Mar 20 2014
What do Google Glass, a robot, and Purim have in common with one another?
Normally nothing, but this year, they came together in order to create a vibrant and engaging project that enabled a little girl from White Plains, NY to be a part of the communal celebrations.
Hebrew Institute of White Plains is home to around 300 families with many children. Purim is a time that the community comes together and celebrates. We host a carnival, a children’s megillah reading, a beautiful night time megillah reading where adults and children pack our main sanctuary to the brim all decked out in costumes.
Unfortunately this year, one of the children in our community was unable to attend as she is undergoing treatment for cancer. She is a bubbly, bright, fun and outgoing child, who unfortunately has been unable to join us at Sabbath services, and was unable to join us for Purim celebrations. Her family would like to remain anonymous during this trying time, so for continuity of this article she will be called Amy. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 14 2014
Purim is double trouble this year since it is conjoined with Shabbat (triple the fun if you plan to attend a St. Patty’s Day parade on Monday). But don’t get carried away and forget to snap some photos of your little ones in their Purim costumes!
Send your Queen Esthers, Princess Elsas, and Spongebobs our way via email (email@example.com) or post them on our Facebook page so that the kvelling can commence.
All submissions will be featured in a slideshow on the blog on Monday.
Happy Purim y’all!
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Mar 13 2014
Like many little girls, my daughter went through a Princess phase. I never had a problem with it. Frankly, I’m thrilled my youngest child has somehow managed to pick up a knack for those feminine graces which I incontrovertibly lack. She was Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” a couple of years running for both Purim and Halloween. That lasted up until she watched “Fiddler on the Roof” and, 15 minutes before the start of Halloween 2012, decided she now wanted to be one of Tevya’s daughters, instead.
I was OK with that, too, even when she stressed that she wanted to be “the daughter that got married and had a baby,” not the one “who read too many books.”
This Purim, my first-grader has a new passion. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 12 2014
I’m a fan of Purim. Yes, I love the costumes, the hamantaschen (chocolate filled, not fruit), and the general revelry that’s vastly different in atmosphere from other holidays. What I surprisingly like most about Purim, however, is the way it forces me to think about the spark of the Divine in my life, or I guess you could call it a higher power.
Okay, I’ll just say it without any euphemisms. Purim makes me think and even talk about God, which is a strange sentence for me to type. For all the writing I do about Jewish topics, I don’t use the G-word very much at all. When I try, it feels forced and unnatural, which is true when I’m in conversations offline as well.
Although I grew up with a strong cultural Jewish identity surrounded by tons of Jewish friends, nobody I knew in my family or in my social circles ran around dropping the G-word. In contrast, I hear my Orthodox friends say “Hashem” with so much ease and frequency that I never know what to say in return. It’s a conversation stopper to say the least. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 11 2014
My husband and I have been in our house for almost seven years now. After moving houses (all on the island, which has a dearth of year-round rentals) a total of seven times in our first two years here and resisting the accumulation of a whole lot of stuff (besides the necessities, including a complete menagerie of musical instruments), we’ve been able to relax, spread out and acquire.
We sort through things annually and donate to Goodwill or bring things to our town transfer station, which functions as an on-going free swap meet as well as a dump and recycling station. My husband, who genuinely fears and dreads clutter, will suddenly cave to impulses requiring him to get rid of a lot of mugs at once. But still, the stuff has piled up, in the basement and especially in the office/guest room that will become the baby’s room.
Suddenly, we had to make room for a whole other human being in our house. And she comes with her own stuff. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 6 2014
This winter was rough. There is nothing like a Polar Vortex that can undermine a lifetime of painstakingly implemented household rules and limitations. That tight ship you run has long been sunk by a tidal wave of television shows. Well, since Purim is around the corner (March 15th, to be exact), why not make the most out of your child’s newfound obsession with “Dora,” “Wonderpets,” or whatever infuriating cartoon your kids are into these days.
Here are some costume ideas inspired by your child’s favorite–and your most reviled–T.V. shows of all time. The more annoying the character, the more kids have a tendency to love them to pieces, so these guys are sure to be a hit:
1. My Little Pony.
This is the perfect choice for little girls who love to get glammed up. There are so many ways to do “My Little Pony.” Think: glitter, fake lashes ($6.99), pink hair extensions ($9.99), and make-up. Star Song ($29.99), Pinkie Pie ($29.27), Rainbow Dash ($26.79)–take your pick. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 11 2013
Last year, I wrote about my first Purim in the United States, when I was convinced that only a store-bought costume could make me a true American.
My native-born oldest son, on the other hand, has no such hang-ups. To him, Purim (and Halloween) are the two greatest days on the calendar, as they allow him to get creative and design and construct his own costumes. (The rest of the year, he has to settle for merely dressing–and criticizing–me. When I was getting ready to attend a function at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my then 11-year-old looked the outfit I’d selected up and down, and dismissed, “Too loud for Carnegie Hill.”)
He’s been playing Edith Head since he was about 6 years old, all on his own, with no help from me. Which is how I can say with confidence that the following are, as they say, kid-tested/mother-approved Do-It-Yourself Costumes Easy Enough For a Child To Make (because they actually were): Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 7 2013
Yes, that’s a young Mayim BIalik all dressed up for Purim.
We really love any excuse to show off this photo of young Mayim sporting a homemade kimono for Purim. If you’re looking for some fun DIY ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, take a look at Mayim’s 6 tips for making your own outfits at home. Also, she reveals some of her own childhood costumes which included a gypsy, a 1950′s “Greaser” (more than once), and ballet recital costumes. And then there was the year she simply went in her Brownie uniform. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Read on…
Feb 4 2013
Let’s not beat around the bush: Purim is the craziest Jewish holiday of the year. There’s carnivals and parades, cookies and noisemakers, religion-sanctioned drunkenness, and of course, the costumes.
Many consider Purim to be the Jewish Halloween, and your kids certainly won’t mind getting into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up as whatever they want! Purim comes early this year, starting at sundown on Saturday, February 23rd, so if you don’t already have a costume in place, now’s the time to start looking. The internet’s cup runneth over with all kinds of costumes, but we’ve searched through the endless choices and found our favorites just for you. From cutesy to Jewishy to just plain weird, here they are. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 11 2013
A couple of years ago, I received a telephone call at work from my then-7-year-old. Who, by the way, I didn’t even know could use a phone. Bad mommy, I know.
Lilly: Mama, can I be in the multi-cultural fashion show?
Me: Is it tomorrow?
Lilly (laughing): Of course it’s not tomorrow.
Me: Then this conversation can wait until tomorrow. Anyway, why would you be in a multi-cultural fashion show?
Lilly (eyes audibly rolling): I am Jewish, you know.
[Sidenote: the audible eye-rolling at 7 ought to have been a clue that she's going to give us a run for our money.] Read the rest of this entry →