Beauty Queen Saves the Jews!

Like a New York Post headline only true.

Sunday, February 21 from 2:00-3:00 pm on Zoom
Costume Parade • Mask-making Contest • Singing and Revelry • Mitzvah Project

Join in the noise and fun on Sunday, February 21 from 2:00-3:00 pm for a community Purim celebration with Temple B’nai Israel and the rest of our Jewish community. Everyone is welcome and while costumes are encouraged, they are not required. Just come as you are!

• Get your costume put together and plan to be in our virtual costume parade. You submit a 15-20 second video or photo of yourself in costume and send it to us. We’ll include it in our virtual costume parade to be shown at the event. In order to be included in the video, your costume video must be submitted by February 15.

• Make a mask of any kind, or simply draw or paint one. You can enter the contest in one of three categories: under 6 years, 7-12 years and 13 and up. Everyone who makes a mask will have a chance to show it and participants will choose their favorites.

• Naomi Morse will lead us in some spirited songs and we’ll make some music and some noise (to drown out the name of you-know-who!).

• Lastly, to fulfill the mitzvah of helping others, we’ll be collecting food donations in boxes at both CoM and TBI. As an alternative, you can make monetary donations to either (or both) Loaves and Fishes or Portage Community Center. Collections of non-food items such as soaps, shampoo, laundry detergent, diapers etc. are also welcomed and needed.

Purim begins on sundown Thursday, February 25, 2021 and ends sundown Friday February 26, 2021.

Purim is another one of those they-tried-to-kill-us-and-failed holidays. It commemorates the story of smokin’ hot Queen Esther, who won a beauty contest, but the prize was to marry the King of Persia, who was kind of an idiot. So, bummer.

As per usual, the king decided to follow the advice of his advisor, Haman, to kill all the Jews, not realizing that that included his wife. Whoops. Then Esther had to convince the King not to go through with his plan. Lucky for us, she convinced him. Phew. And instead Haman got hung in the gallows that he himself had built for the Jews.

Moral of the story: avoid messing with the Jews!


Purim Resources

What is Purim?

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. Beginning on the 13th of Adar, the story of Purim is told in the Book of Esther, where our leading lady plays a role in the saving of the Jewish people from the wicked villain Haman (BOOOO!). We usually celebrate Purim by wearing silly costumes, reenacting the story, which can be found in the Megillah, and giving gifts to friends and those in need.

My Jewish Learning has a great Purim 101 article; it tells you the history of the holiday, tips on how to celebrate at home, and the different themes of the holiday. The Jewish Virtual Library also has a great article that goes more in depth into the story, when the holiday was first celebrated, and traditions for celebrating from Israel and around the world.

PJ Library has an entire page dedicated to Purim, where you can find many different resources for celebrating Purim at home with your family. PJ’s Podcast series, Have I Got a Story for You, tells the story of Purim for young ones. You can also learn about the Four Mitzvot of Purim, find links for costume ideas from PJ Library books, recipes, and so much more!

Purim Videos and Music

Purim Videos

If you are looking for videos to help explain the story of Purim to your family and friends, there are a few different ones you can pick from. BimBam has two different videos for Purim; the first is a straightforward telling of the Purim story for young children. The second tells the story of Purim, but also explains about how the holiday is celebrated in Israel and around the world. Mayim Bialik also has a video where she explains the story of Purim, and goes into some of the traditional celebrations.

Shalom Sesame has a collection of videos about Purim: “Be Happy it’s Purim”, “Kids Talk About Purim”, “Making Hamentaschen”, and their version of the Purim story.

If you are looking for a video to explain what the Megillah is, Shaboom has a great video that features David Henkin, “The Megillah Man”.

If you and your family love LEGOS and the LEGO movies, check out this video which tells the story of Purim using LEGOS.

Purim Music

Shaboom has a few sing-along videos, where you can learn the words to popular Purim songs. Their sing-along videos include the songs “Chag Purim”, “La Kova Sheli Shalosh Pinot”, and “Mishenichnas Adar”.

