In a way, New Community Jewish High School’s Purim shpiels said it all. For the past several years, students at New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) — founded in 2002 and commonly known as New Jew, for short — would use the opportunity of Purim, when it’s customary to perform humorous skits, to make fun of their school’s biggest shortcoming — namely that students ate lunch on a parking lot because, well, as tenants renting temporary space from a West Hills synagogue, there was nowhere else for them to eat.
There are a variety of options for how to begin the process, but all involve study with a rabbi. Some people study with an individual rabbi for a period of time, and other people enroll in group classes designed especially for converts.
Dov Hikind apologized after coming under criticism for dressing up in blackface for Purim.
Israelis celebrate Purim in full costume throughout Israel.
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When it comes to the story of Purim, Queen Esther has received lots of attention. All the little girls want to play her in the Purim spiel. She’s brave, beautiful, loving and heroic: the quintessential female biblical role model.
In a pile of as-yet-undigitized family photos, I found a gem. It’s from a Purim party, years ago, when my wife and I were newly married. She is dressed as a Chasidic rabbi — black suit, side curls, black hat, mustache and beard. Beside her is the rabbi’s wife — me — in a long proper dress and a blond wig.
The niece of American comedian Sarah Silverman will be allowed to attend a women's Megillah reading at the Western Wall despite being banned from the site.
From the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood, West Los Angeles to the Eastside, synagogues and organizations celebrate one of the year’s liveliest holidays, which begins Saturday night. Highlights include Nashuva’s megillah rock opera, the Groundlings performing the story of Esther at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, and Sinai Temple poking fun at Taylor Swift and Cee Lo Green during its Purim Grammys. Between family-friendly events, activities for teenagers and risqué fare for ages 21 and older, there is something for everyone.
Purim events in Los Angeles for all ages and adults only.
The central character of Purim is Esther, whose name means hidden. The story is full of things hidden, and waiting for the right time to be revealed.
What makes Purim so special? Maybe it’s the heroic story of Queen Esther. Whatever you decide, it is still one of the happiest of all Jewish holidays. Filled with accounts of bravery, it tells the story of Queen Esther and how she helped defeat the wicked minister Haman in ancient Persia.
Purim is an extraordinary festival in the Jewish calendar. It can be distinguished from all the other festivals by the character that it was granted in later generations, but mainly by its most primary source - Megillat Esther itself.
Little kids will laugh at anything. The simplest knock-knock joke or a tickle fest -- even the threat of one -- can so easily end in hysterics. They laugh because they are surprised by something unexpected in a world they are constantly discovering.
A man was found dead, apparently of alcohol poisoning, in the parking lot of a Florida Chabad center following a Purim celebration.
As members of a committee that is actively engaged in outreach with the Los Angeles Jewish community, we enjoy reading articles in The Jewish Journal that accurately profile other religious faiths.
Even if you’re a serious student of the Bible, you might not know what the Book of Esther is doing there, in the Bible. Don’t worry though, nobody else knows either. Although it tells of near-tragedy, it is written melodramatically, almost as a farce; and it is very hard to read with a straight face.
Falling between the giving season of Chanukah and the getting season of tax refunds, Purim time finds households like mine searching for ways to keep holiday expenses down to earth without losing the mirth.
Our Annual Purim spoof Cover
Purim parties, festivals and carnivals around Los Angeles.
It all began with Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, who became a vegan when she married King Ahasuerus and moved into the palace. She favored fruits, beans and grains in her diet, and legend has it that poppy seed pastries were her favorite.
Wearing a silk kerchief and a plain apron - a combination of holiday and weekday attire - Mama stood by the table, practically at her wit’s end. It was no trifle, you know, receiving almost 100 shalakhmones...
Jeremy Lin’s NBA debut, in which he scored more points in his initial five games than any other new player, resulted in a fan frenzy that Charlotte Bobcats third-string small forward Elon Steinman “totally gets.”
