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The teenager had three chances to make the Olympic team.
The teenager had three chances to make the Olympic team.

She’s only 14, but earlier this month, Estee Ackerman became a member of a very exclusive club when the Shabbat-observant teen participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Her sport? Table tennis, in which she is ranked No. 14 in the country.

What is perhaps even more impressive is that Estee, who lost her first two chances to make the team in competitions on Thursday, Feb. 4, and Friday, Feb. 5, forfeited a final chance the following day because it fell on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.

“I was disappointed; I love playing on such a big stage and the beautiful crowds that come to watch,” she said. “But as much as I love table tennis ... not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward…I feel I made the right decision. And it was a great feeling when I came back home to New York, and had my whole community supporting me and my decision.”

Estee Ackerman, 14, of Long Island, N.Y., competed earlier this month in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Table Tennis, which were held in Greensboro, N.C. She is currently ranked 14th in the nation.
Estee Ackerman, 14, of Long Island, N.Y., competed earlier this month in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Table Tennis, which were held in Greensboro, N.C. She is currently ranked 14th in the nation.

Estee lost the first two matches on a Thursday and Friday, and decided not to compete in the third one on Saturday. “I was disappointed,” she acknowledged. “But as much as I love table tennis, not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward.”
Estee lost the first two matches on a Thursday and Friday, and decided not to compete in the third one on Saturday. “I was disappointed,” she acknowledged. “But as much as I love table tennis, not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward.”

Estee with Rabbi Yosef Plotkin, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greensboro, N.C., and three of his four children who came to cheer her on. The Ackermans make a habit of eating and staying with Chabad families when Estee travels for competitions.
Estee with Rabbi Yosef Plotkin, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Greensboro, N.C., and three of his four children who came to cheer her on. The Ackermans make a habit of eating and staying with Chabad families when Estee travels for competitions.

A record-breaking 1,128 children and 316 adults came together for the first-ever local “Kids Mega Challah Bake,” which took place at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. (Benams Photo)
A record-breaking 1,128 children and 316 adults came together for the first-ever local “Kids Mega Challah Bake,” which took place at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan. (Benams Photo)

1,128 children gathered in New York a few weeks ago, for a “Kids Mega ChallahBake” event. They broke an existing record in Hong Kong held by 426 students, who learned how to knead and bake dough, in 2013.

The Guinness World Records is currently tallying up the results for a final announcement.

They used a whopping 1,000 eggs, 1,000 pounds of flour and 7,000 ounces of water in the process!

Were you there? Leave a comment and let us know.

The event was geared for kindergarteners through eighth-graders, ages 5 to 13. (Benams Photo)
The event was geared for kindergarteners through eighth-graders, ages 5 to 13. (Benams Photo)

The kids learned to mix, knead and make their own challah dough, which they brought home to bake. (Benams Photo)
The kids learned to mix, knead and make their own challah dough, which they brought home to bake. (Benams Photo)

Kneading the dough; both boys and girls were involved. (Benams Photo)
Kneading the dough; both boys and girls were involved. (Benams Photo)

Representatives from the Guinness World Records were invited to observe and confirm that the event did indeed prove to be “the world’s largest baking lesson.” (Benams Photo)
Representatives from the Guinness World Records were invited to observe and confirm that the event did indeed prove to be “the world’s largest baking lesson.” (Benams Photo)

Children take part in a challah-themed game show during the record-breaking “Kids Mega Challah Bake” in New York City. (Benams Photo)
Children take part in a challah-themed game show during the record-breaking “Kids Mega Challah Bake” in New York City. (Benams Photo)

A little egg on their face? Make that flour, all part of the creative process. (Benams Photo)
A little egg on their face? Make that flour, all part of the creative process. (Benams Photo)

Two of the event organizers—Gillie Shanowitz, left, and Bryce Gruber—share words of thanks at the conclusion of the challah bake. (Benams Photo)
Two of the event organizers—Gillie Shanowitz, left, and Bryce Gruber—share words of thanks at the conclusion of the challah bake. (Benams Photo)