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Celebrating Purim with Shalom Sesame: Costumes

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In addition to reading the Book of Esther and baking hamantaschen, costumes, merrymaking, carnivals, parades, and Purim spiels (humorous skits) are all part of the joyous tradition of Purim.

Together with your children, watch the Shalom Sesame videos below to learn about these traditional Purim celebrations.  Then try some of the discussion ideas and activities below recommended by Reform Jewish educators to further extend the lessons learned in the videos. If you wish, share your experiences and ideas in the comments section!



No rain on this parade! It's no mystery why kids get excited about Purim. After all, it's the one Jewish holiday where you get to dress up as whatever you want! On Purim we are remembering a time when the Jewish people overcame a great hardship, so it's marked by a big celebration filled with fun costumes, loud noisemakers, and delicious cookies. Watch the video below about how one Israeli boy celebrates the holiday by going to a festive parade with his family. Encourage your kids to get into the festive mood by thinking about what makes them happy, and ways they can make others happy, too.



Send in the clowns. Who doesn't like to dress up and make some friends and family giggle? One of the wonderful things about Purim is that it is a mitzvah to be joyful. Put on a silly fashion show with your kids, having them only use certain materials (recycled newspapers, parent's clothing, mismatched outfits). If you want to really get the creative juices flowing, ask them to dress up like other family members and try to guess who is who. It will bring out the goofy fashion designer in everyone!

Together with your child, read The Purim Costume  by Penninah Schram. In this warmly told contemporary tale, the complete story of Purim is framed by the experience of a modern-day child. Rebecca is tired of always dressing up as Queen Esther. Her mother suggests many options, but non appeal to Rebecca. Finally, her mother suggests Vashti. As Rebecca considers this unusual option and listens to the story of Purim at the spiel, she comes to realize just how important Vashti was.



Eli’s Purim
An Israeli boy dresses up like an elephant and goes out to celebrate Purim…

Be Happy, It’s Purim!
Anneliese learns how Purim is celebrated and agrees to host the annual Rechov Sumsum Purim show.

Purim Street Parade
The streets of Israel are flooded with celebration and color when Purim comes. Everyone comes out to join in the cheer and now you can participate, too, by watching this great clip!

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