Chag Purim Sameach: Traditions from the Rel/Ed IGB

Hi USY! The Religion/Education International General Board is inc(Rel/Ed)ibly excited to show you one of our initiatives! This year before every holiday, we’re going to showcase family traditions! For Purim, the Rel/Ed IGB and Rel/Ed Vice President talked about their traditions, but in the future we want to hear from other USYers! I hope you enjoy! 🙂

-Lily Selznick, Rel/Ed IGB 2019


Shoshana S., Hagalil:

“Each Purim, my mom bakes my family s’mores Hamantashen – and they are AMAZING! The dough is made from graham cracker crumbs then is filled with marshmallow fluff and chocolate. The ‘s’more-mantashens’ have become famous in my USY chapter and synagogue, and they bring the holiday vibe to Purim. In addition, my synagogue has multiple Purim spiels during the reading of Megillat Esther, and my family loves to watch my dad perform in the adult spiel.”


Avi C., METNY:

“Purim, as with every Jewish holiday, has its food: Hamantashen. Hamantashen baking is a family process, and a very particular one at that. The dough must be rolled out very thin to make the Hamantashen tasty, otherwise they are doughy and GROSS. The favorite flavors in my house are peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter & jelly and chocolate, and jelly and chocolate. We make lots of Hamantashen for others, but we always make sure to make a ton for ourselves. Hope you have a happy Purim!!”


Stephen B., METNY:

“Every year I attend my synagogue’s infamous Purim carnival. Despite being way too old for it, my friends and I are always the first ones to enter the epic Purim bouncy castle and the last ones to leave it. Hamantashen are obviously a must, but (unpopular opinion alert) apricot Hamantashen are amazing and extremely underappreciated. Every Purim my synagogue collects boxes of pasta to donate to food banks, but first we use the boxes of uncooked pasta as groggers while the Megillah is read.”


Lily S., Far West:

“Every year, my synagogue reads the Megillah and our Rabbi always has a horn. In the middle of every reading, he will squeeze the horn right into the reader’s ear. Being the most loving sister, I decided that for my brother’s first year reading Megillah, I would bring my own horn to blow into his ear. Since then, it’s been a tradition that sometime in the middle of my brother’s reading, each of my family members takes a turn scaring him.”


Eitan W., Emtza:

“When I was growing up, my family would always do some kind of group costume where we all matched. For example, a few years ago, we all dressed as pirates. The most infamous costume, though, was when I was much, much younger. My family was really good friends with our Rabbi’s family, so we decided to dress up as them. Being an insubordinate toddler, I refused to dress up as our Rabbi, instead insisting on being Scooby-Doo. So, every year now, when we try to figure out what our costume will be, it is a running joke in my family that I will dress as our Rabbi dressed as Scooby-Doo.”