Perfect Handmade Accessories for Shabbat Tableware
When we plan to buy Shabbat tableware, most people immediately think of essential items like a silver Kiddush cup set, silver candlesticks and candelabra, wine fountains, napkin rings, and silver trays. One of the most beautiful items of Shabbat tableware is often overlooked when people buy Shabbat sets or wedding gifts. A handmade challah board and knife set is the perfect adornment for every Shabbat table!
What is a Challah Board?
Challah (חלה) is the special ritual bread eaten on Shabbat and major Jewish holidays (except Passover). The word challah comes from the Biblical Hebrew term for a loaf or cake and is usually baked without milk or butter to keep it kosher.
A challah board is simply a chopping board for the Shabbat challah. There’s no ritual requirement for a particular committee; it’s merely traditional to serve the challah on the finest and most ornate board possible. This is partly out of respect for the ritual significance of the Shabbat bread and partly because everybody loves to sit at a beautiful Shabbat dinner table.
When you try to prepare a Shabbat table with a pristine tablecloth, polished candlesticks, and all your best silverware, a silver challah board or modern challah board in walnut or mahogany looks fantastic. A glass or custom board is perfect if your taste is more toward minimalism, art decor, or Scandinavian styles. A designer modern challah board is a 21st-century interpretation of an age-old tradition.
How to Choose a Challah Board and Knife Set
If you host a weekly Shabbat dinner, you’ll need a challah board that’s robust enough for regular use. You might use it thousands of times, notably if you received it as a wedding gift. Hopefully, you’ll eventually be able to pass the family challah board on to your children or grandchildren, so it’s worth investing in something that’s durable and strongly made – as well as beautiful to look at.
Top 5 Types of Challah Board
The top 5 types of challah boards all have their pros and cons. Check out our easy buying guide for a quick overview of choosing the perfect challah board and knife set.
Silver Challah Board
Glass Challah Board
Wooden Challah Board
Personalized Challah Board
Custom Challah Board
A silver challah board is a beautiful gift for anybody who loves fine silverware – either modern or traditional. If you already have a collection of silver Judaica tableware and silver cutlery, a 925 sterling silver challah board will complement the set perfectly. Silver can also be inscribed, stamped, and set with colored enamel lettering or decoration. Sterling silver is robust, hardwearing, and easy to clean, but you must polish it.
A glass challah board is ideal for people who love modern tableware and home decor. Glass is probably the most accessible material to keep clean and highly functional. The main drawback with a glass challah board is that if you drop it, it will probably break. Modern Glass and ceramics are robust but can’t match silver or wood for durability. If you want to order a personalized challah board, Glass is an exciting and unusual choice that opens up many possibilities, including glass painting.
Our favorite material for challah boards is wood. Polished hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, or pale maple have a natural warmth perfect for a candlelit Shabbat dinner table. The best wooden challah boards are decorated with brightly colored, enameled silver bands. They have a simple and elegant look that you’ll love. Wood has been used for millennia and will never go out of fashion.
A popular option when buying a challah board online is to opt for a personalized one. Our Jerusalem jewelers can add your family name, a Shabbat blessing, a gift dedication, or any other text or motif to the board. Usually, this takes the form of a tasteful strip along the edge of the challah board, but you can specify any design. If you buy a personalized challah board, check out some examples of our intricate silver filigree work and enamel.
You can order a custom one if you have your idea for a challah board or want a piece that matches an existing Shabbat tableware set. An English-speaking designer will help you choose the suitable material – hardwood from a sustainable source, Glass, ceramic, sterling silver, or anodized aluminum – and transform your design into a beautiful item of unique Judaica.
Buy a Challah Board with a Knife
If you’re already buying a challah board, the chances are that it’s worth spending a little extra and buying a matching challah board and knife set. A challah knife is a bread knife, but even the most straightforward designs are far more beautiful than the most elegant designer kitchenware.
While there’s no requirement to use a special knife to cut your Shabbat challah, many families prefer to keep a single knife just for the Shabbat bread. Challah and the blessing are integral to the Shabbat (and Jewish holiday) rituals. There’s an element of ceremony involved that goes back centuries.
A challah board with a knife is a great wedding gift. It’s one of those practical and beautiful presents and sits at the heart of the family home – the Shabbat dinner table. If you buy a challah board and knife set as a wedding gift, get it personalized with a discreet dedication or blessing. A psalm or verse is also ideal.
Although a challah board and knife is a traditional Judaica product almost quintessentially Jewish, it’s also a functional tableware item that is a beautiful gift for non-Jewish recipients. People of any faith – or no faith – will be delighted to receive a handmade wooden challah board with a silver knife. Fine craftsmanship and flawless design transcend all cultural boundaries.