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All About Purim 5778 / 2018

Purim banner with megilat Esther, kiddush cup, hamentashen and groger.

Purim is an exciting time at FTJC. We celebrate with feasts, fun, retelling and listening to the story of Mordechai, Esther, Vashti, Achashverosh, and the wicked Haman. This year as always we have a jam-packed schedule of programs.

All events (unless otherwise noted) take place in the Social Hall at our rental home in the Hebrew Tabernacle, 551 Fort Washington Ave., please enter on Fort Washington Ave. near W. 185th St.


Purim Night!

Evening Megillah Reading and Purimspiel
Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall
Our community Megillah reading will be like no other, with fantastic leyning and hilarity, sure to be a delight! Come in costume. Children are very welcome to join in the fun and stamp out the name of…

5:30 PM -- Children's Program (see below)
6:30 PM – Ma’ariv service with Megillah reading
8:00 PM – Light break-fast buffet, sponsored by the Griff/Gaebler and Griff/Sleven Family in memory of their beloved father, Harris Morton Griff.
8:30 PM – Purimspiel for adults — BYOW (bring your own whatever!)

Purim Morning

Morning Megillah Reading with Shacharit prayers
Thursday, March 1, 7:00-8:30 AM

Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall

Another glorious reading of the Megillah by light of day. Families and children are welcome as always. We begin at 7:00 AM sharp for a quick Shacharit (morning prayers). Come by 8:30 AM to hear the Megillah, scream and shout.


For Families with Children:
Rimonim: A Jewish Learning Community at FTJC:


Zera’im, Nitzanim & Shorashim Pre-Purim Event for (0-5th+ adult)
Wednesday, February 28, 5:30 pm
in the HT Social Hall
Come join Rimonim for some costume, craft, and trivia fun (plus food!). This event will occur before the Megillah reading, which starts with ma'ativ at 6:30.
The schedule is: craft/trivia from 5:30-5:45; dairy dinner from 5:45-6:10; musical costume parade at 6:15

Nitzanim Sprouting Mitzvot (PreK-2nd + adult)
Saturday, February 24, 4 pm RSVP for location
We will be focusing on the story and themes of the upcoming holiday of Purim, including maintaining a Jewish identity when it isn’t always easy. We will explore ideas about being different, standing up for our identity, and how it all relates to Purim! During the children’s program, there will also be parallel parent learning, so please stay! Please RSVP for location

Shorashim Limmud U'Maaseh (3rd-5th)
Sunday, February 25, 2 pm 
RSVP for location
This month, Shorashim will prepare for Purim with a hamentaschen bake-off! Prepare your best recipes, chock full of secret ingredients to WOW the judges and your friends! Please join us as we start this season of sweet pastries together! We will have an optional trip to deliver hamentashen and visit with the family seeking refuge at Holyroot Church at the end of the program. Please RSVP for location. 

YM & YWHA of Washington Heights-Inwood Post-Purim Carnival
Sunday, March 11 from 12:00-3:00 pm
 54 Nagle Avenue
The Purim Carnival is the Y's premier annual event and this year's is going to be one for the books! All are welcome, so dress up, bring the entire family, and be ready for a fun-filled day at the best Purim event in town! FTJC will be running a fun booth, so come say "hi!" -- This event has sold out in years past, so we recommend buying tickets online in advance!  The Carnival will include a relief supply drive for Puerto Rico -- stay tuned for details on how to contribute.


Getting Ready for Purim...

Shabbat Zachor
Saturday Morning, February 24

Hebrew Tabernacle Social Hall
9:00 AM — Shabbat Services with special maftir reading, the reminder to “wipe out the memory of Amalek”.
11:30 AM — The reading of the maftir will be repeated at the end of services for those who missed it.

Mishloach Manot (Sending Gifts of Food)
FTJC has set up an easy way for you to send mishloach manot (gifts of food that are sent to family and friends) while supporting your synagogue at the same time. Deadline to sign up is Sunday, February 25th. Packages will be distributed at our Purim celebrations on Wednesday night, February 28 7:00-9:30 PM. Click here for to sign up and for an important halachic note.

Matanot l’Evyonim (Gifts for the Poor)
Bring a cash contribution when you arrive for evening or morning megillah readings! FTJC is collecting donations for matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor), which is also a mitzvah for Purim. Or just make a donation online and mark it "Purim Gifts for the Poor". We will be distributing the funds to the Jewish Community Council of Washington Heights-InwoodEzras TorahAmerican Jewish World Service, and Mazon. It’s also a wonderful practice to carry change or small bills on Purim, so that you can give freely to anyone who asks for money on the street.

Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther)
Wednesday, February 28

Begins at dawn, 5:10 AM, and ends at nightfall, 6:27 PM. Fast like the Jewish people depend on it —remember Ta’anit Esther, honoring Esther’s dangerous flirtation with doom (Esther 4:16). Those who are pregnant, nursing, or unwell are exempt. Minors are also exempt but older children can learn to participate in some partial way if they’re able.

Giving the Machatzit Ha-Shekel (Tzedakah)
Wednesday, February 28

A pre-Purim custom is to give a small amount (about $1.50) to tzedakah or to a Jewish institution, for every adult member of the household. Based on Exodus 30:11-16, this radically egalitarian custom (“the rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less”) recalls the half-shekel given in ancient times “to make atonement for their souls” — and has been adapted for Purim, perhaps acknowledging the massacre of our enemies in Esther 9:15-16?  The custom is to give during the daytime of the Fast of Esther.

Volunteer Opportunities with the Jewish Community Council of Washington Heights-Inwood

1) Mishloach Manot for seniors: Make a ready-prepared mishloach manot food package, which will be given to a senior on Purim (drop it off at the JCC office or Mt Sinai lobby before Purim)

2) Volunteer on Purim Day: Volunteers are needed to help distribute tzedakah (matanot l’evyonim), and to visit seniors. Meet at the JCC office (121 Bennett Ave, 11A) between 10 – 10:30 AM.

Sun, June 17 2018 4 Tammuz 5778