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JCC, Allentown, celebrates Purim with carnival fun


Special to The Press

The Jewish Community Center, Allentown, celebrated the holiday of Purim with a carnival on March 5.

Jackie Weiss, early childhood and Jewish education coordinator, planned the event, along with Heather Lavin, JCC program director.

Children were invited to come in costume and games were played.

Lunch was available along with frozen rainbow water ice and the special cookie called the Hamantaschen.

These cookies are shaped like the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, the villain.

The story of Purim originated from the victory over the murderous designs of Haman whose scheme was to destroy the Jews.

However, in the end, because of the concern of Queen Esther, a Jew, who revealed to King Ahasuerus that Haman was going to have all the Jews killed including herself, the King changed his mind and had Haman killed instead.

The Book of Esther is read in the synagogue on March 6 and 7.

When the name Haman is read, everyone in the audience makes a noise to drown out his name, usually with a noisemaker called a grogger.

One custom is to give money to the poor on Purim.

Historically, a carnival is held where everyone comes in costume, usually as Esther, Haman, the King, and Mordecai, all from the Bible story Esther.

At the JCC, the children dressed in costumes like Elsa and a dinosaur and participated in various games.

Then at noon, Al Grout, a juggler and magician, performed for everyone.

PRESS PHOTOS BY MICHAEL HIRSCH Samuel Miner dressed as a dinosaur for the March 5 Purim Carnival at the Jewish Community Center, Allentown.
Rylee Wehr dressed as Elsa for the Purim celebration. Silas, her brother, watches her from the stroller.