Congregation Beth Shalom celebrates Purim with carnival

ROCK BRIDGE-GREEN MEADOWS-BEDFORD WALK-CEDAR LAKE

By KATIE MORITZ

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

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Congregation Beth Shalom celebrated with Twister and hot dogs Sunday, March 20, at Purim Carnival, a festival for the Jewish holiday of Purim. The holiday honors Esther, who saved the Jewish people from extermination by Haman, according to the Esther Megillah, or Book of Esther. Purim began at sundown Saturday evening and ended Monday, March 21.

“It’s one of the most fun celebrations,” said Debbie Kaplan, director of education and youth programs. “Last night, we sang the Megillah. When you hear the word ‘Haman,’ everybody makes noise.”

Children dressed in costumes — a global Purim tradition — and played carnival games inside the temple and outside in the sunshine for small prizes. College-age Hebrew school teachers participated in a hot dog eating contest.

CBS, which recently celebrated its 36th year, has been at its current location, 500 W. Green Meadows Road, since 2007. Before it moved, CBS shared space with Hillel, MU’s Jewish center, Kaplan said.

The CBS youth group, made up of 10 to 12 high school students, organizes the carnival each year. Kaplan, who has been with CBS for 12 years, said the day of Purim Carnival is also one of the busiest for her. But in the end, everyone has a good time.

“Today’s about just having fun,” she said.

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