Tagged Purim

Celebrating resilient Israeli women

As these words are being written, the entire world is looking anxiously toward the future, and the effects of the coronavirus. We can’t avoid it — people in supermarkets are stocking up, and news from all over the world arrives on our screens with alarming updates, political debates on… Read more »

On this Spanish island, Purim used to be the biggest holiday for persecuted Jews

Members of the Jewish community of Mallorca, Spain, attend a Tu b'Shvat picnic, Feb. 10, 2019. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (JTA) — On this island south of Barcelona, Jews celebrate Purim these days pretty much as they do most anywhere else in Europe. There’s the reading of the Book of Esther at the small synagogue near the marina, followed by a costume party bringing together… Read more »

Children’s program to blend music, mitzvot

Rabbi Israel Becker

A new musical program, Music, Memories, and Mitzvot, will weave song, stories, and learning about Jewish celebrations with the mitzvah of bringing joy to the elderly, says Rabbi Israel Becker of Congregation Chofetz Chayim. The program, for children ages 5-11, includes three Sunday classes in preparation for each of four… Read more »

This Jewish grandmother was sentenced to death in Iran. She’s hoping for salvation in Holland.

Sipora, a Jewish refugee from Iran, looking out the window of her daughter's Netherlands home, Feb. 15, 2018. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

UTRECHT, Netherlands (JTA) — To the dozens of revelers of this city’s main Purim party, a Jewish grandmother who cooks the event’s annual Persia-themed holiday feast is a rare communal asset. Since she immigrated to the Netherlands in 2012 from her native Iran, the soft-spoken newcomer has been volunteering… Read more »

Merriment is common thread for upcoming Purim parties

Rabbi Israel Becker, left, and Auguspine Fong, founder of Fong’s Wing Chun

A Purim season full of family fun and festivities starts tomorrow in Tucson, with celebrations, costume parades and food for all. JPride takes on a ’90s costume theme for its Saturday, Feb. 24 Purim party. Dress “as if” it were the ’90s and come party like it’s 1999 at the… Read more »

These Jewish women say celebrating Purim in the #MeToo era is different

Female rabbis said the themes related to gender in the Purim narrative take on an added significance in the wake of the #MeToo movement. (Lior Zaltzman)

NEW YORK (JTA) — When Meredith Jacobs was taught the Purim story as a little girl in the 1970s and ’80s, Esther was made out to be its heroine, while Queen Vashti was its “evil queen.” According to the Book of Esther, Vashti was banished by her husband, the… Read more »

How Israeli women turned this Purim into a feminist holiday

Shir Yorkevitz, right, and two other teachers dressed as Rosie the Riveter flexing at a middle school in Herzliya, Israel, March 8, 2017. (Courtesy of Yorkevitz)

TEL AVIV (JTA) – Wonder Woman, Rosie the Riveter and a female Israeli fighter pilot walked into a bar. They were just a few of the heroines out in Tel Aviv Saturday for the night of Purim. With International Women’s Day falling a day before the holiday weekend this… Read more »

Battling hate in the spirit of Queen Esther

Protestors demonstrating at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. March 2, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Shots fired into a classroom window at an Indiana synagogue. Cemeteries desecrated in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York. Swastikas scrawled on Jewish buildings. More than 100 bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers. History doesn’t always repeat itself, but echoes of the darkest chapters serve as… Read more »

Tucson congregations help others share the joys of Purim

Adina Lytle and Elliya Griver at Congregation Anshei Israel's Hamentaschen for Hunger event on Feb.26. (Yvonne Ethier)

The joy of Purim commemorates the survival of the Jewish people from a plot to annihilate them in ancient Persia, as recorded in the Megillah, the Book of Esther. But the joy goes beyond the events of ancient times. Jews have survived over and over again, in a world… Read more »

How Purim is a call to leadership

Abigail Pogrebin (Lorin Klaris)

(JTA) — Purim is a dark story marked by a crazy party. I’m still unsure why a close brush with extermination became, in the Middle Ages, an opportunity for costumes and farce, but there you have it. It’s the fifth century BCE, about a hundred years after the First… Read more »

This is why Purim is the original interfaith holiday

Jews dance in costumes and cowboy hats during Purim festivities in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on March 25, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Kveller via JTA) — When I explain Purim to those less familiar with the holiday, I tell them it’s kind of like Jewish Halloween. Not so much because of the history and story behind each (Purim has no ghosts), but related to the joyful spirit, costumes, food and fun.… Read more »

Local synagogues set for Purim frolics

Purim is one of the most joyous holidays on the Jewish calendar, commemorating Queen Esther’s triumph, with the help of the wise Mordechai, in saving the Jews of ancient Persia from the wicked plot of Haman, evil adviser to the king. The holiday begins on March 23 this year… Read more »

How we respond to sorrow

Rabbi Yossie Shemtov

Two consequential decisions were made by Ahasuerus, King of Persia in the 4th century BCE. Both elicited the same crisis management, as told in the Book of Esther, which we will read on the upcoming holiday of Purim (Wednesday night, March 23 and Thursday, March 24). The first was… Read more »

Should we get hammered on Purim — and Election Day?

Groggers and beer, two important elements of a Purim celebration (Edmon J. Rodman)

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Purim parties are just around the corner — as is the presidential election. This got me thinking: What does the holiday’s operative phrase, “ad lo yada,” “until one no longer knows,” really mean? Traditionally, this rabbinic license to party, derived from the Talmud, has been taken… Read more »

In Focus: Purim 2015

On March 4, the Weintraub Israel Center held a Bechayed BePurim (Together on Purim) party with Chabad on River and the Israel American Council. The event included dinner, a Megillah reading and Israeli music. Enjoying the festivities are Shira Barel (center) with, from left, Tamar, Amit, Ofri and Lee Benjamin.

Purim celebrations from around our community                … Read more »

Op-Ed: For Ukraine Jews, Purim holiday merely a respite

A heavily damaged hotel near the airport in Donetsk, Ukraine, Feb. 26, 2015. Jews still living in the embattled city have become enormously dependent on foreign assistance, according to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish perseverance, and more than a bit of chutzpah, lies at the heart of the Purim holiday we celebrate this week. It is one of the reasons we are instructed to mark this raucous holiday with boundless joy and why thousands of Ukrainian Jews, despite… Read more »