A new survey conducted by Chabad.org, the official website of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, has found a rapid rise in demand for Shmurah Matzah, a round variation of matzah specially supervised to ensure no fermentation occurs and often used during seders.
According to the survey, Chabad expects that more than 1 million pound of Shmurah Matzah will made in the United States in order to meet growing demand, which has exploded over the last 60 years. The report noted that some bakeries have resorted to start producing Shmurah Matzah by October.
The alleged cause of the rise in demand for Shmurah Matzah was due to a campaign initiated by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and widely revered by many in Jewish communities around the world.
Through emissaries and advertisements, via Chabad-Lubavitch's central educational organization, Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, Schneerson increased the popularity of this particular type of Matzah.
“What’s interesting about the emergence of shmurah matzah in American Jewish life is that for most, their immediate ancestors didn’t use it,” said Professor of Jewish history at Yeshiva University Jeffrey Gurock.
“The Rebbe’s matzah campaign is very important in introducing it, and its authenticity resonated even among Jews who are not particularly observant,” he added.
The Matzah was further popularized by programs and workshops led by Chabad, such as the “Model Matzah Bakery,” which focuses on teaching children how to make handmade matzah at home. Many of these initiatives were also promoted by local Jewish community centers around the world.