Purim is a holiday celebrated all around Israel and by many Jews around the world. It is a celebration of how the Jews were saved from being killed by Haman in the old Persian Empire. The holiday is known for celebrations and candies, as well as dressing up in costumes and wearing masks. Despite the fact that Purim is not considered to be one of the main holidays of Judaism or even one of the main celebrations in Israel, it is the biggest traditional event in the HaKfar HaYarok community. Each year the Kfar organizes a week full of activities, parties, and other celebrations in the Purim spirit. This year EMIS decided to join efforts with the Kfar and organize some activities and initiatives of our own.
The celebrations began Friday night, the third of March, during Shabbat dinner, where the 12th graders of the Kfar school performed, opening the week-long celebrations of Purim. The Monday after was our EMIS activity, which was initiated and organized by the students of our school. The activity included a variety of stations, ranging from face painting and mask making stations, to a dark room activity and a Just Dance session outside on the main grass. Each station was run by our students, and open for all EMIS students, as well as the rest of the Kfar students. The event was full of music, happy vibes, and a lot of candies. Both EMIS and the Kfar students enjoyed the event and thought it was a great success. The event was very important, being one of the first steps in building a better connection between EMIS and the rest of the Kfar students. On Tuesday, the Kfar organized an activity outside of the gym. Similar to the EMIS event, it was made of many stations, each presenting a different game or activity for the people to enjoy.
Thursday was the most eventful of the days, being the highlight of the whole week. In EMIS, it already started in the morning, with a Tropical themed day. Students came to classes wearing dresses, shorts, sunglasses, and even started a water fight later in the day. That same day, I got the chance to go with Keren (DP1), Dekel (DP1), and Tamar (Shinshin) to a small hospital in South Tel Aviv to deliver candy packages to kids, as part of a project organized by the Local Engagement committee of the school. The packages were handmade by us and other incredible DP1s the night before. We had more packages than the number of kids that were in the hospital, so we decided to walk around the neighborhood in South Tel Aviv and distribute the candy packages to kids, families, elders, and even construction workers we found on our way. The experience itself was very meaningful and we enjoyed it very much, in addition to the joy the people had when receiving the packages.
Later that evening, after coming back to EMIS, there was the main event of the week – a celebration starting at 5 pm and lasting all the way until 5am the next day. The celebration included a karaoke session, movie marathon, disco party, costume competition, and much more. In addition to all of these activities, the night included three feasts. The first at 7pm, including a variety of meat options, pizza, noodles, sushi, and more; the second at 10:30pm, including all kinds of sweets, candies, and cakes; and the third at 2:30am included another round of sweets.
The event itself ended around 5am, with everyone exhausted from the celebrations and the insane amounts of food.
Overall, the week was a success. Internationals discovering the magic in the holiday of Purim, and Israelis getting to celebrate in a way they never got to experience before. All of the events were filled with joy and happiness, and gave a great feeling to the entire week. It also gave a platform for EMIS students to bond within themselves, in addition to bonding with students from HaKfar HaYarok school, while getting a slight break from our routine and studying.
Written by: Adee Sella