Purim off Ponce celebrates the ultimate tale of new life

By David Cohen

david@atljewishtimes.com

Purim off Ponce is an all-inclusive event that celebrates Purim and diversity.

Purim is a celebration of new life. It also happens to be a Jewish holiday during which it’s considered a mitzvah to drink copious amounts on alcohol.

On March 7, SOJOURN wants to help you celebrate all of the above with its annual Purim off Ponce fundraising party featuring drinks, dancing and drag queens. All proceeds go toward the work of SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

“It’s an event that really is the meaning of Purim,” SOJOURN Executive Director Rebecca Stapel-Wax said. “It turns everything upside down. People dress the gamut, but they also come from different places in the community with non-Jews, Jews, gay people, drag queens and families. It’s probably one of the only gay events that has multigenerations attending, and that’s what is exciting about it.”

Originally held at Paris on Ponce in Midtown, the event moved off Ponce six years ago to accommodate rising attendance. This year, the festivities move again to Le Fais do-do on the Westside. The party is expected to draw 500 guests and has sold nearly 400 tickets.

Since the first Purim on Ponce was held in 2007, the occasion has been called one of Atlanta’s top costume parties. For 2015, SOJOURN honors the work of Dan Bloom and Barry Golivesky and dedicates the event to the memory of 2012 Rainmaker Award winner Owen Halpern.

Atlanta’s Second Self Beer Co. is the official beer partner.

SOJOURN Assistant Director Robbie Medwed said the event’s Purim theme was chosen for a purpose.

“We chose Purim for our main fundraising event because it’s the ultimate tale of coming out,” Medwed said. “Esther had to hide her identity when she was in the king’s palace, and she wore a mask and a costume much like LGBT people do for many years. When Esther came out, she came out with a bang and saved her community and showed just how integral she really was.”

Founded as the Rainbow Center in 2001, SOJOURN is an organization inspired by Jewish and universal ethics and devoted to providing resources and education across the South on the topics of gender and sexual diversity. Purim off Ponce is an opportunity for SOJOURN to raise awareness of issues throughout the community with an all-inclusive bash where everyone is invited to dress up and celebrate the meaning of Purim.


What: Purim off Ponce

Where: Le Fais do-do, 1611 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., Westside Atlanta

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7

Tickets: Start at $65 with all proceeds going to SOJOURN’s inclusion work in the Southeast

Information: www.sojourngsd.org/purim