Introduction: Matzah Portraits

Picture of Matzah Portraits

Shalom! It's Passover season again, and that means MATZAH.

Matzah is a dry cracker traditionally consumed by jews during Passover in lieu of real bread. In the Jewish faith matzah represents a time when Jews were in a hurry to get out of town to escape an Egyptian pharaoh and didn't have time to bake real bread. I'm only Jew-ish so to me it represents a food that must be smothered with apple sauce in order to be edible. It is not gluten free, or vegan, but that is not the only reason you haven't seen it at your local coffee shop or bakery.

For passover this year I decided to laser cut portraits of some famous Jews into Matzah. Think Grilled Cheesus but way more Jewish.


As a reminder to not "Passover Bernie Sanders in the upcoming primaries" my friend Trevor cut the above portrait.

Step 1: Collect Images

Picture of Collect Images

I generated a list of famous Jews with a few friends and headed to google collect images for the project.

The best photos for laser engraving are high contrast with white backgrounds. In the case of portraits it is good if the images have white backgrounds.

Here is the final list:

Adam Sandler, Alan Greenspan, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Annie Leibovitz, Barbra Streisand, Golda Meir, Jon Stewart, Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Silverman, Natalie Portman, Woody Allen

*This list does not necessarily reflect the importance of these people in relation to each other or any other Jewish figures but rather is a representation of my knowledge of history and pop culture.

** Someone please make a matzah portrait Jerry Seinfeld. I can't believe I forgot about him.

Step 2: Edit

Picture of Edit

In order for the images to show up well on the Matzah I first converted the photos to black and white and increased the contrast by about 50%. I have attached the file I used for laser cutting, but feel free to use any images you'd like.

Step 3: Test

Picture of Test

I recommend doing some test cuts before marching through the desert of laser cutting for what might seem like forty years. I did about one box worth of tests before I was satisfied with the results. In the end increased contrast was important as well as taking the laser out of focus by about half an inch. With the laser out of focus it's power gets dispersed over a slightly larger area and as a result it darkens the Matzah more without cutting through it.

Step 4: Engrave

Picture of Engrave

The actual laser engraving takes a pretty long time so it might be a good idea to bring along some Torah portions to read. I set up a few rows of Matzah so that I wouldn't need to spend so much time in setup for each piece.

Step 5: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

Mazel tov! Break out the gefilte fish and the horseradish, it's time to eat. Actually, I don't recommend eating food that has been in the laser cutter. It doesn't smell good and I can't imagine it is healthy.

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, Ha-motzi le-chem min ha-a-retz.


Meglymoo87 (author)2016-04-29


Amaries (author)2016-04-25

These are too beautiful to eat!

CobyUnger (author)Amaries2016-04-26

Thanks Amaries.

John_Singleton_ (author)2016-04-23

They are so detailed

Laser cutters are amazing tools.

Asamati98 (author)2016-04-23

That's awesome! We've done stuff like this but with a regular loaf of bread with our laser engraver at school. My friend did this and handed out custom toast for his student council campaign!

CobyUnger (author)Asamati982016-04-24

I love the idea of custom toast as a campaign strategy. Props to you and your friend. Keep up the good work.

ToolboxGuy (author)2015-04-13

I have to ask the "burning questions" - did it get baked by the lasering? Is it still Matzah if it did?

CobyUnger (author)ToolboxGuy2015-04-22

Great question. You'll have to ask a Rabbi.

imcp1024 (author)CobyUnger2016-04-22

The fact that it is unleavened bread is the point. I don't know if baking has anything to do with it.

evacooper (author)ToolboxGuy2015-04-26

matzah is already baked. but if you use it in dishes (broken up like i do) it's still matzah, no worries...

cavemanhz (author)2016-04-22

good job!

Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-16

Well, They obviously had extremely expensive laser cutters while they were escaping from pharoah... :)

CobyUnger (author)Yonatan242015-12-27

In some versions of the story they had 3D printers and CNC routers too!

