Prepare for Purim With Parties and Parodies

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Get your groggers ready and your taste buds prepped for hamantashen because Purim is almost here!

The holiday begins March 11 and Philly starts celebrating tonight. Here are a few of the parties and celebrations around the city and beyond.

Thursday, March 9:

Schlep yourself to the Gershman Y for an evening of revelry, music and entertainment by special guests, The Schlep Sisters, New York’s Jewish ladies of burlesque. Come dressed in your Purim best for a costume contest. $30 ticket includes admission, snacks and libations. Visit gershmany.org or call 215-545-4400. 401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

Join the Young Friends of NMAJH for a Masquerade Ball (anyone else singing “Masquerade” from Phantom of the Opera?) and a night of revelry, dessert, dancing and drinks in celebration of Purim starting at 7 p.m. Cocktail attire and masks encouraged. Tickets range from $35 to $45. Find more information and register at nmajh.org. 101 S. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia.

Friday, March 10

Join Mishkan Shalom and jkidphilly for a sensory-friendly Purim celebration. All of the fun of Purim in a calm, low-key environment. The carnival will run 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by Shabbat dinner and a short Purim service. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact Gabby Kaplan-Mayer: [email protected] or 215-320-0376. Mishkan Shalom, 4101 Freeland Ave., Philadelphia.

Saturday, March 11

From Motown to Disney, some places are getting into the Purim spirit with themed events.

Here are a few.

Billy Joel fans will be keen on Har Zion Temple’s Purim shpiel this year, “The Music of Billy Joel, the Megillah Man.” Join in at 5:45 p.m. for minha/maariv, followed by a 6:45 p.m. cocktail party including hearty hors d’oeuvres, $10/adult and $5/child ages 12 and younger. The full megillah reading, including the Har Zion Purim Players, begins at 7:45 p.m. and is free of charge. RSVP requested to [email protected] or 610-667-5000. 1500 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley.

Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel will provide libations, celebrations and even a dance party with DJ Aluminum (aka Rabbi Abe Friedman himself) for all ages. Start with family Purim seudah at 6 p.m.; pre-megillah whiskey and wine tasting and Havdalah for young adults and graduate students at 6:30 p.m.; a maariv, Havdalah and megillah reading then Purim party at 7 p.m. Adults are invited upstairs to a post-service dance party with an ice cream bar and open bar. Second graders and older are invited to participate in a special and separate youth activity. Bring a noisy, boxed, nonperishable food item, such as pasta, rice or cereal, to use as your grogger. These items will be donated to a local food bank. 300 S. 18th St., Philadelphia.

Beth Israel Congregation of Chester County will have a Purim celebration open to the community. The Beth Israel Choir Presents: “The Story of Esther,” Motown-style. Come in costume. Snacks, hamantashen and soft drinks will be served. Starts at 6 p.m. for reading of the megillah followed by adult Purim shpiel at 7 p.m. $5 per person donation. RSVP to the office at 610-458-8550. 385 Pottstown Pike, Uwchland.

“Hakuna Megillah,” what a wonderful phrase. Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel’s annual festive Purim celebration begins with a brown bag dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. megillah reading and then “Hakuna Megillah: A Lion King Purim,” this year’s Purim shpiel. Expect a musical retelling with song adaptations (see: “I Just Can’t Wait to be Queen” by Nala/Esther) and choreography with Mufasa (the King), Scar (Haman), Simba (Mordechai) and Zazu. For more information, call 215-887-8700. 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park.

Congregation Rodeph Shalom will hold a Purim celebration at 6 p.m., costumes and masks welcome. Start with light food and spirits followed by entertainment by a traveling magician and activities including assembling gifts for congregants who cannot get to the synagogue easily as well as gifts for those in need (please bring items such as dish soap, toilet paper, bath soap, shampoo, diapers, etc.). Bring an appetizer or dessert to share. BYOB and BrewRS will provide beer. A megillah reading starts at 7 p.m. plus entertainment with selections from “Esther: A Persian Musical,” a parody of Hamilton and the story of Purim. For more information: Catherine Fischer, 215-627-6747, ext. 246 or [email protected] 615 N. Broad St., Philadelphia.

Join Kehilat HaNahar for night of klezmer music and Yiddish dancing featuring Steven Weintraub and a talented band consisting of Steve Rice (accordion), David Licht (drums) and Dena Ressler (clarinet). $10 suggested donation, no one will be turned away. BYOB. 85 W. Mechanic St., New Hope.

Young adults (20s and 30s) and graduate students are invited to join the Chevra for its second annual Premier Purim Masquerade, Party, Concert & Monte Carlo Casino. Live music featuring international rap sensation Kosha Dillz, open bar and cocktails, Monte Carlo casino, casino prize packages, optional megillah reading, black-tie optional with masquerade masks or costumes. Bring a noisy boxed food for your grogger (unbreakable food such as rice, beans or nuts) to be donated to the Mitzvah Food Project and St. Mark’s Food Cupboard. The fun starts at 9 p.m. at the Chevra venue and goes all night. $10 prepaid; $20 at the door. RSVP at chevra.net. 2002 Ludlow St., Philadelphia.

Sunday, March 12

Megillah readings and carnivals abound on Sunday to keep the party going.

Join the BZBI community for a megillah reading in the chapel starting at 8:30 a.m. Please bring a noisy, boxed, nonperishable food item to use as your grogger. They will be donated to a local food bank. 300 S. 18th St., Philadelphia.

Ohev Shalom in Wallingford will hold a carnival from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Costume contest registration at 9 a.m. sharp, contest starts at 9:30 a.m. Carnival starts at 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Plus: a moon bounce, games, arts and crafts and prizes. Snacks will be provided. $8 per child; $20 for three or more children in a family. 2 Chester Road, Wallingford.

Kehilat HaNahar will have an inflatable house, games, attractions and food as part of a Purim carnival from 10 a.m. to noon. 85 W. Mechanic St., New Hope.

Join Har Zion Temple at 10:30 a.m. for a family-friendly megillah reading. The Purim carnival begins at 11:15 a.m. and features a moon bounce, DJ, face painting and more. Come in costume. Open to all children through seventh grade who are accompanied by a parent. $10/child ages 2 and up or $8 with a donation of two cans of food for the Narberth Community Food Bank. For more information, call 610-667-5000. 1500 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley.

The Kehillah of Old York Road will hold a Purim carnival at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. Preschool admission at 11:15 a.m., general admission at noon. Games, food and fun for all ages plus a costume parade and hamantashen eating contest. “All-play” wristbands for ages 2 to 12, $10 if pre-registered, $15 if not. Free for adults. Payable at carnival entrance. Pre-register for eating contest at bit.ly/2k42EXV. 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park.

Experience Purim with B’nai Abraham Chabad at a community Purim celebration. To start the event, at 4 p.m., join a megillah reading for the adults or a juggling show for the kids. Food, drinks, games, live music, costumes and more will follow. Tickets: purimparty5777.eventbrite.com. 527 Lombard St., Philadelphia.

Kaiserman JCC will host a community Purim carnival from noon to 3 p.m. Opens at 11:30 a.m. for sensory free time (no music, fewer people … same fun). Fun inflatables, face painting, Purim games and prizes, music and crafts, costume parade, hamantashen, kosher lunch options from Nana’s Kitchen. $12/child, adults free. Visit phillyjcc.com or call 610-896-7770 for more information. 45 Haverford Road, Wynnewood.

For more, check the community calendar.

Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0740

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