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Purim Events Draw Large Crowds

Wednesday, 11 March, 2009 - 11:13 am

Chabad centres across the UK brought the joy of Purim to Jews from all walks of life and religious backgrounds this week.

Hundreds of events provided a diverse spectrum of people with modern and refreshing ways to celebrate the ancient festival of Purim which marks the survival of the Jewish people and the renewal of Jewish identity in the face of annihilation.

Chabad centres hosted an array of colourful parties with novel and innovative themes in cities throughout the UK with all ages and tastes catered for.

Children and parents dressed up as cowboys and Indians in Hampstead Town Hall where Rabbi Yisroel and Devora Weisz hosted Chabad of Hampstead’s Wild West Purim party. The event, which attracted over 110 people, included megillah readings with a multimedia presentation as well as Wild West fancy-dress, children’s activities and a cowboy show.

“The Purim party was brilliant this year,” says Xaviere Hassan, a local mother of two who attended Oxford Chabad’s annual Purim party celebration.

The party included fancy dress with music, buffet, pony rides, arts and crafts, and megillah readings. “The highlight for the kids was the pony ride in one of Oxford's oldest cobbled streets,“ adds Xaviere.

Bournemouth Chabad celebrated "Purim in China" with Chinese costumes, food and what might be the world's first fortune-cookie hamantaschen.

Chabad centres, with the help of energetic yeshiva students, offered hundreds of megillah readings throughout the UK, including a marathon string of hourly megillah readings in Manchester and Edgware.

Readings were not just confined to the synagogue either, with many taking place in people’s homes, places of work, academic institutions, hospitals and old age homes. Chabad of Bloomsbury teamed up with London Hillel and UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies department to offer students and faculty members the opportunity to hear the megillah.

Chabad on Campus, with new centres in Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Nottingham, brought the joy of Purim to more students than ever in universities throughout the country.

“It was a really good party. The food, wine and desserts were delicious and the atmosphere was great,” says Eddie Rabinovitch, a student at Cass Business School and regular attendee at Chabad of Bloomsbury which hosted an Italian themed Purim party.

“It was such a pleasure to step into the Chabad House to be taken into a different world from the drab skies of Bristol,” says Tikva Blaukopf who was lecturing in Bristol on Tuesday.

She found herself celebrating Purim with Rabbi Dovid and Leah Usiskin who were themselves celebrating their first Purim in Bristol having founded a Chabad centre there in September 2008. “Jokes, laughter and of course some lechaims made it a fantastic Purim,” says Tikva.

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