Hannahhoo (author)2015-04-10

Three words, my friend: Motza. Marmite. Sandwich.
Brilliant if you're a fan of Marmite and particularly crunchy biscuits! :D

CobyUnger (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-22

Hmmmm... mabye I'll try it.

Hannahhoo (author)CobyUnger2015-04-24

Yes! :D
The goal of any Marmite fan is to spread (get it?) the love. <3

spark master (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-11

4 words , you missed Revolting

I know many people like the stuff, but it was repulsive when I tasted it, kinda like Derma or Haggis some people swear by it others swear at it!


to each his/her own, so ........ Enjoy!

CobyUnger (author)spark master2015-04-22

Isn't that the whole idea of marmite? Some people love it and others hate it.

Hannahhoo (author)spark master2015-04-12

Vegetarian haggis is more edible than real haggis. But your point is still valid. :P

CobyUnger (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-10

I've never had Marmite. I've heard many people hate it, but those who like it love it.

stephenmack (author)2015-04-11

This could make Passover so much more fun!

CobyUnger (author)stephenmack2015-04-22

There are also Haggadahs specifically written to make passover more fun.

rpanic (author)2015-04-12

Any chance I could order some of these from you? My gf is turning 30 at the end of the month, and she would really enjoy something like this.

CobyUnger (author)rpanic2015-04-22

You should ask Konrad B to do it for you instead. I don't have the time or access to the laser cutter anymore.

Konrad B (author)rpanic2015-04-12

if Mr. Unger is too busy I will be more than happy to make them for you. Just let me know, as I will be trying this, I've lasered a lot of things but never food, it should be fun!

Jays girl (author)2015-04-14

looks good

CobyUnger (author)Jays girl2015-04-22


Juanamac (author)2015-04-14

these are completely awesome.

CobyUnger (author)Juanamac2015-04-22

Glad you enjoy them.

julialewis (author)2015-04-15


CobyUnger (author)julialewis2015-04-22


DMDPhilly made it! (author)2015-04-16

Should have read all the instructions. Next time we'll do it out of focus. Thanks Coby

CobyUnger (author)DMDPhilly2015-04-22

No problem. Nice attempt with the burning bush.

ET studio (author)2015-04-19


what a good surprise to meet pessach here in such way...

CobyUnger (author)ET studio2015-04-22

Glad you like it.

syoung124 made it! (author)2015-04-18

adam sandler looked like voldimort

CobyUnger (author)syoung124 2015-04-22

Your photo appears to be fully black. Can you maybe upload again?

dstech (author)2015-04-19

haha, Don't know that the laser cutter I have access to would allow me to try this, but mazel tov on a hilariously awesome project!

CobyUnger (author)dstech2015-04-22

Thanks. It never hurts to ask, you might be surprised by what people will let you do with tools if you demonstrate that you are responsible.

eslipak (author)2015-04-11

I used to eat matzo with butter and salt. Mmmmmmm!!!

Hollyangrace (author)2015-04-09

Cool stuff but not everyone has all the high tec gadgets. Voted though

you could try it with a hand lens, although by the time you are done, it won't be Kosherr for Passover!

CobyUnger (author)Hollyangrace2015-04-10

Someone commented above you with a cool way to do it with foil. Sounds like it would be pretty easy.

kasssa (author)2015-04-09

Great idea, with interesting possibilities! I could see writing the Four Questions onto four pieces, and giving them to children to read (as the youngest, I was always 'selected' to read them; share the joy!).

Did you hear about the blind man who picked up a piece of matzo and asked "Who wrote this drek?" :-)

spark master (author)kasssa2015-04-11


CobyUnger (author)kasssa2015-04-10

I was thinking about righting some things on them for Seder. Maybe next year.

hogey74 (author)2015-04-09

Awesome! Even some of the duds look cool.

CobyUnger (author)hogey742015-04-10


LancasterPA (author)2015-04-09

Kind of loses something when you make matzo brei.

About This Instructable




Bio: I build, I teach, I learn. Happiest when covered in saw dust, sweat and machine grease. Visit for more projects and info.
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