After two years of celebrating Purim under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the “Megilla in the Community” (Megilla B’Kehilla) initiative announced that the program will once again be taking place, with more than 550 in-person events all across Israel.
Now in its 12th year, the program is a joint initiative of Ohr Torah Stone’s Yachad Program for Jewish Identity and the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, and brings volunteers to celebrate Purim in over 200 cities around the country.
Reaching people and communities from a wide variety of backgrounds, the Purim Megilla-reading events for families include explanations about the holiday story and its traditions, as well as Mishloach Manot packages for those in attendance. Taking place in community centers and public parks and geared to people of all ages and levels of familiarity with Jewish traditions and practice, the initiative will also be reaching senior living facilities, fire stations, hospitals, and pre-military academies, among others.
“We’re very excited and thankful to be able to once again celebrate Purim in the same ways as before coronavirus, but we remain as aware as ever that our world has changed and there are still many people living in pain, fear, and sickness,” said Rabbi David Stav, Chair and Founder of Tzohar. “By coming together for these programs we can remind ourselves that one of the most powerful Jewish tools is that of unity and that by celebrating our happy moments together we can strengthen our national prayers for a better year ahead.”
“Perhaps one of the most remarkable things that has emerged in recent weeks from the war in Ukraine is the response of solidarity, compassion, and support of Jews from all walks of life with the refugees fleeing the violence,” said Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone. “Coming together as a community is a powerful Jewish experience that has contributed to our survival over the generations, and we are deeply proud to come together once again for Purim, a holiday built upon that sense of community and solidarity.”