Stay tuned for further details, RSVP signup form etc, but here’s the outline of events for Purim 2021 at UAlbany:
All events, unless otherwise noted are at Shabbos House Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center.
All Covid guidelines will be in place – distanced table-seating, masks when not seated distanced, open-windows, RSVP form sign-up required etc.
PURIM NIGHT – THURSDAY FEB 25:
6:30pm Megillah Reading (come in costume if you can!)
7:15pm Kosher Sushi by Mr. Fuji, a Wrapped Gifts Auction (no $ involved, its a game), Costume Contest (with prizes) and break-fast foods. There will also be opportunity to register for “Gift of Life” a life-saving mitzvah at this event.
Additional Megillah Reading also at 8:30pm
PURIM DAY – FRIDAY FEB 26:
8:30am Morning Minyan
9:20am Megillah Reading (mitzvah to hear Megillah both night and day)
10am Purim Brunch Meal
4:30pm afternoon Megillah Reading
5:15pm festive Purim Meal into Kiddush and Shabbos Meal followed by Kabalat Shabbat prayers
The Purim Meal is sponsored by alumni Dan (’01) and Atara (’02) Marzouk in memory of her mother Linda Manheim obm.
and a PRE-PURIM HAMANTASCH BAKING
7:30pm at Torah Tuesday, Feb 23rd. For those who can’t make it in-person, we also have a Hamantasch Making Kit To-Go option. See the form.
For those who can’t make it in person for any of these above Purim options, we will also have a to-go option with some Purim treats and food for pickup or delivery on Friday between 11:30am to 2pm.
who wish to send a special/personal Mishloach Manot to a student up here on campus can do so via Shabbos House. Interested parents, please sign up for this using this separate form by noon on Wednesday Feb 24th.
THE 4 MITZVOT OF PURIM
There are 4 Mitzvot on Purim:
1) Hear the Megillah read 2x: night and day
2) Enjoy a festive Purim Meal
3) Give gifts of food to at least one friend
4) Give Charity to the Poor
#1 is the hardest, especially during Covid. It requires a Megillah scroll and someone who knows how to read it. If you are up here, we’re hosting 4 opportunities to hear it.
#2 is much easier, it can be done anywhere. Of course its best if the meal is Kosher. But much of what you have to bring to that meal comes from the heart. Food & drink help, but joy comes from within.
#3 is easy. Take two foods, and hand them off to a friend (some say best through a 3rd party but that’s not required). You can do the same to more friends if you wish, and increase the Purim spirit, but start off with one to fulfill the basic mitzvah requirement.
#4 is easy, too, but this mitzvah is easily forgotten and shouldn’t be.
And remember this Purim charity is different. All year long, many good organizations would qualify. Shabbos House is legit, as are synagogues and hospitals and all types of good causes. But on Purim the funds should go to an organization that deals with food insecurity. (Funds contributed through Shabbos House for the Purim Fund go to people we know struggling with these financial challenges).
The suggested amount to give is the cost you’d pay for a meal. Maybe think 2 slices of pizza and a coke? or maybe something more substantial? Whatever works. But please remember to do this mitzvah! Some say its ideal to do it once before Purim, so it can reach those who need it by Purim and perhaps once also on Purim Day.
Here are some examples of organizations we know of or have dealt with who deal with food insecurity issues and are a good place to give your “Matanot L’Evyonim” Purim Tzedakah:
Met Council is a huge food pantry supplier operation in NYC and also deals with housing issues and other poverty matters. One of our alumni is very involved behind the scenes there.
Shalom Food Pantry is a local Albany Kosher food pantry that organizes food packages and similar needs. They’ve also given us packages to help some who can use it.
CSSY (Chevre Simchas Shabbos vYomTov) helps a lot of needy families in Crown Heights. Raizy’s family is very close with the dedicated organizers behind it.
Tomchei Shabbos of Queens we have alumni who were active volunteers there in helping deliver food packages for Shabbat and holidays.
Colel Chabad is a massive operation in Israel, with food pantries, soup-kitchens, subsidized shopping etc. In fact, it’s the oldest continuous diaspora charity in support of Israel’s needy (since 1788!) and works closely with the Israeli government on hunger issues.
Or you can Paypal money to Shabbos House or Venmo to @Shabbos-House and please put “Purim Fund” in the memo. We will distribute the funds to those we know in need.