Mar 8, 2018
Purim in the Nation's Capital

Thousands participate in a series of celebrations in Washington, DC. Megillah read 36 times in White House, US Capitol and on campus.

An unprecedented number of men and women from across the Jewish community participated in a variety of Purim programs and events throughout the nation's capital - including the White House, US Capitol, Israeli Embassy campuses, organizations, and of course, the elegant Chabad-Lubavitch Center in Washington's Embassy Row / Kalorama, led by shluchim Rabbi Levi and Nechama Shemtov.

Over 800 young professionals and students, many in costume, made their way through the night to "The Great Washington, DC Purim Party" on Wednesday to hear the megillah read (multiple times), where they enjoyed a huge sushi bar, premium l'chaim lineup, and thousands of hamantaschen. The event was produced and coordinated by a stellar team, led by Rabbi Menachem Shemtov.

On Thursday, after an early packed service at the TheSHUL of the Nation's Capital at The Chabad Lubavitch Center - Washington, DC, which offered multiple megillah readings throughout the day, four teams of bochurim from Baltimore, MD (headed by shliach Avrohom Drizin) and Brooklyn, NY, fanned out across the city for what would amount to 36 (!) readings of the megillah over the course of Purim.

The White House Purim celebration held in the elegant "Secretary of War Suite" drew an unprecedented participation of over 50 WH staff and senior officials. Dozens of Congressional (House and Senate) staff from both parties attended the reading of the megillah in an ornate room at the US Capitol and hundreds joined Purim celebrations serving students at the campuses of The American, George Washington and Georgetown University campuses and Law Schools.

Rabbi Shua and Esti Hecht, Shluchim at the American University, hosted the largest Washington, DC, Purim seudah, also offering "megillah readings on the hour". Megillah reading were also held at The Georgetown University National Law Center and The George Washington University, co-hosted by Hillel and the Jewish Law Students Association, respectively.

Despite Purim being only two days before the beginning of its annual Policy Conference which drew 18,000 participants this year, AIPAC held a megillah reading at its headquarters. And though the Prime Minister of Israel was imminently arriving, with all the myriad of arrangements to be made, a large crowd of diplomats and staff packed into the Jerusalem Hall at the Embassy of Israel to hear the megillah and celebrate Purim.

The next day, close to 200 students from more than 40 campuses signed up for the InterCollegiate Shabbaton, offering students in town for the Policy Conference a warm place for Shabbos. Despite severe weather conditions complicating travel up and down the East Coast, nearly all who reserved were able to make it somehow, and experience what they have become accustomed to back home.

A number of shluchim in town to participate in the Policy Conference helped hundreds of Jews from across the US fulfill the mitzvah of tefillin. In short, over this past week the capital city was truly tzahalah vesamecha, rejoicing and celebrating.

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Opinions and Comments
You are aamazing!
Such a kidush HaShem! As usual! Keep up your great work!
(3/8/2018 10:40:53 PM)
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