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Celebrate Purim Fest 2023

Join us for this year's rockin’ Purim Fest with a dazzling line-up of programming for all ages. Enjoy the greatest shows on earth—our Central children and Clergy Purim spiels—as we come together for our Purim service, guaranteed to astound and amaze (costumes encouraged!). Keep the fun going throughout Adar, the happiest month of the Jewish calendar, with learning, cultural, and charitable opportunities.

Join us for this year's rockin’ Purim Fest on Monday, March 6, 2023, from 3:15–6:00 pm. Check out the below programs being offered to all ages.

Quiet Purim Carnival (open to ages 0–2 and their families only)

Monday, March 6, 3:15 pm–4:00 pm, In Person

Families with children under three are invited to enjoy a carnival with a smaller crowd, quieter games, less background noise, and available low-sensory space. If you have more specific questions or would like a social story (a short story that explains what to expect) to read with your child in advance, please contact Amy Martin, [email protected]This is open to members only.

Purim Carnival for Younger Children (open to children and their families only)

Monday, March 6, 4:00 pm–5:45 pm, In Person

Families with children up to 2nd grade are invited to enjoy our Purim Carnival featuring games, food, face painting, and mitzvah opportunities for you and your little ones. This is open to members only.

Purim Carnival for Tweens (open to children and their families only)

Monday, March 6, 4:00 pm–5:45 pm, In Person

Kids in grades 3–7 are invited to enjoy a “big kids” Purim Carnival featuring pizza and arcade games. You won't want to miss it! This is open to members only.

Children Purim Spiel, Megillah Reading, and “Purim Popstar” Clergy Spiel (open to all)

Monday, March 6, 6:00 pm, In Person (Main Sanctuary) 

All ages are invited to enjoy a Beatles Purim with Central member's children spiel “With a Little Help From Our Queen.” Watch as our Clergy sing their hearts out to be made "Purim Popstars." This service is open to all.

Purim! Pizza! Potent Potables! Pub Trivia! (Adults only)

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30–9:30 pm, In Person

Join your Central community for a raucous, grown-up celebration of Purim, complete with classic quaffs, a pub food dinner, and a rousing game of trivia. Come alone or with friends - trivia teams will be formed when we come together that evening. Get ready to show off all your accumulated wisdom and fun facts! This event is open to Central members, 20s&30s, and current CEJ students. Please check your email for more information and to register.

20s & 30s: Purim Prom (20s & 30s only)

Saturday, March 4, 2023, 8:30 pm–12:00 am, Hebrew Union College (1 West 4th Street)

Join Shmaltz Brewing Company and Central 20s & 30s for its pre-launch mega Purim Prom. Whether you are Jewish, Jew-ish, or just a friend of the Jews, we can't wait to party together. We'll bring the beer (#openbar) and the nosh—so all you need to do is show up. Jam out to music all night long and get excited for our special surprise guest! Will it be a comedian? a drag queen? an illusionist? You'll have to come and see. Before the party, you can also sign up for a free guided tour of the Heller Museum's Justice Exhibit at 7:30 pm.

Limited tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Check your email for a discount code!

About Purim

Purim, the “upside down” holiday, is a joyous and playful one-day holiday that falls during the Hebrew month of Adar (usually late February and/or March). On Purim, we commemorate the story told in the book of Esther in which Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai saved the Jews of Persia from an antisemitic plot devised by the evil Haman, advisor to King Ahashverosh. This book, also called the Megillah (scroll), is unique among other sacred texts in that it is considered a parody or a satire, and does not mention God.

At Central, Purim provides those of all ages with an opportunity for celebration and fun. Happenings include a Kriat Megillah, or rowdy and silly reading of the Megillah wherein listeners “blot out” Haman’s name with noisemakers (groggers) and “booing”; mishloach manot or the sending gifts (often food) to friends; matanat l’evyonim or the giving gifts to the poor; and seudat mitzvah, a festive meal, and dressing up in costumes.