For 20 years, the Congregation Beth Shalom preschool has hosted a fun and educational experience for its preschoolers, teaching them hands-on lessons about Purim.
The Jewish holiday celebrates the defeat of Haman’s plot to kill all of the Jewish people in ancient times, as was recorded in the book of Esther, according to Carol Bloom, who is director of the congregation’s preschool.
The preschool uses the holiday to teach about the history of Purim, as well as basic lessons around colors and numbers, Bloom said, while walking through several rooms full of children in costume, which is also part of the celebration of the holiday.
The morning’s activities came before an evening gathering Wednesday for the entire congregation in which the Megillah containing the story is read. Congregants are encouraged to stomp and boo when Haman’s name is mentioned, and triangle-shaped hamentashen cookies are enjoyed, as well. Haman was known for wearing a triangular hat, said Bloom, who was dressed as Maleficent for the event Wednesday morning, in the spirit of the holiday.
The students enjoyed “making cookies” with “Queen Esther’s magic oven,” Bloom said, whereby the children colored in a picture of hamentashen and then when they placed it in the “oven,” a chocolate or strawberry hamentashen came out. The children were shown how to make hamentashen on Tuesday, Bloom added.
They also played outside, sang songs with Wendy Hersh, who regularly entertains the children, and jumped around in an bounce castle outside on the lawn.