Purim is a festival renown for celebration, excessive drinking and wild, outlandish costumes; or, as Chasids in Brooklyn call it, Tuesday. It’s the story of the Jews escaping genocide in Persia, marking it as the last time the region has ever made Jews uneasy. For the uninformed, I have some facts and tips below.
The faces of young girls modeling Purim costumes in a toy store ad were blurred in a haredi Orthodox newspaper in Beit Shemesh.
It was Purim, 1985. The surroundings seemed so strange to me. From childhood, Purim always meant Megillah reading, noise from noisemakers, loud music, lively dancing, people dressed up in different costumes, lots of good food, exchange of Mishloach Manot gift baskets, and a little “l’chaim” to top things off. That was exactly the Purim I had in 1984, 1983, 1982…all the way back to 1964, the year I was born.
Purim seems to have come at the wrong time this year. It’s Adar-be Happy! But how can we be happy when there are images of destruction all around us, as Japan plunges into a nuclear disaster of huge proportions on the heels of a 9.0 earthquake and a terrifying Tsunami? How can we joyously wave our gragers against the evil Haman when we are deluged by images of tens of thousands of people swept into the sea? How can we celebrate this holiday when our world seems to be spinning out of control?
A colloquial Hebrew expression says, “not every day is Purim.” It can loosely be translated as “you can’t fool all the people all the time.” But when it comes to Israel, there are those in our US Jewish community who not only choose to live in a delusional virtual reality, but insist on dragging others into their la-la land. It is bad for Israel and bad for America. Take the case of Rep. Anthony Weiner, the Democrat from New York, who in a televised debate recently insisted that there was no Israeli occupation in the West Bank and no Israeli military presence there. This was not a satirical show or a Purim spiel. The man was serious.
Purim spoof cover
A man walks into a shrink’s office and says he wants to commit suicide. “What you need is a good belly laugh,” the shrink says. “Go across the street to the circus. There’s a clown there who makes everybody laugh.” “Doc, I’ve been to the circus across the street,” the man says. “I’m the clown who makes everybody laugh.”
iGragger - Happy Purim!
From 1932 to 1946, Rabbi Eliezer Berlinger served as the chief rabbi of the Malmo Jewish Congregation. The most important events in the history of this Jewish community in Sweden took place on his watch. There were the numerous Danish Jews who fled deportation and certain death by the Nazis with the help of their righteous Christian neighbors who reached Malmo in 1943 and 1944.
Spotlight: Purim museum tour. Sat. 1 p.m. and Sun 1 p.m. Free (does not include museum admission). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 440-4500. skirball.org.
With Purim just a grogger’s turn away on March 19, it's time to reroll the scroll of Esther and take another look at the whole megillah. It's a story with characters so lifelike, I should quote them. That would be news. But lacking a time machine, I was still able to go to the source to hear what Mordecai, Esther, Haman and Vashti have to say: I interviewed prominent people -- Jews and a non-Jew -- whose names either come from the Megillah or sound like they are straight from the scroll:
Jew Are You?
When was the last time you stood on your head? If you don't practice yoga, and you're not a 2-year-old, it's probably been quite a while. Noting that my toddler couldn’t get enough of being upside down on his little sister’s infant seat, I understood the allure. Seeing the world in a completely unexpected way is titillating. Subverting the natural order of things is energizing.
We are an American generation sadly marred by excess, addiction, and reduced public morals. On line at the supermarket we see magazines that headline Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Spears, and Charlie Sheen. Purim is around the corner, and the question arises: What’s the deal with getting drunk on Purim? So here’s the deal:
Among the more remarkable documents of the Holocaust is a scroll, created in North Africa in 1943, called "Megillat Hitler." Written in the style of Megillat Esther and the Purim story, it celebrates the Allies’ liberation of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, which saved the local Jewish communities from the Nazis. What the scroll’s author did not realize, however, was that at the very moment he was setting quill to parchment, those same American authorities were actually trying to keep in place the anti-Jewish legislation imposed in North Africa by the Nazis.