Scotch Plains, NJ – This March, Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains-Fanwood will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim with a congregational meal, costume contest, upbeat Megillah reading, musical spiel and lively carnival.  Congregants and non-members are welcome to join the festivities.

What is Purim?

Purim commemorates the perseverance of the Jewish people who lived in the ancient kingdom of Persia, under the rule of King Achashverosh. The king’s advisor, Haman, plotted to exterminate the Persian Jews, but his plan was foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai. The holiday is a joyful celebration of survival and triumph. 

How can I participate?

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Purim is observed ever year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. This year, that day is Wednesday, March 4. Festivities at Temple Sholom, 1925 Lake Ave., Scotch Plains, include:

6:00 p.m.:  Dinner of pizza, pasta and salad.  Games, art projects and costume contest.  Dinner reservations are $7 for adults, $5 for children 3-13, free for children under 3 years old. 

7:00 p.m.:  Megillah reading, ceremonial retelling of the Persian Jews’ survival story.  Participants are welcome and encouraged to take turns reading from the Megillah.  A comical, musical spiel follows the reading.  Sing yourself silly!

What else happens?

Join the community on Sunday, March 8, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., for the annual Purim Carnival featuring contests and prizes for all ages.  The festivities begin with a live Purim play and presentations by the religious school students. The carnival is free, but donations to support the synagogue’s high school youth group are appreciated. Lunch will be available for purchase from the Men’s Club. 

All funds raised by the Purim events go toward Temple Sholom’s educational, social and community outreach initiatives.

“Purim is a time for us to celebrate our strength and unity,” said Suzanne Lyte, President of Temple Sholom. “But this holiday is different from most others because the service and carnival are very light-hearted and silly. We look forward to seeing our congregants and non-members, too, at this joyful time of year.

For more information about Purim and other upcoming activities at Temple Sholom, call 908-889-4900 or e-mail

About Temple Sholom

Founded in 1913, Temple Sholom is a Reform Jewish congregation led by Rabbi Joel N. Abraham and Cantor Darcie Sharlein. The temple and its religious school are home to about 250 families from the greater Scotch Plains-Fanwood area. The congregation recently moved to its new home at 1925 Lake Ave. in Scotch Plains. Temple Sholom is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism. For more information about the Temple or joining the congregation, please call 908-889-4900, e-mail or visit