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Purim parties in NYC: Here’s where to celebrate this joyous Jewish holiday



(New York Jewish Week) – The festive Jewish holiday of Purim begins this year on the evening of Monday, March 6. A marker of Jewish pride and survival, the day celebrates the triumph of Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people of Shushan in Persia from Haman by advocating for them to her husband, King Achashverosh.

In honor of the day, Jewish communities around the world will read the megillah, or Scroll of Esther; eat triangle-shaped hamantaschen cookies or sticky debla, make noise with graggers, give mishloach manot (care packages) to friends and family, perform satiric “spiels” and dress up in costumes for synagogue and parties. 

Keep reading for the New York Jewish Week’s round-up of how to have the best holiday possible, including dancing, hearing a megillah reading, heading to a comedy show or engaging in a deep dive of the history of the holiday. Our list includes virtual and free events as well as in-person parties. 

Flamingggtaschen: A Queer Jewish Purim Party 

Join “Flaminggg,” a Queer Jewish nightlife experience, for their second-ever Purim party at 3 Dollar Bill in East Williamsburg (270 Meserole St.) on Saturday, March 4. The event, which runs from 9 p.m. on Saturday to 4 a.m. on Sunday, is aimed towards queer Jews and will include a Purim spiel, drag performances, DJs and dancing. Tickets from $30. More information here

Family Purim Concert 

For young families, get in the spirit of Purim at 92NY’s Family Purim Concert hosted by Rebecca Schoffer, the 92NY’s director of Jewish family engagement. Schoffer will be joined by a live band for a musical retelling of the Purim story on Sunday, March 5  at 10 a.m. Afterwards, schmooze and nosh on hamantaschen. Tickets from $36. More information here. 

Mordechai the Villain: The Shocking Story Behind Drinking on Purim

Join our partner site My Jewish Learning and Rabbi Ayalon Eliach to talk about why drinking on Purim has become part of the tradition of the holiday. “This class will offer an accessible behind-the-scenes tour of the origins of the custom to drink alcohol on Purim,” according to the listing. “It will challenge assumptions about good and evil, what Purim is all about, and what it means to be Jewish.” The free lecture will take place on Zoom at 12:00 p.m. on March 6. Register here. 

The History of the Purim Spiel with Motl Didner and The Workers Circle

The Purim spiel, which retells the Purim story and can be performed as a comedy, political commentary or act of celebration (or all three!) is a major part of the holiday’s festivities. Join The Workers Circle on Monday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m. to learn about the history of the Purim spiel as “the earliest form of Yiddish theater.” The Yiddish and English Zoom event is free and will feature “videos, photographs, and artistic representations from the Renaissance through the present day,” according to their website. Register here. 

Purim on Park with The Altneu

Join the new-ish Altneu congregation in support of United Hatzalah at this banquet, concert and megillah reading. The party, which will take place at 583 Park Avenue, includes performances by singer Shulem Lemmer and rapper Nissim Black and feature food by Mark David Catering. Mincha (afternoon prayers) begins at 5:30 p.m., with a megillah reading at 6:30 p.m. on March 6. Tickets are complimentary for Altneu members and start at $180 for non-members. Find more information here

Purim Around the World with Kehillat Ashreynu

Join Kehillat Ashreynu in Astoria, Queens for “a polyglot Purim story.” Co-sponsored by the Jewish Languages Project, the event will feature portions of the megillah read in Spanish, Russian, Ladino and more — as well as a celebration of languages, art, history and music of Jewish communities around the world. A happy hour at Madame Marie’s (35-15 Broadway) will begin at 6 p.m. preceding the free megillah reading — also available livestreamed —  at 7 p.m. Afterwards, stay for a party at Grove 34 (31-83 34th St). Party tickets from $18. RSVP is required. Find more information here.

Purim 7: From the Crown Down with Lab/Shul

Lab/Shul, the experimental, “God-optional” and artist-driven congregation, hosts a Purim party this year at Bushwick’s House of Yes (2 Wycoff Ave.). Described as “a Prophetic, Phantasmagorical, Post-Patriarchal, Purim Performance Party,” the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. on March 6 with a ritual theater experience and performance that will retell the Purim story through ancient and modern myths. A dance party will follow at 10 p.m. Tickets from $55. Find more information here

The Vashti Ball with JQY

The costume contest at JQY’s Vashti Ball in 2022. (Santiago Felipe)

After selling out last year, Jewish Queer Youth is bringing back The Vashti Ball this year at HK Hall (605 West 48th St.) which can accommodate up to 1000 attendees. Starting at 6:30 p.m. on March 6, the event is open to all ages and will include a “Drag Queen Story Hour” for the megillah reading, a kosher Persian feast, drag performances, disco dancing, a full bar for 21+ and a costume contest with the opportunity to win tickets to “Six: The Musical.” Megillah reading is free; tickets for the party start at $18. Find more information here.

A Purim Comedy Show at 92NY

For those who just want to laugh, popular Jewish comedians Matthew Broussard, Pamela Rae Schuller and Elon Altman will join emcee Michelle Slonim for a stand-up comedy show at 92NY on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $36 and the venue has a cash bar. Get tickets here

Megillah and Party at Temple Emanu-El

On March 6 at 7:30 p.m, Temple Emanu-El will host a megillah reading and Purim party including a live performance from The Maccabeats, a hamantaschen bar with The Nosher’s Shannon Sarna and a DJ set by Ann Streichman. The Purim story will be read from what Emanu-El claims is “the Guiness World record for the longest Megillah.” The megillah reading can be livestreamed for free. Tickets for the party, including food and cocktails, start at $45. Find more information here.  

Nightlife events with J-Vibe

Maybe you just want to use the holiday as an excuse to hit the club. That’s your prerogative! Luckily, J-Vibe has got your back. Throughout the week, the Jewish nightlife events company is hosting and co-hosting Purim parties at clubs in the city, from “Purim in a Dream” at Blue Midtown (220 West 44th St.) on Saturday night to “Purim in Color” at Nebula (135 West 41st St.) on Thursday, March 9. Tickets generally start at $18. Check out the options here.

The post Purim parties in NYC: Here’s where to celebrate this joyous Jewish holiday appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.

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Local News

Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary



By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”

Raquel Dancho (left), Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St.Paul, and Nikki Spigelman, President, Gwen Secter Centre

Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)

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Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station



This is a developing story.

(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.

An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.

Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.

The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.

The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to  transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.

Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.

The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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