The festive holiday of Purim begins on March 4 this year and some of the Lehigh Valley Jewish organizations already have plans afoot.
The Jewish Day School reports that Purim is “joyfully celebrated” with the children getting into a festive outlook with Spirit Week leading up to the holiday, including pajama day, backwards day, games, special foods and more. The celebrating culminates with the annual Purim Carnival in school on Friday, March 6, for all the students. Of course, there is the official reading of Megillat Esther ... groggers and all. With everyone in costume, and with the games and prizes, Purim is reportedly one of the most festive days of the year!
Starting the festivities early, the Jewish Community Center will host its annual Community Purim Palooza on Sunday, March 1, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Planners say, “Come in costume and get ready for some fun!” This will include games, moon bounce, and face painting. Tickets are 50 cents each. There will be prizes and there will be food.
Preceding the palooza, Temple Shirat Shalom will hold its Purim celebration at the JCC from 10 a.m. until noon.
Temple Beth El will also kick off its Purim celebrations on Sunday, March 1, with "Let's Make a Shpiel," featuring Purim shpiels from religious school students at 10:45 a.m. On Wednesday, March 4, the fun and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. including a costume challenge with USY, Megillah readings and a Midrasha Purim Carnival at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, March 5, the fun continues at 7:15 a.m. with Shacharit, Megillah reading and Breakfast Seudah.
For its part, Temple Covenant of Peace in Easton reportedly loves Purim! Rabbi Melody Davis said, “For our traditionalists, we will have an erev Purim service on Wednesday, March 4, at 6 p.m.” On Friday, March 6, at 6:15 p.m., the congregation hosts a Vegetarian Purim Potluck Dinner and then at 7:30 p.m., a “Jersey Boys Purim Service.” On Saturday, March 7, Temple Covenant of Peace will present “The Little Per-maid: the Purim story told using the music of Disney's Little Mermaid.” This will be followed by a “Souper-Supper” featuring three kinds of soup and wonderful bread from the Rockland Bakery. Donations are greatly appreciated for this evening. Game Night will follow after supper, with board games, Dungeons & Dragons and more.
Congregation Keneseth Israel kicks off the Purim festivities with a pizza party on Wednesday March 4, at 5:30 p.m. followed by “The Megillah According to Disney.” Children and adults are asked to come in costume.
With an even earlier start to the day, Congregation Sons of Israel reminds us that on March 4, The Fast of Esther starts at 5:20 a.m. with Shacharis at 6:30 a.m. Mincha will be at 5:35 p.m., and Maariv and Megillah Reading start at 6 p.m. The fast ends at 6:39 p.m. and the Youth Carnival begins at 7:30 p.m.
On March 5, Shacharis begins at 6:30 a.m. followed by a Megillah reading at 7 a.m. A late Megillah reading will begin at 4 p.m. and Mincha at 4:45 p.m.
Also on March 5 at Sons of Israel and beginning at 5 p.m. will be the Blues Brothers Purim Seudah. This features a live band, “Blues Brothers” cuisine, a moon bounce, and the mentalist and magician Denny Corby from “America's Got Talent.” Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 children with a maximum of $45 per family. Maariv begins at 7 p.m. Reservations can be made at the synagogue office at 610-433-6089 until Tuesday, March 3.
Congregation Brith Sholom and Bnai Abraham Synagogue, which have partnered for religious school, are sharing Purim services and festivities. The religious school children will partake in a pizza party on Wednesday, March 4, before donning their costumes and joining in the 6 p.m. congregational Megillah reading at Brith Sholom. This will be immediately followed by handmade hamantaschen, a dance and a sundae bar.
Also on March 4 at 6 p.m., Chabad of the Lehigh Valley will host a Purim Bash, which is to include “a spiel by the Hebrew School students,
lively music, Megillah reading and a top notch kosher dinner and, even better, surprise entertainment.”
Consult the synagogue offices for additional plans and for updates as Purim draws near.