Purim celebrates the courage of Queen Esther, who pleaded before King Ahasuerus to save the Jews of Persia from the destructive plot of the wicked Haman. Drawing on key words from the Scroll of Esther, v’nahafokh hu (the plot was turned on its head), Purim is celebrated as “topsy-turvy day”. Children and adults dress in costume, and the day is marked by feasting and revelry. The four commandments of the holiday include: reading the Megillah (Scroll of Esther), Se’udat Purim (Purim feast), Mishloach Manot (sending gifts of food), and Matanot L’evyonim (charitable gifts to the poor).
At B’nai Israel, children and adults come in costume, and the Megillah is chanted in the evening and morning by teen and adult members of the congregation. Our annual Purim carnival is a real treat, so popular that it is divided into shifts for younger and older children. Our three age-appropriate youth services are led by members of the clergy and professional staff with significant participation by the children. The congregation also provides opportunities to support community charities and send Mishloach Manot (gifts of food) to family and friends.