This year’s Purim celebration at the Chabad of Yonkers minimized contact between people due to concerns about coronavirus and social distancing. Those entering the synagogue on Purim day were greeted with a large bottle of hand sanitizer next to a donation box into which the fee for the event was placed, again to minimize person-to-person contact. But the celebration was not dampened, only more careful.
Concerned about the health of congregants and limiting the possibility of spreading germs, Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz, director of the Chabad of Yonkers, and his wife, Rebbetzin Chanie, designated two people wearing serving gloves to serve the food buffet style, instead of everyone handling the serving utensils.
This year’s Purim celebration featured a “Purim in Italy” theme and saw people dressed in costumes the colors of Italy’s flag, theme-appropriate costumes and an Italian-style Purim buffet, followed by a wine and cheese tasting provided by Yonkers’ own Brent “The Cheese Guy” Delman, who offered a wide variety of his artisanal cheeses. Children enjoyed face painting, a balloon artist and a magic show.
Rabbi Hurwitz welcomed all to the Purim celebration, saying, “We look forward to Purim all year long, as it is the most joyous day on the Jewish calendar! We celebrate the day with gifts of food, charity reading the book of Esther, dressing in masquerade and festive celebrations.”
By Robert Kalfus