Jewish Culture Club Hosts a Purim Party

Ava Schnipper

Purim is an annual holiday in the Jewish calendar that reminds us of a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were able to escape persecution by being resilient and staying true to their identities. For these reasons, Purim is a symbol of strength that Jews are inspired in modern-day life. One of the most famous aspects of celebrating Purim is making hamantaschen, which are triangular cookies with filling inside (popular ones are fruit jellies or chocolate chips). The name ‘hamantash’ comes from Haman, the villain of Purim. These cookies symbolize the defeated enemy of the Jewish people.

Purim is often seen as the ‘Jewish Halloween,’ as people are encouraged to dress up because it represents the fact that Esther, the wife of the Persian king, had to hide her Jewish identity from the King. The costumes are also supposed to represent the miracles that were being disguised as natural events in the story. In addition, groggers are hand-held noisemakers that are used when the Megillah (story of Purim) is read. When Haman’s name is read, these noisemakers are used to ‘boo’ Haman.

As for the Jewish Culture Club at the high school, students planned a meeting to make sure that everyone who went got to learn the story of Purim and why we celebrate it in Judaism while also getting to experience a fun part of the holiday. The club prioritizes the balance between Jewish education (specifically in terms of important holidays and values) and creating an environment for Jewish students to interact in an enjoyable light. Stephanie Sensel ’24, a co-president of the Jewish Culture Club, stated that “it is important to continue celebrating this occasion in order to remember the importance of staying true to oneself, as well as the importance of community.” The club started the event by doing a quick presentation about the story and its significance, and then they taught members how to make Hamantaschen.