CLOSE TO 800 women and teens came to the annual Mikvah Chana Women’s Event on May 20 to hear from Melissa Ben-Ishay, founder of the bakery and e-commerce cupcake enterprise “Baked by Melissa.”
The event, held at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston, was opened by Goldie Plotkin, codirector of Chabad of Markham in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, who spoke about the attributes of the Jewish woman.
Ben-Ishay told the gathering about the creation of Baked by Melissa. After being fired from a job in the first years out of college, she decided to pursue something she had a passion for — making cupcakes. Baked by Melissa, which began in her apartment, now has 14 locations and ships its goods nationwide.
Ben-Ishay urged audience members to have confidence, recognize what they’re great at, and surround themselves with those who love and support them.
Mikvah Chana is named in memory of Chana Annette Felsen.
The event’s chairs, Toba Grossbaum and Dara Orbach, spoke about the facility’s new bridal suite, which was created in memory of former Mikvah Chana treasurer Naomi Rosenfeld. They announced an initiative to welcome 45 women who have never or not recently visited the ritual bath to use Mikvah Chana to mark what would have been Rosenfeld’s 45th birthday. One of the first of those users, Sharon Apple, spoke about the experience’s impact on her.