By Roman Mokrinsky
Tazpit News Agency
Purim, one of the most happy and colorful Jewish holidays, is a celebration of giving and communal cohesiveness. Israel’s youth decided this year to share their cheerfulness and joy on this holiday with the elderly and needy in their communities.
8th graders from a Jerusalem high school hosted special Purim activities for Holocaust Survivors. 14 Survivors from the Armon Havatziv neighborhood came to school and enjoyed special holiday activities including songs, dancing and a banquette.”We are constantly looking to engage the community”, said Tomer Oshri, the school principle, “a week ago one of the Survivors shared with us his story. The students were deeply impressed and decide to hold a Purim event for all the Survivors in our community. The entire event was organized by the students,” he said.
“44 Holocaust Survivors live in the vicinity, but only 14 attended as the other 30 are not in good health,” said Eli Berger, coordinator of absorption and Jewish renewal in the neighborhood. “The children prepared gifts for all the attendants. I will ensure those who could not come will receive them as well. This event was a first of its kind, and was very important for all participants, both students and Survivors. I hope there will be further such events,” burger said.
In a different event, Magen David Adom’s (MDA) youth volunteers collected Mishloach Manot, food gifts given on Purim, and brought them to the infirmed and people with special needs. Over the past week MDA youth collected the foodstuff at various points across Israel, packaged them appropriately for the festive day and brought them to those in need over the holiday in hospital wards and at a special needs hostel. More than the gifts they brought smiles to many faces, as they were all dressed in costume, singing and dancing and bringing joy to who would not experience it without them.
Eli Bean, CEO of MDA, stated: “MDA volunteers were not deterred by this massive undertaking, were able to get everyone involved to help each other, and spread the joy of Purim at several locations. We are very proud of our youth’s humanitarian and social activities.”