Purim

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Purim (Hebrew: פורים, "lots") is one of the funnest Jewish holidays -- for those in the know. It's also the perfect holiday for college students - dressing up, getting drunk, parties, and revelry. And especially in light of Haman's attempt to destroy all Jews, on Purim we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by all celebrating together.

[edit] H2H Purim Seudah

Well, it's not so different than a H2H Shabbat dinner, but it could be even better:

  1. Especially for college students, many of whom are part of the whole drinking culture - this could be a good connection to Judaism. And to show that being/doing Jewish isn't always boring/fasting, but could also include fun, partying, and yes- drinking.
    1. note: underage drinking is illegal and should not be promoted or condoned. There are usually exceptions to local laws due to religious exceptions, but the extent of those exceptions are limited.
  2. You can take and post pictures! You can play music! You can text people who are coming or need directions, etc.
  3. The meaning of Purim - it's all about "lech k'nos kol hayehudim" - "go and gather all of the Jews".
  4. even quasi-regulars don't do Purim. H2H not just about totally unaffiliated, but really everyone. And ourselves.

How to run it:

  • Single gender? Separate from or incorporated into reular Orthodox seudah?
  • Size- little bigger to fit energy (but make sure it doesn't turn into a "frat meal")
  • Team of cohosts, targeted invites
  • Make/buy hamentaschen
    • (Can give those out on campus to advertise, or just for fun)
  • Cater food? Wine?
    • $ - ask regulars to chip in like everyone else, maybe ask new people to chip in, H2H can cover rest ($10/person)
    • You can fill out a regular H2H meal form, and be in touch with Hart
  • Go around give divrei Torah/inspirations, sing songs; you'll have to make sure it doesn't get too rowdy

An additional option: for the 2 months leading up to Purim, have partnered learning and then have a siyum at the Purim Seudah (students did this once and students said it was the "most meaningful experience of my life")

[edit] Mishloach Manot-giving / Purim Caroling

One of the customs/commandments of the holiday is giving gifts of food (at least two kinds of ready-to-eat foods) to friends. Of course give to your friends and the other religious kids who are celebrating Purim - but what about the other 80% of Jews? Why not let them in on this most awesome of Jewish holidays? And who wouldn't appreciate a seemingly random gift of food, given with a loving heart? No better way to spread the holiday joy :)

Here's how to do it:

  • Make a list of Jewish students you know (from classes, from your hall, etc.) who aren't so Jewishly involved
  • Find out where they live, or where you'll run into them
  • Assemble simple packages, with some food items, and a brief message - about Purim, about the reasons for gift-giving, and perhaps relevant info on local Purim celebrations
  • (Optional) Dress-up!
  • Go around giving out your mishloach manot
    • Have extras for the random people, roommates, interested non-Jews, et al. whom you run into
    • Maybe go through the halls and try and *find* random Jewish people who might appreciate it :)
  • Don't just give the package and run; talk to them, get some feedback, answer their questions, nosh on the food with them, listen to them, etc.

For funding, just fill out this form or be in touch with Hart

Also, here's a list of educational resources about Purim.

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