Purim

At Central Synagogue

About the Holiday

Purim is a joyous and playful one-day holiday that falls during the Hebrew month of Adar (usually late February or March in the secular calendar). On Purim, we commemorate the story told in the book of Esther, which tells how Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai saved the Jews of Persia who were threatened by an anti-Semitic plot devised by the evil Haman, an 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.

Purim is considered the “upside down” holiday, which means we approach our celebrations with a spirit of levity and humor. Many celebrations include: Kriat megillah: a rowdy chanting (or listening to) the megillah read aloud where we “blot out” Haman’s name through noisemakers (groggers) and “boo-ing,” mishloach manot, sending gifts (often food) to friends, matanat l’evyonim, giving gifts to the poor, and seudat mitzvah, a festive meal, and dressing up in costumes.

Celebrate Purim with Central Synagogue March 9–10, 2020
UPDATE: Friday, March 6, 2020

At this time, we will hold our Purim Spiel and service on Monday at 6:00 pm as planned; it will also be livestreamed. We have made the difficult decision to join with other congregations in canceling our Purim Carnivals on Monday, March 9, and our Purim Tot Celebration on Tuesday, March 10.


Purim provides those of all ages with an opportunity for celebration. At Central, our Youth & Family Engagement team holds a Purim carnival for children of all ages. Our clergy team offers a silly service and megillah reading for all ages, and we often welcome guest performers (comedians, musicians, etc.) to further enliven our festivities.

Monday, March 9, 2020

CANCELED: 2:30–3:30 pm • Tot Carnival

Families with children ages 3 and under and those looking for a low-sensory experience, Lindenbaum Pavilion
Enjoy a Mini Carnival with a smaller crowd, quieter games, and less background noise. If you have specific questions about this event, or would like a social story (a short story that explains what to expect) to read with your child in advance, please contact Rena Allen.
A low sensory-space will be available

CANCELED: 3:30–4:00 pm • Early Childhood Spiel & Costume Parade

Families with children in 2nd grade and under, Main Sanctuary
See our clergy perform a silly service and watch your little one march in a costume parade.

CANCELED: 4:00–6:00 pm • Kids’ Purim Carnival

Families with children in pre-K–1st grade, Lindenbaum Pavilion
Purim Carnival featuring games, food, face painting, and mitzvah opportunities for you and your children. If you have specific questions about this event, or would like a social story (a short story that explains what to expect) to read with your child in advance, please contact Rena Allen.
A low sensory-space will be available

CANCELED: 4:00–6:00 pm • Pre-Teen Purim Carnival

Families with children in 2nd grade and up, Lese Lobby
Don’t miss this Purim Carnival featuring arcade games and pizza! Please note: This is a drop-off event—no parents allowed!
A low sensory-space will be available
Register for the Pre-Teen Purim Carnival

6:00 pm • Spiel & Megillah Reading

All are welcome (Costumes are encouraged!), Main Sanctuary
A festive retelling of the Purim story and silly service led by our clergy, and a spiel, or retelling of the Purim story, put on by our LCLJ students.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

CANCELED: 12:15–1:00 pm • Tot Purim Celebration

Families with children ages birth to 2
Join Shira Kobren Wasserman as we celebrate Purim with singing, dancing, puppets and more! All are welcome. Please register both the adult and the child who will be attending.
Register for the Tot Purim Celebration

Purim 2020

March 9