Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Celebrate Purim Holiday With Tradition And Humorous Parody - Perform Hamanton: A Purim Musical

Janet Falk reports on the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation's (RIJC) Purim Celebration. According to Ms. Falk:

Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation Presented Hamanton: A Purim Musical

Purim, a joyous and comedic holiday celebration, filled with fun and parody based on the Biblical story of Esther, was celebrated by the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation (RIJC) on Saturday night, March 11 with more than 50 people participating in a full evening of activities for all ages.

Rabbi Leana Moritt, dressed as the Esther Bunny, led the worship service.

Image From Judy Berdy

It included the reading of the megillah or traditional scroll, which recounts the story of the holiday, marking the survival of the Jewish people at a time of a threatened massacre. Assisted by Gad Levanon, Anna Levenstein, Michal Melamed and Rachel Rekhter,

Image From Judy Berdy

her reading was interrupted by children and adults wielding groggers to blot out the recitation of the name of the man who purportedly attempted to destroy the Jews. With humor and parody, the congregation joined in singing prayers and songs to popular music and show tunes.

Later, a Purimschpiel, or play based on this narrative, was performed. Written by Mickey Rindler and directed by Janet Falk, Hamanton: A Purim Musical

Image From Mickey Rindler

drew inspiration from the musical sensation Hamilton; the entire script was in rap. It also wove aspects of the current political scene into the familiar tale and featured King Trumpasuerus (Tsoni Peled), Haman (Mickey Rindler), Mordechai (Rich Wagreich) and Queen Esther (Emily Kalb). The cast members included some children of the RIJC Hebrew School.

Image From Judy Berdy

The audience joined in singing new lyrics to the Hamilton tunes of (Not Throw Away) My Shot and You’ll Be Back. The Purimschpiel's broad humor and political-themed puns, plus references to Roosevelt Island affairs, drew laughter, groans and cheers from the audience, who applauded enthusiastically.

Judy Berdy and The RIJC maintained the long-standing tradition of making shaloch manos gift bags for the residents and patients of Coler Medical & Rehabilitation Hospital. Congregation donations of socks, gloves, hats, toiletries, writing materials and other small items will be distributed to them by Rabbi Alcabes.

The evening concluded with refreshments and delicious hamiltaschen or Hamantaschen , a triangular holiday fruit pastry treat, baked by the Levanon-Seligson family, which has become an annual tradition.

For more information about the Roosevelt Island Jewish Congregation, which is the oldest, active egalitarian congregation on the Island, please visit www.rijc.org or call RIJC President Nina Lublin 212-688-0003. The next Shabbat worship service is Friday, March 24 at the Cultural Center, 548 Main Street, and will honor long-time member Ethel Romm.