On Wednesday night, March 4, and Thursday, March 5, the Jewish community celebrates the holiday of Purim. Locally, Congregation Beth El in South Orange is inviting the community to celebrate a costume party for the kids at the synagogue, followed by a costume party for the adults at Ricalton’s Village Tavern on March 4.
“This holiday is a celebration of the events of the Book of Esther, in which Haman’s plans to destroy the Jewish community of Shushan were stopped because the heroine Queen Esther took a stand against hate, injustice, and discrimination,” wrote Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El in an email. “One way that the Jewish community celebrates the holiday is by dressing in costume.”
While it may look like a Jewish version of Halloween or Mardi Gras, it’s hardly that, said Olitzky.
“We wear costumes because we acknowledge that Esther hid herself and her identity. We all in our own ways hide parts of who we are. Ultimately, we dress up in costume to eventually reveal our true selves,” he added.
To celebrate Purim, Congregation Beth El is inviting everyone to their “Purim Adult After Party” adult costume party on Wednesday March 4 at 8:30 p.m., at Ricalton’s, Village Tavern, 19 Valley St, in South Orange. “First round is on Congregation Beth El for any adult who comes in costume,” said Olitzy. The event includes raffles and give away prizes and is open to the entire community.
Prior to the adult party at Ricalton’s, all are invited to join Beth El for all of its Purim programming, beginning with a Young Children’s Musical Celebration and Art Projects for Elementary School students at 6:00 p.m. A community-wide Costume Parade will take place at 6:45 p.m., followed by a Communal Megillah Reading, a reading of the Book of Esther, for Adults and Kids, at 7:00 p.m..
All events are free and open to the community.