Marblehead’s Temple Emanu-El is hosting events for the Jewish holiday Purim. On March 5, there will be a carnival, and on March 6 there will be a celebration program for families, and then a separate program for adults.
Purim is a holiday that occurs in Adar, the 12th month of the Jewish calendar. It commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who had a plot to kill all Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire.
“The spirit of Purim permeates the entire month, making it a time of unparalleled rejoicing and good mazal (“fortune”) for the Jewish people,” according to Chabad.org.
Allison Peiser, an educator at Temple Emanu-El, said the Purim celebration would begin on Sunday with a carnival for families and children.
“It’s going to include indoor games, a bounce house, and other inflatable activities,” Peiser said.
She said it will be the first Purim Carnival since before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
The carnival will last from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and costs $10 per child. Costumes, which are traditionally worn for Purim, are encouraged, and accessories for those without a costume but who wish to dress up will be provided.
On March 6, families with children are invited to participate in baking hamantashen, pastries which are traditionally prepared for Purim, at 5:15 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., Rabbi David Meyer and Music Director John Nelson will do a family reading of the Megillah, or The Book of Esther.
“Esther is the heroine of the Purim story, in which the Jewish people who live in the sprawling Persian Empire are saved from Haman’s evil scheme to annihilate them,” Chabad.org said.
“Part of the tradition is also reading the entire story as a community for the holiday,” Peiser said.
Peiser said that some of the story is “not appropriate for kids,” which is why there is a separate reading for adults at 6:30 p.m. after a community dinner. There is also a hybrid option for both readings.
“We’re hoping that it will be a good experience for people,” Peiser said. “It’s an opportunity for people who haven’t been to Temple Emanu-El before to see what our building is like.”
The temple had a renovation in 2019 directly before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“Not everyone has been in the building since the renovations,” Peiser added.