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Purim Festivities Kick Off Wednesday in Area

Caldwell, Verona and Cedar Grove synagogues mark holiday with services, skits.

The joyous Jewish holiday of Purim will take place locally this week in Verona, Cedar Grove and Caldwell with services and performances by synagogue members.

The holiday commemorates the efforts of Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, who stood up to King Ahashverosh’s prime minister Haman and stopped a decree to kill all the Jews of Persia in 400 B.C. Haman was eventually hung for his evil decree. 

Jews around the world make noise with groggers and hiss to drown out the mention of Haman’s name.

The story of Purim is read from a scroll called a Megillah.

Local synagogues will hold Purim services, carnivals and events beginning Wednesday night. 

Here’s a look of what’s happening locally in Verona, Cedar Grove and Caldwell:

Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex, located at 20 Academy Road in Caldwell will hold a children’s Megillah reading on Wednesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. A Megillah reading for adults begins at 7:30 p.m. At 9 p.m., the synagogue’s annual Purim Spiel will take place. The synagogue will also hold a morning minyan and Megillah reading on Thursday morning beginning at 6:30 in the Beit Midrash library. For more information, call 973-226-3600. 

Congregation Beth Am, located at 56 Grove St. in Verona will hold Purim services tomorrow night beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 973-239-0754. 

Temple Sholom of West Essex, located at 760 Pompton Ave. in Cedar Grove will not be holding Purim services on Wednesday or Thursday, but will hold services on Friday. There will be a children’s Megillah reading on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. followed by the annual Purim carnival from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes and enjoy the carnival featuring a circus performer, live music, balloon artistry, games, prizes, crafts and more, plus the opportunity to mingle with Queen Esther, Mordecai, Queen Vashti, King Ahashverosh and the dreaded Haman. Cost is $13 per person, $10 in advance. Children under 2 are free. For more information, call 973-239-1321.

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