Rachel Silverman's summer goal is to get her family to the shore as early as she can on Friday mornings.

Silverman, a resident of Philadelphia who has a summer home in Margate, said it's not the beach they're rushing to. It's a weekly challah-baking workshop.

"If we're down on Friday morning, we're at challah baking," said Silverman, who spent a recent Friday morning watching her 5-year-old son, Aidan, and 6-year-old niece, Lauren, knead and braid dough for their challah.

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"It's nice because then we take it home and bake it for Shabbat dinner in the evening and it gives us an opportunity to teach them about the candles, the kiddush and other Jewish traditions," she said.

The workshop takes place every Friday morning through the summer at at Downbeach Deli in Margate, sponsored by Chabad at the Shore, which serves Atlantic and Cape May counties.

Program director Tova Rapoport, of Atlantic City, started the weekly challah workshop five years ago as a way to bring Jewish people together to have fun and learn about their religious traditions, including history of challah and how to make it.

Standing at the end of a long picnic table before a group of children, Rapoport cracked an egg and added it to her large mixing bowl. She then began to inspect the egg very closely before thoroughly mixing it in with the flour.

"Why do we check the eggs?" Rapoport asked the group of children watching her. "What are we looking for, what do we want to make sure it doesn't have?"

"No blood," a little girl called out.

"That's right," Rapoport said. "Jewish people don't eat blood, not even a tiny spot on an egg, so we have to check it very closely."

Atlantic City resident Doris Rosenberg, who attended with her two granddaughters, Laine Dubin, 10, and Jae Dubin, 6, said the workshop has become one of their family traditions.

"We've been coming once a year since it started, since this one was just a baby," Rosenberg said, nodding toward Jae.

Jae said she looks forward every year to the challah workshop - particularly eating it.

"It's the best challah we've ever tasted," she said.

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If you go

What: Hands-On Challah Baking Workshop

When: 10 a.m. every Friday through the summer

Where: At the corner of Essex and Ventnor avenues in Margate, in the covered picnic area of Downbeach Deli

Cost: $12, all ingredients included

More info: The program is open to adults and children, and all participants go home with a ready-to-bake challah. Registration is required. Call Tova at 609-992-4900.

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