Cirque Meets Mardi Gras – Purim off Ponce

Cirque Meets Mardi Gras – Purim off Ponce

Jaffe’s Jewish Jive

By Marcia Jaffe

A clown in pink naturally hangs out with a bunny in orange.

I usually gush about the red carpet. Saturday, March 7, I walked the fashion rainbow carpet at SOJOURN’s fabulous, ninth-annual, record-breaking Purim off Ponce party.

To accommodate a crowd in the range of 500 people, the Le Fais do-do warehouse space lighted up the night with colorful, imaginative characters.

SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, raises money to provide gender and sexual diversity education and training, advocacy, outreach, and support. This year’s Purim event honored the late Owen Halpern and power couple Dan Bloom and Barry Golivesky “because of their influence in the community and creation of beautiful children to grow up and change the world.”

Guests thrilled to dramatic stilt walkers, acrobats and ceiling artists while dining on gourmet healthy food catered by Beck’s Place from Cincinnati. Baked salmon on spinach, stuffed grape leaves, quinoa garbanzo salad, seaweed salad, watermelon feta salad and Caesar abounded. Displays of cheese and dessert (hamantashen and baklava were the yummiest) topped off the feast.

Columnist Marcia Jaffe (left) finds fellow nun Mona with her — scandal! — two kids.

Rebecca Stapel-Wax, SOJOURN’s executive director, who was looking fabulous in sequined, feathered, “peacock-hued drama,” said: “This is beyond my wildest dreams. I am moved that so many people made this happen with their generosity.”

Zoltar told fortunes from his magic box and left all with this wish: “I want the Jewish community to be more visible in its support for people who are gender and sexually diverse.”

Eric Miller, the Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse program coordinator, pointed out that a separate, nonalcoholic bar provided a sober option. “Not just for designated drivers anymore.”

Sam and Eddie Dressler (funeral care), Michele and Mitchell Garber (aerospace physician), and Marcia and Rick Lindner were among the best dressed. But the kosher pickle pair and the illuminated kosher pigs with bacon earrings stole the show.

“It’s a great sign to expand to this larger space,” said Rabbi Josh Lesser, a circus strongman. “I’m ecstatic with SOJOURN’s progress!”

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