Many words, phrases and
ideas are used in relation to
Purim but none capture the
essence of the holiday like the
two Hebrew words
ve'nahphoch'hu which means
"and it was turned around" and
simcha which means joy.
Purim is the happiest day on
the Jewish calendar. In fact,
joy is so central to the Purim
celebration that we begin the
merrymaking on the first of the
Hebrew month of Adar even
through Purim is not until the
14th of the month!
• Is the first Diaspora story
• Concretely manifests the Jewish way of
celebration: hearing the story (remembering) in
community; sharing with others (mishloach
manot and seudat Purim); caring for those less
fortunate (matanot la evyonim).
• Invites an exploration into human needs
• Invites moments of inquiry,
joy and FUN for children
Before teachers do or say
anything, this holiday with
it’s kings and queens,
costumes and noisemakers
“speaks” to children in a
All the mitzvot of the
holiday are in the Megillah
The connection to Israel is
made through Mordechai
who is introduced as
“Mordechai the Jew who
was exiled from
The entire month is an
invitation to “make merry”!
Some of the big ideas that are part of Purim
the idea that things can start out one way and turn out another, offering hope
in the face of adversity
the idea that individual action can influence events and turn us into heroes
the idea that everyone sometimes needs to be someone else
the idea that bending the boundaries on occasion can help us appreciate
the idea that joy is something we can create
and enjoy in a variety of ways, small and large,
individually and communally
the idea that the Jewish festival cycle is connected
to Israel even when the holiday story didn’t take place in Israel
Ben Zoma says:Who is strong (a hero)? The one who controls herself.
Rabbi Meir says: Do not look at the jug, but at what is in it!
The story of Esther’s heroism allows
us to re define heroism with the
children and look for heroes with a .
*גבורה – גבורה – להתגבר
Gvura – Gibor –Lehitgaber
Heroism – Hero – to overcome
*In Hebrew, all three words share the same root
It’s two weeks since Tu Bishvat and all the shekadiyot (almond trees) that were
just beginning to bloom are bursting with flowers!
The Sees bird - Common Swift comes to visit the Kotel for 100 days
You can make your own mishlochey manot or go to the supermarket
and buy them all ready made.
The special Purim food is Ozney Haman (Haman’s ears!) and you can buy
them EVERYWHERE – in the market, in the mall and on the street corner.
The filling comes in lots and lots of flavors – jam, chocolate, poppy seed
and even peanut butter and jelly.
If you want to find a costume you just have to go to the mall.
There are lots of stores that sell costumes too.
All the book stores sell megillot – the scroll that tells the story of Purim and
books with stories about Purim
In some cities there are big
parades with giant floats and
Purim is a school vacation so everyone can go watch the parade!
WHO WILL BE QUEEN ESTHER ON
(Purim in a gan in Israel)
Special thanks to Dina Barnett a teacher in
Ramot, Jerusalem for preparing this story
The month of Adar is starting today, and that means that
Purim is on its way. There is much to do and so much to
prepare. We have to decide which Purim costume to wear.
In the gan , you can hear us say,
"Who will be Queen Esther on Purim day?"
The first thing to do is to start having fun,
The best thing is - we include everyone.
We come dressed in pajamas, not in clothes
In the gan , you can hear us say,
"Who will be Queen Esther on Purim day?"
Have fun with a clown with a funny red nose.
And now while laughing you can hear
us say, "Who will be Queen Esther on
Next we all build a
Where we hear and
learn the Megillah
We play being messengers,
queen and king,
Parade in costumes
and merrily sing.
We are all kings and queens but please do
say, “Who will be Queen Esther on Purim
All day in our store we
have lots of fun,
Making Purim items for
Would you like a
A balloon with feet?
Anything you want – except we can't say,
who will be Queen Esther on Purim day.
Tomorrow will be our Purim day, we're very busy, there's no time to
play. There's Megillat Esther for every one, and rattles to shake when
Soon we will all know and then we can say,
Who will be Queen Esther on Purim day.
Finally it's here, it's now Purim day,
We're all in costume, so happy and gay.
Here come animals,
A butterfly too,
And a policeman whose
dressed all in blue.
So many pretty girls, now who can
say, “Who will be Queen Esther on
In the palace there's Megillah to hear,
That’s Dina the Gannenet)
The children look at each other and say:
Who will be Queen Esther NEXT Purim day?
Retelling the Purim Story
Read the original and see which passages
can be shared “as is”
Think about the children before making changes
to the original story
Think about the environment in which the story
will be told
Think about the different ways in which children
can retell the story after hearing it.
Learn about Persian palaces
and attire and create a
palace in which to tell the
story and practice hearing
Practice what goes on in the
actual megillah reading in
synagogue and think about
having your own family
Make different kinds of
noisemakers and practice
using them when hearing
Record ,photograph or film
children dressed up as the
characters in the megillah
and use the images to
create individual or a group
“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus--this is
Ahasuerus who reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia,
over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces” (Esther 1:1)
Joy is the common thread joining the mitzvot of Purim together
Each mitzvah, in it's own way, joins us together in a circle of
Hearing the Megillah read with the community provides
an opportunity to rejoice together at the happy turn of
events in the story.
During the month of Adar
intentionally do something
everyday to make everyone
smile (tell a joke, sing a silly
Talk about the things
Feasting at a Seudat Purim – the special Purim meal, is a children can do to make
others in class, at home or
chance to celebrate with family and friends and experience outside of school happy.
the joy and the gift of good company and good food.
Preparing and exchanging mishlochay manot (the plural
of mishloach manot offers the reciprocal joy that comes
with a simple exchange of gifts
Giving charity to the poor enables the
broadening of the circle of joy so that everyone in
the community will be able to experience
gladness on Purim.
Invest time and thought in
the creation of mishlochay
manot from A-Z
Have a festive Purim meal
with the families or
encourage them to do so
and make a class cookbook
with special recipes.
What I’d like to be is part of who I am
Dressing up in costume is just plain fun, but
also reminds us of hidden aspect of the
miracle of Purim which was "disguised" by
natural events and of Esther, who disguised
her Jewishness and her inner strength.
Purim offers a unique opportunity to learn more
about the whole child (and ourselves)
Learn about camouflage in
Talk to children individually or in
small groups about who they are
dressing up as and why – what
are the qualities of the character
that they admire or which they
had, what can the character do
that they can’t or that they fear?
Disguise often serves a purpose
Enter into this activity with the
children and share your feelings
At the end of the day, we want to help children love
themselves as they are and know what makes them
unique and special.
Create costume opportunities as
a trigger for discussions about
how it feels to be someone else
Let the kids talk about Purim,
just like the kids in the video!
Make a Girzebra!
Ask kids to draw big
pictures of different
kinds of animals and
then cut the drawings
in half to separate the
front end of the animal
from the back end.
funny, never seen
before animals from
the different halves,
and give them names.
For example, if you
joined the front half of
a giraffe to the back
half of a zebra, you
would have a
Girzebra! This activity
can also be done with
drawings of people or
It can be fun to think about
what different characters
might include in their
Together, see if you can
think of an appropriate
food item for the character
your child has chosen to
be on Purim and include in
their mishloach manot. You
can also add notes or
drawings that convey a
holiday greeting that the
character might wish