Idan Chabasov, also known as The Challah Prince, visited Long Island to help teach the art of making challah.  Credit: Jeff Bachner; Photo Credit: Lori Rosenberg

As soon as Becca Stern heard the Challah Prince was coming to Long Island from Israel, the 42-year-old assistant preschool teacher from Stony Brook bought a ticket even though chances were slim she could go because she had a competing work obligation.

“How do I tell my boss that I want to miss a work event so I can watch an Instagram influencer making challah?” she says. She calls the Challah Prince a “superstar” who has brought challah making into the 21st century. “I’m a complete fangirl.”

She’s not alone — Idan Chabasov, born and raised in Tel Aviv, is a 38-year-old, single, tattooed and bearded man with earrings in both ears and a yarmulke on his head who has almost 380,000 Instagram followers enamored by his innovative challah braiding skills. In fast-paced videos of just his hands and the dough, set to contemporary music, the self-proclaimed Challah Prince teaches devotees how to braid eel-like strands into round challah, long challah, challah shaped like a menorah, a key, a pinwheel, a heart or the Star of David. He specializes in four-strand, five-strand, six-strand, seven-strand, even 11-strand challah, taming Medusa’s hair into a beautiful loaf. One of his most-viewed videos has been seen more than 21 million times.

Left: Idan Chabasov is the Challah Prince, a master at innovative braiding of challah. Right: Chabasov holds a class to teach participants how to create challahs. Credit: N.P. Saunders, Jeff Bachner

And now he travels far beyond Israel, leading workshops at synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, universities and religious schools across the United States and Mexico and drawing fans from the online challah community who want to take selfies with him and learn how to manipulate the dough like he does.

5 fun facts about the Challah Prince

1. In addition to his challah tattoo, Chabasov has a tattoo of a sewing machine, one of a whisk, and one that says “breathe.”

2. His recipe does not use egg. “Egg is overrated,” he says. He uses half all-purpose flour and half bread flour.

3. His favorite challah is sesame seed or plain.

4. While he knows some people put chocolate chips or Nutella in their challah, he is a purist. He likes to add flavors afterward. “Slice your challah and make a good sandwich. This is my way,” he says.

5. In the first days after Oct. 7, he says he was frozen. “I couldn’t bake or create,” he says. Since then, he has designed 10 different versions of challah in the shape of a Star of David. “I call it the Zionist series,” he says. He also made 300 loaves of challah to donate to soldiers in the first four weeks of the war.

Chabasov was at the Schechter School in Williston Park in early February, then left for shows in Florida and Kentucky, and will be back on Long Island on March 3 for sessions from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Temple Judea in Manhasset and 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El of Huntington before heading to Atlanta.

His motto: “Spread joy, light, creativity and tasty carb.”


At the event in Williston Park, 150 participants sit at long tables, where they are provided with gallon baggies filled with dry ingredients that they will soon mix with oil and water and knead to the proper consistency, all the while listening to the Challah Prince as he tells them a little about himself and his challah journey that began in 2020. They will then follow Chabasov’s hands, projected onto a large screen, as he leads them in braiding their own six-strand loaf to take home and bake in their ovens at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The turnout is typical for Chabasov's events, which he says commonly draw between 120 and 300 people. 

Lori Rosenberg, 62, of Commack, started baking challah weekly two and a half years ago. “I always want my braids to look nicer, smoother, more uniform,” she says. For Rosenberg, the loaves symbolize family and Judaism; she uses her grandmother’s Pyrex bowl to mix her dough. “When you see the challah loaves braided and you see them next to the candles, there’s that connection to being Jewish,” she says. And, “It smells amazing. It smells unbelievable in your house.”

While standing at a table to get more leverage while kneading his dough, Michael Schor, 53, of Roslyn, who works in the real estate business, explains that while he bakes challah often, his worst skill is his braiding. He made pumpkin challah for Thanksgiving and makes chocolate chip challah for his nieces and nephews. “I saw the flyer for the event, and I said to my wife, “Let’s go,’ ” he says. “I’m impressed he can show us how to do this.”

From left: Shari Feinberg, of Merrick, shows the finished challah she braided at the Challah Prince event in Williston Park; Tanya Kamenetsky, of Lawrence, with her challah, ready for baking; and Lori Rosenberg, of Commack, shows her finished challah. Credit: Shari Feinberg, Jeff Bachner, Lori Rosenberg


The Challah Prince’s journey from Tel Aviv to challah guru was not preordained. “I grew up in a house that my mom, she didn’t like to bake or cook that much. The only thing she baked was chocolate cake for birthdays,” Chabasov says. “She said, ‘It’s messy, it’s sticky. It will be flour everywhere.’ ”

Chabasov studied animation and video art and moved to Berlin searching for adventure, he says. But the cold weather there gave him “winter depression.” He missed Israeli food so much that he started hosting Shabbat dinner for friends. “I just looked and thought, ‘Why we don’t have challah on the table?’ ” he says.

He found a bakery that made it. “I was so happy about it,” he says. “Until I tasted it.” He decided he should make challah himself and called a friend for a recipe. “When I opened the oven I just fell in love. She was so pretty,” Chabasov jokes at the workshop.

The room is packed for a challah-making class by Idan...

The room is packed for a challah-making class by Idan Chabasov at the Schechter School in Williston Park on Feb. 1. Credit: Jeff Bachner

The Challah Prince doesn’t call himself a baker — he doesn’t even use eggs in his recipe, something his fans have trouble wrapping their heads around. It’s the presentation that the Challah Prince is into. “I’m an artist,” Chabasov explains. “I found challah as a wonderful way to create beautiful things.” He has a tattoo of a loaf of challah on his rib cage and calls braiding challah “like a dance — to dance with your hands.”

The name “Challah Prince” came to him while he was meditating, he says. “In Israel it’s very common to call each other prince, princess, like honey. Good friends of mine have called me prince since we were in high school all the time,” he says.

When he started posting his challah on Instagram in 2020, he says he only knew to braid three strands. “I never opened my Instagram account to show off,” he says. “Then I started to get messages from people: ‘Show me how to do it.’ ” He calls making challah “a very spiritual journey,” and is currently perfecting a four-strand design borrowed from macramé.

“In the end, it’s a piece of bread,” Chabasov says. “But Albert Einstein said, ‘Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else thought.’ This is what I did with the challah. Everybody was searching for the best recipe. Nobody was searching for the most beautiful way to braid your challah.”

The Challah Prince

WHEN | WHERE Noon to 2:30 p.m. at Temple Judea, 333 Searingtown Rd., Manhasset; 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Temple Beth El of Huntington, 660 Park Ave., Huntington

COST Temple Judea: $36 to make challah, $18 to watch but not braid; $36 per challah for temple members, $54 per challah for nonmembers

INFO Temple Judeah 516-621-8049,; Temple Beth El 631-421-5835,

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