Citywide Purim teen party set for March 20

BY MIKE SHERWIN, ASSISTANT EDITOR

When synagogues’ Purim parties end, the fun will continue for local teens during a citywide “After-Party” being held by a group of local youth organizations.

The “Citywide Purim Teen After-Party” will be held on March 20, open from the atypical hours of 8:59 p.m. to 11:03 p.m. in Steve’s Room at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur. The event is organized by Jewish Student Union, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, National Conference of Synagogue Youth and the JCC.

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Event organizers say the night will include music, food, party favors and prizes, a costume contest, and a multi-media Megillah reading.

“It should be really exciting and fun,” said BBYO director Jocelyn Orloff. “We really wanted to partner with other organizations so we could get as many people out as we can, and have a great night together.”

Rabbi Michael Rovinsky, director of JSU, said the Purim party was a big hit last year, drawing around 100 teens. This is the second year of the communitywide Purim teen event.

“The goal of the event is to bring and unite Jewish teens regardless of background and affiliation together to celebrate Purim, a holiday of unity and togetherness,” he said.

This year, the multi-media Megillah reading incorporates video clips produced by teens.

“We translated the Megillah into teen language,” Rovinsky said. “So you’ve got text messaging, hip hop, street talk. We’re trying to keep it relevant for teens. We want them to feel that Judaism can connect with their life experience.”

Rovinsky said that by starting the program later at night, he hopes that all teens will be able to attend, even if they have programs at their synagogue earlier in the evening.

Orloff said she has been focusing on working with other youth-oriented groups. She said that by working with groups like JSU, the organizations can share event costs, and attract a wider crowd. That is particularly relevant when celebrating Purim, she said.

“In the tradition of Purim, we’re gettting Jews together and making the world a better place,” Orloff said.

The Citywide Purim Teen After-Party takes place March 20 from 8:59 p.m. to 11:03 p.m. in Steve’s Room at the JCC. The cost is $5.

Published March 12, 2008