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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 those in need).

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 age-appropriate youth services are led by members of the clergy and professional staff with significant participation by the children. The congregation provides opportunities to support community charities.

2024 purim Events & celebrations

Purim Spiel "the little mermaid of shushan" 

B’nai Israel is proud to announce this year’s Purim Spiel theme and get out important information about participating in this annual highlight of our congregation. The Spiel will continue to be a unique and complete musical theater experience for B’nai Israel’s youth, with participants having the opportunity to act, sing, dance, work as a team, and appreciate the Purim story in a new way. Participants develop close friendships and make positive life-long memories at the synagogue through theater. As always, the custom and original script with songs and scenes written and directed by Naomi Gerstenblith with Curtain Up Creative, LLC, will be a Purim joy.

Performances will take place on Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21  at 7:00 PM. Both shows are now sold out. 

The Whole Megillah & Purim Party

Saturday, March 23
8:00 PM Megillah Reading (in-person and via livestream) followed by Purim Party

Everyone in the congregation is invited to hear the story of Purim as our members read Megillat Esther! Cheer for Esther and Mordecai. Boo for Haman. Celebrate the miracle of Purim. 

Adult "Speakeasy" Purim Party (Adults 21+)
After the Megillah Reading, step back into the roaring twenties at B’nai Israel Congregation's 21+ “Speakeasy” Purim Party. Dress to impress in your finest vintage attire. Indulge in hors d'oeuvres and cocktails while enjoying games and schmoozing with your friends. Admission is free.

Babysitting for Families with Young Children (Ages 2-11)
For families with young children who would like to attend the Megillah Reading and the Purim Party, babysitting will be available for children ages 2 and up from 9:00–11:00 PM. Babysitting is $10 per child.

Purim Night Teen Hangout (Ages 12–18)
After a night of cheering for Esther and booing Haman’s name, starting after the Megillah reading and ending at 11:00 PM, B’nai Israel teens are invited to hang out for a night of eating and schmoozing. Snacks, games, and fun for B’nai Israel teens, ages 12–18. Admission is free.

Click here to register by Tuesday, March 19.

Don't miss out on this new celebration!

Sunday, March 24
9:00 AM during Morning Minyan

Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 24
9:30–10:30 AM
Tots Carnival (ages 5 and under with a parent)
10:30 AM Tots Megillah Reading & Parade to the Cohen-Rosen House (Ages 5 and under with a parent)
10:30 AM Family Megillah Reading (Grades K–6)
11:30 AM–1:00 PM Carnival (school-age kids)

Join us for costumes, games and fun! Please purchase your Purim Carnival Tickets in advance to help us plan—door sales will also be available. Food will be available for purchase. We break our Carnival into two age groups so please choose the time and option that works best for your family. Adults do NOT need a ticket for entrance to the Purim Carnival, but all meals will require the purchase of a meal ticket. You may order more meal tickets than entrance tickets and more than one meal ticket per person, should you wish. 

Click here to purchase Wristbands and Meal Tickets for the Purim Carnival.

Volunteers Needed for Purim Carnival Help set up the Purim Carnival on Friday, March 22, or help run a station at the Carnival on Sunday, March 24 (or BOTH). Opportunities for teens, grades 7th and above, and for adults.

Please click here to see the dates and times help is needed, and sign-up. Email Lily Pollack with any questions!

Purim Workshops

The Real Megillah—Why Isn’t This On Netflix?!
with Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz
Tuesday, March 5
7:45-9:00 PM

Even though we read her story each year, the real story of Esther is much more nuanced and meaningful than it might otherwise appear to be. Using the new Megillat Esther (edited by Rabbi Martin S. Cohen and published by the Rabbinical Assembly), we will read through Rabbi Cohen’s expanded narrative translation of the text and see what we have been missing all these years!

Click here to register.

The Other Three Mitzvot of Purim
with Rabbi Cheryl Stone
Tuesday, March 12
7:45-9:00 PM

Hearing the Megillah is not the only mitzvah on Purim! We are also taught to send food to friends (mishloach manot), gifts to the needy (matanot l’evyonim), and celebrate on the day of Purim with a festive meal (Purim se’udah). Learn about the significance of these three mitzvot today, and how you can easily fulfill all three of them!

Click here to register.

Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784