Purim Party at Simon Marks School
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Tuesday 6th March 2018

It was a perfect night for a Purim party: four degrees below zero and blowing a blizzard in N16!

But Queen Esther can still pull them in, and the first joint event between Finsbury Park Synagogue and Simon Marks School was a huge success. Around seventy assorted kids, mums, dads, grandparents and a healthy showing from the vibrant group, Jewish East London, met in the school hall and booed to the rafters every time Rabbi Yitzchok Landau – Finsbury Park’s regular leader – named the would-be nemesis, Haman.

Delicious home-made felafels and hummus, with tons of salads, plus a table-creaking selection of Grodzinski’s hamantaschen, including the legendary halva-filled version, sustained us all. We had a raffle, we had schnapps – by the end the cold was forgotten, as the warmth and sense of fun, generated by the terrific crowd inside the hall, made this an evening to remember!

Across so many different levels of observance and Jewish outlook, the guests, brought together by Finsbury Park’s Maytal Charing and recently appointed United Synagogue Community Worker in Hackney, Stephen Brown found a wonderful common ground in observing the mitzvah of Purim. The enthusiasm at the party was infectious – it may have been icy outside, but Queen Esther had melted our hearts!