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Jewish holiday Ďpure funí

(Published February 22, 1999)

Members of the Jewish community will celebrate the Purim holiday March 1 with carnivals, costume parties, reading the Old Testament book of Esther and baking triangular cookies called hamentashen.

Linda Posell, director of Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, describes Purim as "pure fun." Jews celebrate Purim to honor Queen Esther of ancient Persia, who in biblical times saved Jews from the Grand Vizier Haman who ordered them killed. As the story of Esther, also called the megillah, is read aloud from the Bible, each time Hamanís name is mentioned, everyone makes as much noise as they can to drown out his name.

The D.C. Jewish Community Center at 1529 16th St. NW is sponsoring several events for Purim.

On Feb. 28 the center will host an all-day Purim celebration for the entire family. From 10 a.m. to noon is a baking session for hamantaschen for the homeless and Misholíah manot, where anyone is welcome to make traditional Purim pastries, gift bags and baskets for area seniors.

At noon, The Laughing Stock Theater Company performs the story of Queen Esther. The company is an acting troupe that creates original productions as a community service activity. Admission is free.

Artist Deborah Farkas leads a mask-making workshop from 1-4p.m. where kids ages 5 and up can make masks to wear to the Megillah reading. The cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members per child. There is $2 off for additional children and itís free for accompanying adults.

Artist Fylis Peckhman leads a batik workshop from 3-4p.m. Batik is an ancient Eastern method of dyeing cloth using a wax resist. The cost is $12. The workshop is recommended for adults and children 8 and up.

In the evening, the center hosts a masquerade party for adults at Felliniís, 1800 M. St. NW. Admission is $10 for DCJCC members and $15 for non-members.

For more information on any of these Purim activities, call (202) 518-9400.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator