Beth Israel hosts awesome Purim extravaganza

Purim is a holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people from anti-Semitism in ancient Persia.  Today, the events and morals of the Purim story resonate amongst Jewish people throughout the world.  We have heroes and heroines who stand up every day to ensure our existence.  After 2000 years, being Jewish remains synonymous with unwavering courage, confidence, heart, and faith.  That is why we must celebrate Purim every year.  That is why each year our goal should be to engage more members and continue to unify our community through Purim celebrations.

The Wizard of Aussie Rabbi Daniel friedman and family enjoy the Wizard of Oz inspired Purim event at Beth Israel.

The Wizard of Aussie Rabbi Daniel Friedman and family enjoy the Wizard of Oz inspired Purim event at Beth Israel.

To me, Purim is one of the most important holidays in our calendar because of what it stands for, the emotion it creates, and, most of all, its attraction to Jews of all backgrounds.  Purim events have the largest attendance of any annual Jewish event in Edmonton, drawing out nearly 1,000 community members this year.  It is a holiday of feasting and gladness, comedy and libations, spiels and spectacles, costumes and giving.

Inspired by the virtues of Intelligence, Heart, Courage, and Home – this Purim the Beth Israel was transformed into the Land of Oz.  From elaborate decor, a Kansas country meal, and an “all-star” production cast featuring the Talmud Torah Choir, no detail was left to the imagination.  You can view the play at

What was once a one day event has now turned into almost a year long process, starting around the High Holidays and nearly consuming committee members’ days and nights for weeks before.  Not to mention some 85 plus volunteers helping make decorations; set-up and take down; participating in the production; making food; serving and cleaning; making and delivering Mishlot Manot baskets, and more!

Thank you, Toda Raba, Yasher Koach to everyone who helped and attended the Land of Oz Purim.  We could not have accomplished the vision without each of you.  Special thanks to the unwavering and carpe diem support of Rabbi Friedman, Beth Israel staff, and BI congregants, who inspired the creativity and passion of the committee and volunteers.

People can only say, “It was so Ozerific!  What are you doing next year?”

Well, the bar is set high, so I’ll answer a question with a question: “how will you help us reach it Purim 2016?”  Contact Christina Tsipora Reboh with ideas or to get involved,

We extend a hearty thank you to the 2015 Beth Israel Purim sponsors.

By Tsipora Riboh