Erez Cohen Music parodies the songs “Exes and Ohs” and “Uptown Funk” for his Purim videos. The Jewish acapella groups The Maccabeats and Fountainheads both parody the song “Raise Your Glass” for their Purim videos; The Maccabeats with “Purim Song”, and Fountainheads with “Raise Your Mask”. Michelle Citrin has a fun song that everyone can dance along with in “Shake Your Grogger”.

If you are looking for music to play in the background of your festive Purim meal, Spotify has a Purim Playlist for Kids that was created by PJ Library.

Purim Crafts, Activities, and Recipes

Crafts and Activities

Purim is a holiday that is made for crafting! Kveller has a bunch of fun craft ideas, including groggers made from recycled juice boxes, how to make your own mishloach manot boxes, and make-your-own miniature Purim dolls! Jaime Geller has more ideas on how to make your own mishloach manot boxes, as well as DIY costumes! Shaboom also has a video on how to make your own grogger using materials that you can find at home.


When people think of Purim one of the first things that comes to mind are hamantaschen, the triangle-shaped cookie that is filled with a variety of different fillings. However, hamantaschen are not the only Purim food that can be enjoyed during the holiday. Kosher Kitchen, My Jewish Learning, and Jaime Geller all share not only hamantaschen recipes, but Purim recipes from around the world that you and your family can enjoy during the holiday.

Book Recommendations from the Fisher Library

If you are lacking Purim books in your home, the Congregation of Moses’ Fisher Library has you covered! All of the books listed below in a curated selection of Purim books can be found by searching the online catalogue.

Thank you to Fisher Library librarian Rachel Haus for putting together her list of favorite Purim books!

Ages 0-3

  • When It’s Purim by  Edie Stoltz Zolkower: a simple board book that describes how a group of animal friends make hamantaschen cookies.
  • It’s Purim Time! By Latifa Berry Kropf: photographs and easy-to-read text portray children in a Jewish preschool as they prepare for and participate in Purim. Includes directions for making recycled groggers.

Ages 4-7

  • Esther’s Story by Diane Wolkstein: written in diary form, this portrait brings to life the story of Esther, her majesty, and humanity.
  • Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman: a Jewish version of the Cinderella story, in which a poor young woman captivates a rabbi’s son at the Purim ball.
  • Sammy Spider’s First Purim by Sylvia Rouss: Sammy Spider learns about Purim and about sounds.
  • The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner: Nate wants to dress as an alien for Purim, but all the other boys will be wearing superhero costumes. Nate seeks advice from his Daddy and Abba, who advise him that, like Queen Esther, being yourself makes you stronger.
  • A Queen in Jerusalem by Tami Shem-Tov: upset with her mother for not making her a Queen Esther costume for Purim, Malka goes out and meet artist Boris Schatz, who, with students at Jerusalem’s Bezalel art school, helps her out.
  • Sweet Tamales for Purim by Barbara Bietz: a young Jewish girl in the late 19th century southwest plans to celebrate Purim in their small town, sharing cultural traditions with her Latino friend. They make hamantaschen for the party, but the family’s goat wreaks havoc on their first attempt. Luis and his mother have a solution with a Mexican twist.

Ages 8-11

  • The Animated Megillah: A Purim Adventure by Efrayim Sidon: two children travel back in time and experience the history of Purim.
  • Problems in Purimville: A Purim Story by Karen Fisman: Sarah and Jacob have a series of adventures in the muddled and mixed-up land of Purimville.

Ages 12-18

  • Hadassah: Esther the Orphan Queen by William Howard Armstrong: retells the Bible story of Esther who, as the Queen of Persia and a Jew, was able to save her people.
  • The Night Journey by Kathryn Lasky: Rachel’s grandmother shares the story of how her family escaped Tsarist Russia disguised as Purim players.


  • Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney: fictionalized account of Esther, an innocent girl taken into bondage to serve a mighty king.
  • Beware the Ides of Adar: A Shakespearean Purim Shpiel by Deborah Bodin Cohen: a classic Purim shpiel retelling of the Book of Esther through the words of William Shakespeare.