Jewish communities around the world are making final preparations Friday for the holiday of Purim, which will begin on Saturday night after the Sabbath. Planned events include parties, communal meals, and parades. INN brings you a sampling:
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Jewish community is planning public festivities. “The famous Brazilian carnival just ended, so we at Bnei Akiva Rio will try and show the Jewish community what the real happiness of Judaism is,” explained World Bnei Akiva emissary Baruch Avivi.
In North Miami Beach, members of one synagogue have decided to coordinate their costumes. Young Israel attendees will all dress as members of a wedding party.
In Milan, Italy, youth groups are teaming up to create a Purim movie. Each chapter has produced a short film illustrating one chapter from the Book of Esther, which is read during the holiday.
Communities are also preparing their “mishloach manot,” the giving of prepared food items that is a traditional part of the holiday. The Jewish community of Amsterdam will continue an annual project raising money for IDF soldiers without families in Israel, while in Britain, Bnei Akiva wll sell Purim cards to raise money for Haiti.
A Jewish caterer in Seattle, Washington, plans to help Haiti as well, with an initiative dubbed “Hamentaschen for Haiti.” Hamentaschen are the three cornered filled pastries eaten on the holiday. The caterer, Leah Jaffee, will sell traditional holiday cookies and give the proceeds to Haiti relief efforts.
Emissaries of the Chabad chassidic group in America are making special efforts to include that no Jew is left out of the celebrations. In Detroit, Chabad emissaries have created a hotline where people can call to request a personal reading of the megillah (Book of Esther), while in Texas, Rabbi Moshe Traxler is planning megillah readings in several prisons and in facilities for people with special needs.