This Purim, The Shul On The Beach opened its doors to the entire Venice / Santa Monica community to join in a Purim Celebration. An excellent turnout from our members, friends and neighbors set the stage for a truly memorable afternoon.
Mr. and Mrs. Beithalachmi prepared a wonderful Purim feast that was partially sponsored by Yossi and Joannie Ziff on the occasion of their second anniversary. As always, Jeff Liss planned an excellent party, including first class entertainment (see the previous post), refreshments and a costume contest. Most importantly, our community really stepped up to the plate in terms of hospitality, friendliness and warmth. Led, once again, by Rabbi Mintz, many, many guests were ushered into the Shul.
I had the pleasure of meeting neighbors who had simply never dropped by the Shul, Israelis on vacation, random folks on Venice Boardwalk who wanted to stop in, children, elderly people, Jews, non-Jews, religious and otherwise. We tried to take photos with as many people as possible and you can check out the slideshow of photos below. [If you have any photos to add, PLEASE email them to me and I will add them!]
Guests enjoyed hamentaschen, the lively music and touring our Shul. As always, we enjoyed meeting so many people from so many different backgrounds and situations and sharing the joy of Purim with them.
There was a small contingency from the press (MSNBC.com) that joined us throughout Purim. They were at the reading of the Scroll of Esther on Purim evening and returned for the today’s celebration. It was so much fun getting to know them and sharing our Purim with them. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor sometime in April. Stay tuned…
The gathering was lively and inspiring. I spoke briefly about the meaning of our commandment to remember Amalek. Amalek attacked the Jewish people just after the Exodus from Egypt. They focused their attack on the stragglers. I expressed my hope that as a community we would not allow any stragglers. We must be inclusive and help everyone to feel that they are in the center of the group. There can be no fringe group if we are to “defeat” Amalek. Today’s event was a strong step in that direction.
Once again, thank you to all of you who helped and joined and made the event the festive celebration it was.
We are planning more events of this nature in the future.