Purim was an exciting holiday for me as a child. Every year, I looked forward to our synagogue Purim Carnival – I wondered what new games I would see and most importantly, agonized over which Megillah character’s costume I would wear. As an adult, I gained new appreciation for the Purim traditions of giving to the needy and enjoying an “adult beverage” during the reading of the Megillah. And, no matter how old I get, I never get tired of waving a grogger to drown out Haman’s name! I love the story of Purim and how a few brave souls worked together to save an entire community.
One of the primary goals of our Federation is to build community. This includes those who are members of Howard County synagogues, and especially those who are not. This is where the Federation can play a unique role: bringing the community together, at times to celebrate, at times to commemorate, at times to learn, and at times to give back to the broader community.
Our upcoming 26th Annual Purim Palooza program is also such an occasion. This year in particular, we have a unique program, as every religious school is taking part in a pre-Palooza program together. Beginning at 9:00 AM that day, all religious school students – more than 600 of them – will attend an assembly. Following that, children from the various schools will learn together in classes categorized by grade. Then, from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, all the students (and we hope many parents and siblings!) will enjoy the Purim celebrations, activities, hamantaschen, and other food.
This is an unprecedented program for our community – and it is a wonderful example of how we can all work together to build our community and go from strength to strength. I want to express thanks to all the synagogue religious schools and our rabbis, who have been so supportive of this concept. This truly is a beautiful example of a community working together.
Your continued support of Federation makes it possible for us to subsidize many of these community programs and the staff support required to ensure their success. Please join us at Purim Palooza this year – and I hope you, like me, will be heartened that our wonderful Howard County Jewish community is most effective when we join together.