Purim at Brawerman

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Almost two years ago to the day, the world was flipped on its head as coronavirus began sweeping the globe. At that moment, as all of us were beginning to understand the full implications of Covid-19, we were also planning our yearly celebration of Purim, a holiday where things are turned upside down. Brawerman East was hosting Brawerman West students and teachers for a fun filled day of Megillah reading, Purim carnival, and spiel. The night before the event, temple and school administrators made the difficult decision to have the West campus stay put. West administrators and parents worked tirelessly through the night and early morning to put together an additional carnival on the West campus. As the day ended on both campuses, a letter went out informing parents that the school would remain closed for the next five weeks. Little did we know that those five weeks were just the beginning of a worldwide pandemic.

Fast forwarding back to the present, our campuses have excelled at educating our students through virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning with so many pivots and iterations that one could say that education itself was turned on its head. With these difficult weeks, months, and years so close in our rearview mirror, Purim, the holiday when the expectation of something bad was replaced by something good, felt like the perfect moment to reset and recalibrate our community around what really matters – our students connecting to joyful Judaism and their community at large.

So with the full support of our Parent Associations, teaching staff, and administration, both campuses again hosted Purim celebrations complete with carnival games, hamantaschen making, mishloach manot assembly and distribution, costume parades, and of course, bookending our program with the reading of the Megillah and the Purim Spiel. Students dressed up as Cookie Monsters, human sized bananas, book and movie characters, and even an unused Covid test.

At the end of the day, students reunited with their parents and proclaimed, “It was the best day EVER!” Maybe this Purim was just what we needed to set ourselves and our community right side up once again.