Over one hundred Orange County residents showed up to celebrate in Purim style on Sunday, March 13 at Temple Sinai of Middletown NY.
It was a Dance Carnival! With a live DJ, flickering lights, tasty spread, captivating games, and tons of prizes, both young and old came in costume to have some Purim fun. The festivities were outstanding and in the midst of all of the amusement, you may have actually thought you were invited to a formal party.
Fact is, Purim is a party and a great lure for party-goers since general revelry is the expectation! The Jewish holiday of Purim is the celebration based on the Book of Esther in which Queen Esther saves the Jews from the king’s evil advisor, Haman. What better reason to party? As for Haman, he’s not a nice guy, and people generally “BOOO!” when they hear his name. They also eat Hamantaschen cookies (sweet-filled pastries) shaped like his hat. It’s all part of the fun!
The holiday falls on March 17 this year and will be celebrated by Jews around the world. At the event, there was an interactive Purim story called a Shpiel, which was led by all of the temple leaders. The entertainment included dance music and 16 carnival stations ranging in games of wit, skill, and precision – like fortune-telling origami, mask, and crown-making craft stations, speed Bingo, Arcade Basketball, Darts, and a Target Gallery to name a few. The affair ended with an awards ceremony and costume contest.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County NY has been bringing the community together through education, events, and outreach programs. With the help of Temple Sinai in Middletown, Temple Beth Shalom in Florida, Temple Beth Jacob in Newburgh, and both Congregation Beth Hillel and the Jewish Community Center in Walden, NY, the joint leaders from congregations which are miles apart, worked in conjunction with the Jewish Federation to successfully bring this event to all members of the Greater Orange County Jewish community.
The community will come together again on April 24th at the West Point Jewish Chapel to commemorate Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day, with the telling of a personal story of Holocaust survivors who resettled in Monroe, NY, decades ago. For more information, go to: JewishOrangeNY.org