Shaloh House Jewish Russian Center in Boston celebrated Purim with a vast variety of Jewish Bostonians on Thursday when Israelis, Americans, and Russians turned out for “Purim in Israel.”
All three floors of the 20,000 square foot structure were filled with Israeli activities. The gymnasium became a noisy, squawking, lively shuk for children. The children were issued real agurot (Israeli coins) and could buy pineapples, bananas, and other fruit as well as squeeze their own orange juice right in “Jaffa.”
Meanwhile, adults and children consumed 60 pounds of barbecued beef and chicken in the form of shishkebab and laffas, 400 hot dogs, 170 pounds of hamentaschen and much more. In addition, Megillah readings were staged and more than 860 shaloch mones packages were distributed at Jewish nursing homes, adult day-care centers, hospitals and Russian businesses throughout greater Boston.
Celebrants at the Purim in Israel festival couldn’t give it enough praise. Adults were treated to an illusionist show, Israeli wine tasting, photos at the “Western Wall,” a laffa bar and Israeli music. Many came in costume. Children had a special carnival and their own illusionist, as well as their own barbecue.
“Five stars!” Shaloh House 5th-grader Benjamin Buchman of Brighton said. “I liked the shuk the best.”
“It was marvelous,” Shaloh House Director Rabbi Dan Rodkin said. “We had Russians, Israelis, Americans, and French, young adults, very elderly and tiny babies, school parents and community members – a real gathering of Klal Yisroel. It was perfect for Purim, which celebrates Jewish unity.”
The evening before, the school hosted “Absolute Purim,” a free Purim celebration open to the community. The evening included a Megillah reading, unlimited L’Chaim’s, live entertainment and a gala masquerade.
Shaloh House is grateful to the Oholei Torah bochurim from New York who made possible these events at the school, and who carried the Purim spirit still farther to pre-schools, businesses and points of interest throughout Greater Boston.