Archive for : Purim

From Queen Esther to Emma Watson

It’s no coincidence that the Jewish holiday of Purim typically falls in March, AKA Women’s History Month. Okay, maybe it’s a coincidence, but it’s a great one. The Purim story, after all, is built around two mighty women: one who stands up for her rights (Queen Vashti) and another who stands up for the rights and safety of her people (Queen Esther).

As we remember and celebrate Jewish tradition’s early female heroines, it is also important to remember that women’s rights issues – everything from gender pay inequality, to women’s healthcare and education access – are still critically important both in America and around the world. That’s why, this Purim, we want to shed light on this ongoing work.

Who better to do that than Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations, Emma Watson, herself? In addition to giving a killer speech about gender equality at the UN a couple years back, Watson is a leader of HeforShe, a UN Women campaign focused on bringing all voices around the world together in support of women’s rights.

In the video below, Watson teams up with Broadway star Lin Manuela Miranda (of Hamilton) for an amazing beat box/freestyle flow session about gender equality. It’s worth a watch – we may have watched it twice – and a visit to the UN’s HeforShe campaign page.

And for more on Purim’s heroines, check out this post on My Jewish Learning called Vashti & Esther: A Feminist Perspective.

Buy (Kosher, Sustainable) Meat from Grow & Behold and Support Masbia

Eating delicious food is a reward in and of itself. If it is also sustainably produced and kosher, that’s even the better. But what happens when the amazing dinner on your plate gives back to those in need? Win, win, win.

This Purim, Grow & Behold, the kosher sustainable meat company, will donate 5% of all orders delivered next week (March 14-18) to the kosher soup kitchen network, Masbia. In addition to partying, Purim is filled with many opportunities to give back to our friends and community. The Purim tradition of matanot l’evyonim, specifically instructs us to give charity to those in need. Grow & Behold donates products to Masbia year-round, but in the spirit of holiday, they up their game. And you can help!

Grow & Behold’s poultry and meat is raised on small, family-run farms. They adhere to strict standards of kashrut, animal welfare, worker treatment, and sustainable agriculture. Masbia, meanwhile, provides everyone in need – kosher keeping or not – meals with dignity.

Find out more about Grow & Behold’s products and place your order on their website. And learn more about the great work at Masbia your purchase will support at the video below:

Happy Purim!

5 Ways to Give Purim Food Gifts (Mishloach Manot) To Those in Need

March is Get To Know Your Neighbors month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for inspiring posts.

Giving mishloach manot, the gifts of food people share on Purim, is one of the most delicious Jewish traditions. Derived from the Book of Esther and literally translated as “sending of portions,” people bundle up hamantaschen and other edible goodies (brownies, granola bars, raisins, juice boxes) and deliver them to friends and family.

But get this: giving mishloach manot have an underlying message of social change. Each person is required to deliver at least one Purim basket to someone else. The reason? To ensure that everybody, wealthy or not, has enough food to enjoy their Purim celebration. In other words, it’s a bit of food justice built right into the holiday!
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Red Carpet Causes

purim_redcarpetcauses_2013Elaborate storytelling, gorgeous costumes, plentiful food and drink: these are the components of the Jewish holiday of Purim. So happens, they’re also part of my upcoming Oscar viewing party!

When we read the Megillah on Purim, we retell the story of our protagonists fighting for a community’s survival. This story is powerful, and the oral tradition of Purim comes with remembering the challenges Jewish people once faced, and how those challenges presented a call to action.

Today, we understand the power of retelling stories most commonly through the entertainment industry. Like the Megillah, films share powerful, emotional stories that often mobilize viewers behind a real-life cause. Even this year’s nominated films, utilize storytelling not only to weave a tale of fiction and fantasy, but also to bring substantial and widespread causes to light.

So whether you’ll be dressing up as Esther and eating hamantashen, or kicking back and watching the stars do the dressing up at the 85th Academy Awards, here are some of the Oscar nominees for best picture, the causes that are promoted by their stories, and ways that you can become a service star too:

 

This Purim, we’ll be watching the stars walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards and honoring the films that support the causes we love…while gearing up for the real stars like you to grab the spotlight by making a difference in your local and global communities.

Purim is Saturday, February 23 -Sunday February 24, 2013
The Oscars air Sunday, February 24, at 7pm Eastern on ABC