Purim is a Jewish holiday that is all about fun, celebration, a good story and of course, hamantashen! Handmaker residents got plenty of all of that this year.
The celebrations began the Tuesday before Purim, when a bus loaded with the Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) 8th grade class arrived at Handmaker. The students sang and danced for residents as they sat on the patio on a beautiful morning enjoying the sun, the breeze and the visit. THA students also shared lovely cards they had made for the residents, along with some cookies.
The next day, Handmaker residents in Rubin Assisted Living enjoyed learning about Purim in their Around the World class, led by Nanci Levy and Angela Salmon, with some help from Rabbi Richard Safran. The group read an abbreviated version of the Book of Esther. Each time they shook their groggers (noisemakers) at the mention of the evil Haman to blot out his name, there was laughter. It was fun to “boo” the bad guy!
After learning about Purim, residents decorated crowns so that they could dress up for Purim. They made Mishloach Manot (Purim gift bags) to hand out to friends and family, which is customary during the holiday. They were so happy to have the opportunity to give out these bags to friends and staff members, that they began to do so right away.
On Erev Purim, many residents zoomed into a Megillah reading by Mel Cohen, Dan Asia, and Michael Rosenzweig. Some did so from their apartments, while others watched together in the Rubin AL Living Room on the big screen. Once again, they enjoyed blotting out Haman’s name with groggers, hearing the story of Queen Esther, and even laughed at a few of Mel’s dated, but still funny, jokes!
On Purim, residents had fun making their own hamantashen in the Rubin AL Neighborhood in their choice of flavors. They were also able to taste a giant multi-flavored version made by the wonderful Handmaker Pastry Chef, Julie Ogroski. Just as they finished baking, they were treated to a visit from Rabbi Yossi Shemtov of Chabad Tucson, who dropped off some Mishloach Manot for our residents! It was a treat to get to see Rabbi Shemtov, and residents were grateful for the delicious Purim bags that he brought.
At lunchtime, every resident at Handmaker got a taste of Purim with a homemade hamantashen. The traditional cookies brought smiles to the faces of the residents who had grown up eating them, and even to those who had never had one before. Who doesn’t like a good hamantashen?
Purim was great fun, and now it’s time to prepare for Passover. If you need some help with your Passover cooking, please check out Handmaker’s Passover menus on their website with information on ordering Kosher for Passover meals to pick up. If you need meals delivered, Mobile Meals of Southern Arizona will be delivering as well. Call them at 520-622-1600 to sign up for meal delivery, or to volunteer to help deliver meals to others.