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Temple Jeremiah to hold Purim Carnival for families with special needs

In an effort to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone, Temple Jeremiah will be opening its Purim Carnival early for individuals with special needs and their families.

The smaller, more relaxed carnival will be held on Sunday, March 16, 2014 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road in Northfield. Then at 11 a.m., all are welcome to join the Temple Jeremiah community for their Purim Schpiel, a funny rendition of the Purim story, told in the theme of “Sesame Street.”

“This is part of our ongoing effort to make the programs of Temple Jeremiah as accessible as our physical structure to people of all needs and abilities,” said Rabbi Paul F. Cohen, Temple Jeremiah’s senior rabbi. “We realize that for some, crowds and noise present an incredible barrier, so we’ll offer all the same games and activities as our regular carnival but in a much calmer setting.”

The Purim Carnival for families with special needs is free and open to the public. Following this and the Purim Schpiel, the synagogue’s main carnival will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event serves as a fundraiser for Temple Jeremiah’s youth programming, which includes programs for children from birth until college.

The holiday of Purim tells the story of the Jews of ancient Persia, who were saved from an evil ruler’s plot against them. Because of the joyous nature of the holiday, Jews today celebrate Purim with costumes, food, holding carnivals and festivals, and helping people in need.

Rabbi Cohen said that because one of the central themes of Purim is sharing what we have with others, he is honored to participate in a unique fundraising opportunity on Purim: He will be one of more than 80 rabbis around the country to shave his head to raise money for pediatric cancer research through St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“Together with my colleagues across the country we have raised almost $350,000 toward our goal of $360,000,” Rabbi Cohen said. “Our hope is to exceed this number and work toward ensuring that no family and no child will have to experience the pain and loss of cancer.”

Rabbi Cohen will be shaving his head at Temple Jeremiah after the Purim Schpiel at approximately 11:30 a.m.


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