The Whole Megillah: Purim at FC

An array of in-person and virtual programs put the spotlight on Purim, enabling everyone, whether they were at home or in-person, to celebrate the miraculous history of Jewish survival from the evil hands of Haman.

The festivities started in the days leading up to Purim with a holiday-themed scavenger hunt and masquerade party. Held via Zoom, kids were encouraged to come in costume and then given a list of holiday-related items to search for.

FC supplied the materials and led virtual Hamantash baking classes for FC participants and teen volunteers. Dozens of kids attended each program and the results were sweet, three-sided pastry treats with a variety of fillings including chocolate.

As Purim this year fell on Friday, Friendship Circle delivered Purim-themed Shabbat packages to 300 homebound seniors. The food bags included kugel, challah, kiddush and, of course, hamantasch!

For seniors, knowing people in the community were thinking about them at this time was particularly heartwarming. One senior noted that all she wanted for Purim was a hamantaschen and was thrilled when she received her FC Purim pack with a couple of the pastries inside. The package also contained a magazine with informational article about the holiday.

 “Thank you for the wonderful Purim/Shabbat at Home kit. Everything is delicious, especially the kugel, which I just devoured for dinner. I also want to thank you for the lovely magazine, it is so informative and educational, and quite humorous, and it is giving me great pleasure to read it cover to cover,” said one senior. “Bless you and the entire Friendship Circle for all that you do to bring so much cheer and delicious food to the elderly who are so isolated now.”

Additionally, FC hosted multiple outdoor reading of the Megillah, Book of Esther, including a family-friendly event with a special drive-in holiday show on the jumbo screen. More than 100 people came to the different in-person readings, enabling everyone who wanted to hear the megillah could do so.

“Our family and particularly our son had a great time and enjoyed the reading and the show on the huge screen afterwards,” said one parent, adding, “In a time of isolation and boredom, Friendship Circle stepped up and again provided creative alternatives to virus isolation.

“It is about community after all, and Friendship Circle realizes the soul of their work is not confined to a building,” the parent continued. “FC bravely steps outside the confines of fear and brings us together again, whether it is a rabbi visiting with a U-Haul for Chanukah, a car parade past your home, a snack basket dropped at a doorstep or a drive-in style show for Purim. I cannot praise your work enough as it is a mitzvah to those in dark times with daunting challenges.”

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