It’s Purim party time and the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival has partnered with six congregations to celebrate the holiday. The idea to host separate parties at various synagogues came from the success of last year’s Purim party hosted by AJMF. This year was different because Purim falls on a Saturday night and Russell Gottschalk, the executive director of the AJMF, didn’t want to pull congregants away from traditional Purim festivities.
“We wanted to do a Purim themed party and incorporate the festival into small events as a way to support the community.” Gottschalk says. “We wanted to elevate and incorporate shuls doing live music during megillah readings.”
The participating synagogues include Ahavath Achim’s Purim Shpiel featuring the MarlaTov Cocktails, Bet Haverim’s Intergenerational Purim Celebration, Or Hadash’s Ladino musical Purim featuring Sarah Aroeste, Temple Sinai’s adults only Purim Shpiel featuring adapted lyrics from “Chicago,” Beth Shalom’s Megillah and Tequila and Beth Tikvah’s Mel Brooks themed Purim Shpiel. Each party will have a megillah reading, snacks, and music.
Beth Tikvah will also have a Havdalah ceremony before the festivities. Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner says the congregation always has a festive Erev Purim and this year they wanted to do something special.
“They’ve taken songs from different Mel Brooks movies and reformatted them for Purim. They have songs from ‘High Anxiety,’ ‘Blazing Saddles,’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’…they’re funny,” Shuval -Weiner said. “We’ve determined it will be an over 21 celebration.”
CBT has a long tradition of having festive Purim celebration and Shuval-Weiner says it’s a way for the congregation to have young adults join them for a megillah reading. There will also be mocktails for those who don’t drink alcohol.
Though the megillah reading is festive without live music, congregation Beth Shalom is going all out for the holiday. Goza Tequila sponsors the congregation’s Purim party and there will be live music and snacks.
“We’re a fun bunch,” Loli Gross. “I hope we have at least 100 people. The idea came from our youth director who was throwing around ideas of megillahs and margaritas.”
They’re encouraging everyone to come dressed as a Purim character or their favorite sports figure. There will be margarita mix, orange juice and Jacob Gluck, one of the founders of Goza Tequila, will also be in attendance to talk about the brand.
Many of the parties hosted in conjunction with the AJMF are adult only as a way to get more young people involved. The MJCCA is also hosting a Young Adult Purim Party at Orpheus Brewing. After the success of the Purim party at Terminal West, Gottschalk says the MJCCA wanted to host a party of their own.
“Last year they bought a few hundred tickets and this year they wanted to create something for young adults,” Gottschalk said. “It’s perfect because Orpheus Brewing is owned by a Jewish Atlantan.”
The AJMF will have representatives at each party and encourage people to tweet or post to Instagram using #AJMF8 or #JewishATL.
For those who would like to attend a more kid friendly function, Sarah Aroeste will be playing during a Purim Family Concert at the MJCCA on the morning of March 12. The event is free and open to the public.