SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains will hold a carnival and services in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim. These events are free and open to the community.

A family-friendly Purim carnival will be held on Sunday, March 8, from 9 am until noon. The carnival will feature a variety of games, run by representatives from local Jewish summer camps, as well as free pizza, Hamentaschen cookies and popcorn. Children are encouraged to dress in costume, as is customary on Purim. The carnival is sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious School and Men’s Club.

Families with children in second grade and below are invited to attend the carnival from 9 until 10 a.m., whereas families with children in third grade and older are invited to attend the carnival  from 10:30 a.m. until noon.  

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From 10 to 10:30 a.m., a funny Purim schpiel (play) will be performed for both age groups. There will also be a costume parade and community singing at this time.

Children with sensory issues and their parents are welcome to enjoy the carnival during the 10 – 10:30 a.m. time slot, when the carnival area will be emptier and quieter.

“Celebrating Purim with a carnival and schpiel is a great way for families to experience the joy and silliness of Jewish life as well as connect with other like-minded families,” said Lev Metz, Director of Congregational Learning and Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel.

Congregation Beth Israel will continue its celebration of Purim on Monday, March 9, with two services, an earlier one for children and a later one for adults.  Families with children are encouraged to attend at 5:30 p.m. for an abbreviated kid-friendly reading of the Megillah, the Book of Esther traditionally read on Purim. 

The Megillah will be read in its entirety at the adult service, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on March 9.  Adults are encouraged to dress in costume.  Congregation Beth Israel’s Men’s Club will perform a Purim schpiel during the adult service.

Congregation Beth Israel is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, serving the religious, educational, cultural and social needs of congregants from Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield and surrounding towns. It has an active Sisterhood, Men’s Club and youth group, plus a wide array of programs, ranging from adult education courses to social action opportunities.

Congregation Beth Israel has been recognized as an ABLE Awarded Congregation by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest for its commitment to inclusion and accommodation for all its members and guests.

Congregation Beth Israel is located at 18 Shalom Way, Scotch Plains, NJ  (corner of Martine Avenue).  For more information, contact the synagogue office at office@cbisp.org or (908) 889-1830.