Socially distanced families gathered in Newhall Park on Friday to celebrate Purim, the Jewish holiday that marks the liberation of the Israelites from Persian rule.
“Over the last year, we’ve had a few of our holiday programs here at the park,” said Rabbi Choni Marozov. “When we celebrated Purim last year, the lockdown happened a few days after.”
The celebration of Purim, according to Marozov, is a time to commemorate when the Jews came together to pray that they would be saved from a Persian royal advisor named Hamman who was trying to kill the Jews.
The Israelites were eventually saved when the king married Esther, a Jewish woman, who then convinced the king to save her people.
At the celebration of Purim at Newhall Park there was dancing, music and crafts for children — some dressed in costume — while a live reading took place.
After the reading, Marozov read the story of the Jews being saved with kids holding up mittens of their character from the story, which was followed by a raffle and prize for the children.
Although donned in masks and socially distanced, families were free to socialize with one another and enjoy the rest of the celebration at the park.
“We try to make it fun for the children and families so they can enjoy it and remember it and internalize it,” said Marozov.
Much of their events and celebrations have looked different this past year due to Covid-19, including Purim.
“I think it’s even more important to celebrate it in the time of Covid, Purim represents the fact that we come together,” said Marozov. “The miracle really occurred after the Jews came together and prayed and helped each other out, and it’s extremely important to come together now during Covid whether it’s in person or online and I’ve seen that clearly.”