The Flatbush Jewish community in Brooklyn NY is bustling with many Synagogues, Yeshivas, and Kosher restaurants, all catering to what is one of the largest orthodox Ashkenaz and Sefardic enclaves in the world.
Yet despite this prominent orthodox presence, there is still a very large Jewish population, both American and immigrant, which remains unaffiliated with religious life in the area.
A welcoming non judgmental hand is greatly needed by many lonely individuals as well as families, who yearn to celebrate the holidays as Jews.
To cater to this great social, cultural and religious need, Chabad of Kings Highway hosted a large Purim event at the Kings Terrace Ballroom, which attracted hundreds of singles, couples and children.
All guests were personally welcomed, and were greeted by live jewish music played by the Zalmen Nigun band, who also directs the Mamesh Music school in Crown Heights.
The staff on hand then requested that everyone be seated, turn off their cellphones, and focus on the Megillah hearing, which was eloquently read by assisting Bachur Rabbi Shmulie Telsner.
The crowd listend attentively from beginning to end.
After the reading, each guest was then given a bag of refreshments which they were to share with the person sitting next to them, thereby performing the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos.
Everyone was then provided with money so they can place it in a Pushka box, to fulfill the Mitzvah of Matanos L’evyonim.
The crowd was then invited to a hot Seudas Purim meal with Hamantashen and Refreshments.
Their joy of Purim was also enhanced through an entertaining acrobat show, face painter, and arts & crafts.
“To see this many people fulfill all the Mitzvos of Purim, with so much joy and a feeling of Jewish belonging, is a deeply uplifting scene to behold,” says Rabbi Zalmen Drizin, who together with his wife Frumie direct Chabad of Kings Highway, which hosts educational and holiday events for the unaffiliated in the community.
“The inherent desire of these people to observe the holiday properly, despite their day to day level of religious observance, is reminiscent of the story of Purim, when men, women and children preferred to die as Jews, then live as non Jews.”
“Also worthy to mention,” says Rabbi Drizin, “is the events hosted by the various Chabad houses of Flatbush which attracted large crowds, such as Chabad of Flatbush directed by senior Flatbush Shliach Rabbi Zalman Liberov, Maayan Yisroel directed by Rabbi Yosef Vigler, and Beis Menachem Mendel and Baal Shemtov Library, directed by Rabbi Yochanan Marozov and Rabbi Yosef Isaac Muss, who collectively brought a true Purim spirit to so many in the community.