Colorful costumes, creative lyrics and children’s voices filled North Shore Synagogue’s sanctuary on March 17 for the synagogue’s annual Purim Spiel.
This year’s Wizard of Oz theme embraced numerous characters from that story, introducing original lyrics to the melodies from both the memorable movie and the Broadway play Wicked, all cleverly knitted together to relate the inspiring story of Purim and its heroine, Queen Esther.
The scenery in the sanctuary, complementing the performance, was beautifully designed and decorated by the youth group. The ensemble of religious and nursery school children sang out throughout the performance, with lyrics projected on a screen so parents and children alike in the packed audience could sing along.
The Purim story and the related Wizard of Oz-themed Spiel tell how Mordechai’s cousin, the brave and resourceful peasant girl, Esther, who married King Ahasuerus, became queen and saved the Jewish population from certain destruction. Through the powerful and persuasive efforts of Esther, the king rewarded Mordechai and the Jewish people. In doing so, he turned on the king’s evil advisor, Haman.
Following the performance, children and adults alike enjoyed several hours of festive carnival games and activities, which were set up throughout the entire temple. There was an amazing diversity of colorful children’s costumes on parade as they proudly wandered about the temple with their parents. Bounce houses drew the largest crowds but there were also numerous games of skill, where tickets were awarded and prizes were given out.
In addition to hot pretzels, cotton candy and popcorn, members of North Shore Synagogue’s Brotherhood were present to provide plenty of food and beverages. The event continued into the early afternoon, when there were drawings for raffles prizes back in the sanctuary.
The level of participation in North Shore Synagogue’s Purim Spiel and carnival was outstanding across all age groups and the celebratory Purim activities were captured on the many smiling faces and photographs taken by proud parents. For more information about North Shore Synagogue’s religious services and program, please visit www.northshoresynagogue.org.
-Submitted by Scott Fischer of North Shore Synagogue