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|Avenue Shu – A Puppet Purim at BSS|
This year Belsize Square Synagogue celebrated Purim with a cast of characters that could have been in “Avenue Q”, writes Jeanie Horowitz, head of Cheder. The puppets I am referring to were generously donated by a member of our community and transformed Purim on the Saturday evening 28 February, as well as at Cheder on Sunday morning 1 March.
The Purim Family Service began with Havdallah and was followed by the Evening Service and then on to the reading of the Megillah. This year the Megillah was read almost entirely by the girls in the community who have celebrated their Batmitzvahs in the last two years. They were Charlotte Samuelson, Hannah Phillips, Hannah Strauss, Gila Sheldon, Hannah Toeman, Anne Nisbet, Lucy Bergman, Lily Glucksmann Cheslaw, Rosie Solomon and Georgia Turner. They all read beautifully and were trained by Cantor Norman.
After each chapter was read, the puppets told us what had happened in rhyme. The script for the puppet show was written by Gloria Horowitz and Sam Sheldon (Jeanie’s mother and son.) This proved to be an incredibly funny and engaging way to tell the story of Purim. The puppeteers were all members of the community who performed fantastically well.
At Cheder the next morning, the puppets had another outing. As it was Purim, all parents and children were invited to a seudah (a festive meal) and to hear the Megillah again. Each child was asked to bring in a can of food, a pound for tzedakah, and an item to put into Mishloach Manot (gift boxes) which were then delivered to elderly members of our community. This time the puppeteers were children in the Cheder.
It was a brilliant morning and as the food was donated by the PA, there was a request for a donation towards the building fund and £150 was raised. Please join us next year for another fantastic Purim.
Pictures by Richard Bierman