Chag Purim Sameach

We didn’t need a global pandemic to appreciate the joys of Purim, but it has certainly heightened the simcha (happiness) of the day. How good it is to gather, parade, learn, celebrate and laugh together. We are so fortunate here in Australia to be able to enjoy a full Purim, when so many places around the world must celebrate virtually.

Vivid colours greeted the students on their arrival, with the Junior School decorations inspired by Doctor Seuss, while Senior School students were invited to enter the School through a rabbit hole and channel ‘Esther in Wonderland’. Across the School, all students had the opportunity to fulfil the four mitzvot (commandments) of Purim: exchanging mishloach manot (gifts), giving matanot l’evyonim (gifts for the needy), hearing the megillah and enjoying a seudah (feast).

At the ELC and Junior School, students participated in the traditional parade, showcasing creative costumes of all types. Junior School students were led in activities by Year 10 students participating in Hadracha (leadership program), gained insight into the writing of a megillah with a visiting sofer (scribe), baked oznei haman and were entertained in a specially-written show about Purim. Teachers were all dressed in Dr Seuss theme, ranging from Thing 1 to Thing 613!

At the Senior School, members of Hanhagah ran morning and afternoon assemblies that included a creative Purim spiel interspersed with megillah readings, the Year 12 dance, games and a staff-student debate. Laughing yoga, Purim in the Lab and chess tournament were some of the activities. Years 11 & 12 students heard from guest speaker Nyadol Nyuon, whose journey from growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya and arriving in Melbourne aged 18 penniless, to completing her schooling in Melbourne and becoming a highly successful lawyer is nothing short of inspirational. It connected with Purim themes of identity, the vulnerability of minority groups, luck and female leadership.

Sidra Moshinsky
Director of Jewish Life and Learning