Lehigh Valley gets creative in celebrating Purim

While all holidays over the past year have looked a little different, plans are underway to ensure that all the fun and meaning of Purim continue this year in the Lehigh Valley.

Kicking off the celebrations is a PJ@Home event on Feb. 14. Families can pick up their free Purim kits at the Jewish Community Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get ready for the event from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Kids will participate via Zoom in a story, craft and at-home Purim parade.

On the morning of Feb. 21, Temple Beth El presents The Bible Players with a virtual performance of “Esther to the Rescue” for their religious school. The entire community is invited to join in on this exciting event. Please contact Alicia Zahn at school@bethelallentown.org for more information.

Later that afternoon, the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley will host a “Purim Car-Nival” on Feb. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. Community members are invited to drive around the local Jewish community to visit the different organizations. Participants will stop by stations at each location to play carnival games and collect mystery ingredients (for a special treat) from the comfort and safety of their own car. Dressing up both yourself and your car are encouraged! There will be a car decorating contest, with the most uniquely decorated car winning a prize. Tune into the JCC Facebook page for Purim stories read by community members and to find out the costume contest winner. Participating organizations include the JCC, Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, Temple Beth El, Congregation Sons of Israel, Chabad of the Lehigh Valley and the Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley. Sign up for free by Feb. 12.

Purim wouldn’t be complete without hamantaschen, so JDS is holding a Hamantaschen Baking Class on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Join the JDS Sunshine Cafe’s Chef Feather Frazier on a delectable journey via Zoom. She'll show you how easy it is, whether you choose to make the dough from scratch or purchase one of JDS’ ready-made kits. This event promises to be fun for the whole family and is free and open to all. Ready-made hamantaschen kits are $10 and include dough plus toppings and will be available for pick-up at the JDS on Feb. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. Email or call the JDS office to purchase a ready-made hamantaschen kit and for the Zoom link. JDS will also be taking shalach manot orders online this year.

Congregation Sons of Israel’s youth will have a Pre-Purim Costume Parade on Feb. 25 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in the shul parking lot. Come dance, show off your costumes and pick up shalach manot. RSVP to Ally at 516-776-0997 or wiener.ally@yahoo.com by Feb. 14 to reserve shalach manot.

The spiels must go on, and they will at more than one congregation. Temple Beth El will host a Purim Mystery Theater and complete megillah reading over Zoom on Feb. 25. Congregation Keneseth Israel is offering a brand new spiel written by KI Director of Education Rabbi Shoshana Hantman online at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25.   

To register for these virtual events, please contact the organizations directly.