Half of the proceeds are donated to Mazon [a Jewish nonprofit focused on food insecurity], and the other half of the money gets donated to whatever that college designates. It’s cool because it offers some flexibility and it flows right through Challah for Hunger.

And some of the newer things that they’re doing, called the Campus Hunger Project. It’s just like a slight rebranding, instead of purely Challah for Hunger, it’s now focused on campus hunger specifically, and there’s also like a network rolled out called the social change bakery. So all of these are just about raising awareness and enabling everyone to have a platform to become knowledgeable about food insecurity as well as to assemble groups to engage in acts of advocacy. It’s not just like we donate money; it’s about, let’s go out, take action, share articles, do the add- itional stuff that can create some change. I know a lot of the students on campuses are really big on that, whether it’s going to their presidents or writing articles … about this issue and raising awareness for it.

Q: How did you get involved?

A: I was introduced by a colleague I used to work with, Chad Stender. I was probably introduced around two years ago, and he sought me out as a natural fit to flow into the organization, especially because I’m Philly-based and involved in the Jewish community, and it’s definitely a cause that I’m interested in.

Q: What do you think drew you to this organization specifically?

A: Everybody involved with the organization has such pride and such strong willingness to help others. It really is about action, this nonprofit, and that’s something I feel like it’s easy to say but tough to do.

Q: Is there a specific project within Challah for Hunger that you’re particularly proud of having been a part of?

A: Something that we’re looking at rolling out now is enhanced financial and operational dashboards, and the goal of that is to better tell the story of Challah for Hunger through numbers. That’s so important because it releases to the public and stakeholders important metrics that they can follow along, as well as grantees that we’re trying to get and other nonprofits that’ll distribute funds to help us grow.; 215-832-0740


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