Chag Purim Sameach!

(Happy Purim!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

In honor of the Jewish people’s salvation in Ancient Persia, Purim is a holiday of generosity where we celebrate, feast, and rejoice. We got a jump start on the celebration this past Sunday when we hosted our annual carnival at the Y – and what a celebration it was! It was our best carnival yet with a record-breaking 400 people streaming through our doors in the course of three hours.

Our halls were overflowing with characters of all sorts: a pumpkin, a family of cats, princes and princesses, and fairies; we had two Queen Esthers, numerous Ninja Turtles, and enough superheroes to film several Avengers movies. Thanks to our face painters, as the day progressed the Y was filled with an increasing number of butterflies and animals, and even more superheroes. Our guests ranged the age spectrum, from eight and nine week old newborns to young at heart grandparents.

Families were kept busy with a range of activities: learning about the story of Purim from Queen Esther at our Bubbie’s Kitchen station; creating new art at our crafts tables; dressing up and pulling silly faces in our photo booths; and mask making hosted by Inwood Jews and groggers making hosted by Fort Tryon Jewish Center. As always the bouncy castle and bouncy town were favorites. To refuel, tummies were filled with kosher pizza (and frosting-laden hamantaschen). The day drew to a close with a performance from Mainstages. Our Purim guests left with mishloach manot to give to a friend and were serenaded out the door by our Shababa group.

We’d like to thank our Purim patrons for reminding us of some great lessons:

Mask decorating is a serious art that requires complete concentration. You can never have too many sprinkles when garnishing hamantaschen. Arts and crafts are even better when made with the ones you love.

And we owe a huge thanks to our sponsors. Without their support the day wouldn’t have been the success that it was! Monetary donations came from:
Plan A Advisors
Let Me Build LLC
Academy Bus
Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, Inc.
City Parks Foundation
Clarke-Scope Contracting Inc.
Catch 24
MFB Mechanical Inc.
Reliable Power Alternatives Corporation
INFORMA energy, Inc.
Crown Products
Barnett Plumbing
U.S. Security Associates, Inc.
Mash City Business Systems

We are also incredibly thankful to:
Café Buunni, who provided free coffee for all along with a $25 gift certificate for our raffle.
UJA-Federation of New York whose funding for our Y Beginnings program allowed us to offer free entrance to children two and under.
The Covenant Foundation for funding our new Bubbie's Kitchen series.
PJ Library for their continued support of the Y's families.

While the carnival exceeded our expectations, the day did end with one disappointment: we now have to wait an entire year before the next Purim Carnival!