Purim

Purim Celebration and Multi-Lingual Megillah Reading

Saturday, March 23, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. | In-person & Online | ​Purim with CBST is always a fabulous night of revelry! Join us as we retell the story of queens and villains and victory. We’ll begin at 6:00 p.m. with a festive Purim Musical Ma’ariv service, our all-congregation Costume Parade, and our signature multi-lingual Megillah Reading featuring more than a dozen languages!

Get ready for another timewarp! This year’s theme catapults us into the future with CBST Purim: Party Like it’s 3024!

Park your flying cars, get out your virtual reality headsets, and set the DeLorean’s flux capacitor to CBST’s satellite location in the Mars colony. We’re beaming this community into the future!

Costume suggestions: your go-to futuristic fashion ensemble; chrome; sleek, minimalist jumpsuits; visionary inventors or tech pioneers; robots; space-age outfits; virtual reality game avatars; pop stars and AI musicians; teleportation portal operators; time traveler, etc. We can’t wait to witness the incredible futuristic costumes!

Families with Children Purim Spiel and Carnival

Saturday, March 23, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. In-Person | Register » | Be with us for the CBST Families with Children Purim Spiel and Carnival! There will be balloon animals, face painting, interactive arts and crafts, and a station hosted by Repair the World for matanot l’evyonim, or “gifts for the poor” where families can package hygiene kits for Broadway Community, Inc., a food pantry which serves asylum seekers in NYC.

We’ll have pizza (with GF and vegan options), hamantashen, as well as popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy!

Please join us from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for the Purim Spiel in the Kuriel Chapel, put on by our B* Mitzvah class! Purim Carnival to follow until 6:30 p.m.

Bring the whole family in your favorite Purim costumes (CBST theme: The Future!) and celebrate Esther’s coming out as a Jew to the Persian king and saving our people.

Everyone is welcome to join the Purim Parade and the megillah reading in the Wine Family Sanctuary upstairs at 6:30 p.m.

This event is recommended for kids ages 2–12 with their adult(s). Babies, toddlers, and teens welcome!

Aleinu Pre-Purim Hamantashen Baking & Happy Hour

Saturday, March 23, 3:00 p.m. – Baking; 5:00pm – Happy Hour | In-person at CBST, 130 West 30th Street | As we go into Purim, join Aleinu for a festive afternoon preparing hamantashen. Whether you’re a baking pro or a novice, get hands-on as we craft these traditional treats—from classic preserves to modern twists. Following our baking adventure, enjoy a lively happy hour from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

We’ll mingle, get holiday-ready, and relish in Purim cheer. At 6:00 p.m., we will join the rest of CBST for the Megillah reading. This event promises fun, creativity, and community spirit. Come bake, laugh, and celebrate!

L’dor Vador Purim Shabbat Gathering

Friday, March 22, 5:00 p.m. | In-Person at Alligator Pear, 150 W. 30th St. | Join us for Shmooze and Nosh before heading to CBST for a festive Kabbalat Shabbat Service. Bring friends, reconnect with existing ones, and make new ones! No registration is required. LDVD bridges Aleinu and Aging Together in a growing CBST 40s and 50s+ community. For more info, contact: LDVD@cbst.org

A Purim Teaching from Rabbi Yael Werber

Dear CBST Community,

There is a midrash that says that the Jewish people did not fully accept the Torah at Mount Sinai. The story says that when the Israelites were at the base of the mountain, ready to receive the 10 commandments, God held the mountain over their heads and said something to the effect of “if you do not accept these words, I will overturn this mountain on top of you and this desert will become your graves”.

So, is it any wonder with an ultimatum like that that the rabbis argue that the Jews did not accept the commandments with their free will?

Where does that leave us now? Are we still in a state of not full acceptance? The rabbis say that the Jews did eventually accept the Torah willingly and with their whole hearts. How do we know? From the Purim story where it says:

קִיְּמ֣וּ וְקִבְּלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים֩ ׀ עֲלֵיהֶ֨ם ׀ וְעַל־זַרְעָ֜ם וְעַ֨ל כׇּל־הַנִּלְוִ֤ים עֲלֵיהֶם֙
“The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them” (Esther 9:27)

In my opinion, there are two key takeaways from this small line in the megillah, that has come to represent a reaffirmation of the entire Torah:

  1. Change can take a long time, especially when it is a big change. The moral of reading the Purim story, in light of the Sinai midrash, is that just because change is hard and long doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is okay, and even right, for transition to take time. Allow yourself as much time as you need for transformation to occur.
  2. Purim has been, and continues to be the holiday where we get to be our truest and fullest selves, where we’re able to celebrate and accept ourselves in all of the complexities and multitudes that we are. And this can also include the Torah, which can be a complex and mysterious text.

On Purim we have the joy of reaffirming the transformative power of Judaism and Torah, may it be a holiday of radical acceptance for all of us! Chag Sameach!

The Four Mitzvot of Purim

Matanot l’Evyonim Give gifts to the needy.

Mikra Megillah Hearing the Megillah. We listen to Megillat Esther—the Purim story—read in its entirety. Join CBST services in-person or online. 

Seudah Eat a festive Purim Meal! Join us for Hamantashen baking. 

Matanot l’Evyonim

This year’s tzedakah appeal will be directed to Marsha’s House at Project Renewal.

Since 1967, Project Renewal has pioneered programs that provide health, homes, and jobs which empower individuals and families to renew their lives.

They provide services to almost 10,000 individuals a year. One of Project Renewals campaigns is Marsha’s House, an 81-bed 24/7 emergency shelter for homeless young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Their comprehensive services include case management, vocational counseling, job placement, peer counseling, recreational activities and housing placement assistance.

Project Renewal is New York City’s largest provider of comprehensive health services to homeless individuals—delivering healthcare to more than 12,000 people a year.

Click here to donate to Project Renewal, supporting Marsha’s House and other vital services.

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