All Things Purim

RS Students create a Spiel on Zoom, create art, bake hamantaschen, and plan their escape!

Haman, and Esther, and Hamantaschen… OH MY!! Religious school students will participate in a variety of Purim-related chugim (groups, literally “circles”) throughout January and February!

Purim Spiel (Play): Every Thursday, 5th-12th grade students come together in a theater chug to prepare a spiel designed to be performed on Zoom for the religious school on Sunday, February 21. The students and their teacher, Jen Ebner, are writing the script and drawing some of the virtual backgrounds for the performance.  Jen says, “Every student has a voice, and their ideas are incorporated into the spiel. I try to make the theater chug a warm and welcoming space for all to express their creativity through writing, acting and designing virtual sets that are the Zoom backgrounds for scenes. I want students to feel that they have formed bonds with the other students and have a sense of pride in what we are creating during these crazy times. Two classes in and I’m already so proud of them and their hard work!”

Purim Art Chugim: In our preschool-2nd grade art chug, students made and decorated crowns to wear like King Ahasuerus and Queen Ester of the Purim story. They also listened to the story of Malka, a little girl who is made to feel like a queen when she visits a famous art school in Israel, in A Queen in Jerusalem.

On February 14, our 3rd-8th Graders will make Purim groggers with a twist! They will be decorating wooden flip drums (the kind you twist back and forth) to drown out evil Haman’s name on Purim. They will also work together to read and perform some reader’s theater with the humorous story of The Queen Who Saved Her People.


Hamantaschen Baking: Students will get their baking hats on and their appetites ready to make Hamantaschen for Purim. They will choose which fillings to bring to this virtual cooking chug! Here is the recipe they will be using: Link to recipe 

Teacher Julie Friedman says, “Teaching the Preschool to 5th grade cooking chug has been a really fulfilling experience for me because relationships are being developed in a whole new manner.  While traditionally a religious school class is just the teacher and the students, this cooking class is a whole-family experience.  Seeing smiling faces and messy hands of siblings together or a child with a parent shows me that our switch to teaching online is just a different way to develop connections across our community.  I love that now I get to meet other parents and grandparents who I haven’t had the chance to talk with before!  Students get to know kids around their age who may not be in their Core Religious School classes, and parents are learning new tricks from their peers.  Our hamantaschen class will be another great time to learn from each other — What fillings do each of us love to include?  What tricks do others have for shaping their triangles?”