Make Purim Your Kick Off to the Festival Season

Make Purim Your Kick Off to the Festival Season


Purim is one of my favorite holidays of the year, not only because temple becomes loose for a moment, but also it marks the beginning of the festival season for us music lovers.

I was originally supposed to write about the Oscars last week, but I got bumped – which in the end was a good thing, since I wound up in the hospital with kidney stones. When the AJT editor asked me to write about the commonalities of my experience and the Oscars, I said “painful.” Not much else to write about.

The musical performances from U2, Karen O and Ezra Koenig, Pink and Adele Dazeem (John Travolta’s mispronunciation of Idina Menzel, the very Jewish voice behind Disney’s smash hit Frozen) saved rather boring and “safe” awards show.


The edgiest thing to happen all night was Ellen hitting up multi-millionaires for pizza money – as far as I’m concerned she owes us our time back. Read my Twitter and Facebook feeds for the real-time commentaries if anyone still cares. In Atlanta our minds are on spring, the outdoors and fun.

The change in season, for me, always starts with Purim, and this year I got an advance dose while at- tending a rather special event this past weekend, “The Most Legendary Purim Party You Will Ever Attend” hosted by The Sixth Point, a burgeoning group here in Atlanta that throws events for those averted or traumatized from their childhood Jewish upbringing.

You know we all have one, forced to go to Hebrew school, eating matzah in the high school lunch room, nightmares of flubbing our Haftorah, rabbi’s sermons, endless days fasting – it’s enough to push anyone into taking a decade or so off after college and before you have kids when the process starts all over again. Only difference is, it’s you doing the tormenting this time.

The Sixth Point’s mission is simple: engage those in Atlanta that are not affiliated to a temple and want to hang with other like-minded Jews outside of prayer and worship. This is exactly why you should have been at The Red Light Café on Amsterdamn Ave in midtown this past Saturday.

Founder Michelle Krebs Levy hired improv group “Laughing Matters” – a bunch of non-Jews with little to no knowledge of Purim, to improv their way through a loose adaptation of the Purim story in a succession of shorts performed as Univision soap opera episodes.

The result? A room full of ROFL Jews in costume, complete with songs made up on the fly and piano accompaniment. Check The Sixth Point’s Facebook page for pics and video clips from the event.

Started in March of 2013, The Sixth Point won a contest through The Jewish Federation called “My Jewish Life” that awarded the group $10,000 in prize money to throw events like this. In the past, they’ve made possible Challah Baking Les- sons, Make Your Own Chanukah Candles and Find Your Valentine Shabbat Dinner.

They throw an event about once a month with the next being a fully catered Second Night Seder which promises to be a family friendly, non- boring, reasonably short seder open to the first 100 people that care to join. If interested, “like” their page at and be the first to RSVP, as they run every- thing through Facebook events.

Plan on seeing me and my family there, or sooner if you plan on attending any more Purim events this week such as my top picks:

Purim Spiels Sat., March 15

7. Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell will be doing a ‘70s theme Purim Spiel Saturday, a free event and all are invited.

8. The Temple in Midtown hosts an adult-only reception and Megil- lah reading, babysitting avail- able for $5/kid

9. Ahavath Achim Synagogue features a Klezmer Megillah reading featuring AJMF’s own past board member Steve Grossman 
Purim Carnivals Sun., March 16

• MJCCA-Zaban Park hosts Megillah Madness, a free event open to the community featuring

Purim songs, a Megillah reading and special performance in the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre. Following the performance, children will participate in a Purim Parade which will take place on Main Street, the main corridor at the MJCCA.

  1. Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell hosts an afternoon Purim Carnival open to all Sunday noon – 3 p.m. including live music from the teen rockers Endless Energy, $10 wrist bands for unlimited games and prizes, with food and refreshments available for purchase.
  2. The Temple in Midtown is throwing a Luau styled Purim party at 11 a.m. for tots and 11:30 a.m. open to all, which will include dunk-the-Rabbi, a bounce house, food, games and prizes. For more info and ticket prices, contact the Temple directly
  3. Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s Purim Party is 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. with family admission rates including a “Grease” Purim Spiel featuring AJMF past performing artist Nick Edelstein
  4. Iamgine It! The Children’s museum of Atlanta is holding a “Meet the Holidays: Purim” featuring a reading of “It’s Purim Time!” at 3 p.m. 
And keep your calendars out, because I’m about to fill up your weekends from end of March through May, starting off with the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, March 20 – 29. 
The fifth annual AJMF spring festival is extended over two weekends, including five events with full details, in-depth interviews and complete event line up to be featured in next week’s AJT. To get a head start, visit for more details and to purchase tickets. 
Other spring festivals to add to your calendar:

Atlanta Film Festival April 1-6, 5th Annual Beer Carnival, formerly known as the Winter Beer Carnival is now a spring event at Atlantic Station Sat., April 5, from 1 -5 p.m.

• Atlanta Dogwood Festival occurs at Piedmont Park Fri. – Sun., April 11-13

• Sweetwater 420 Fest is moved to Centennial Olympic Park April 18-20

• Inman Park Spring Festival is Saturday and Sunday, April 26- 27

• Fiesta Atlanta rocks Cinco De Mayo at Centennial Park, but those looking for something more intimate may want to catch the Hot Buttered Rum show at Smith’s Olde Bar

• Shaky Knees Music Festival is freshly relocated to Atlantic Station May 9-11

• Atlanta Jazz Festival ends the spring run on Memorial Day Weekend May 23-25 at Piedmont Park

There is literally something awesome to do every weekend in Atlanta for the next few months, so get out
and experience a moment worthy of remembering when you’re 80 and share them with me on Facebook and twitter. See you around town.

Bram Bessoff is a drummer and musician. When not onstage, Bram is a performance coach and music industry entrepreneur helping artists get the most out of their live shows and chart on Billboard. He sits on the board of directors as VP for The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. Follow Bram’s experiences on, off and backstage @bram_rocks. Interact with him at #InItForTheMoment to share thoughts, comments and ideas about this column.







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