Moorestown celebrates Purim at Perkins Center for the Arts

Collaborative event brings activities, show to residents.

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: The Moorestown Jewish Association and MooreUnity will host a Purim celebration with Moorestown’s Perkin Center for the Arts on March 20.

In collaboration with the Moorestown Jewish Association and MooreUnity, Moorestown’s Perkin Center for the Arts will host an event for Purim on March 20.

Besides entertainment, the event will feature Rabbi Michael Perice of Temple Sinai in Cinnaminson, who will discuss the Jewish holiday’s history.

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“I think all of our organizations really focus on bringing that sense of unity back in our community,” said Caryn Shaw, president of the Jewish association. “Helping each other and learning from each other is really critical for our community to grow and thrive.”

Purim begins March 16 and ends the following evening. It commemorates the defeat of a plot to kill Jews in the fifth century.

“It’s really a fun holiday and it’s supposed to be a joyous holiday, because it’s really celebrating family and celebrating community,” Shaw noted. “So it’s a great way to bring our whole community together and (learn) a little bit about the holiday of Purim as well.”

Perkins’ Executive Director Kahra Buss cited how working with different organizations such as the association and MooreUnity helps to blend different cultures and traditions.

“ … For Perkins Center, it’s a perfect opportunity for us to connect with our Folklife Center, which really is an exploration of cultural and historic passing down of tradition as well as passing down of art forms,” she explained.

“When we were approached, it was a great opportunity, we felt, to connect to our community and support the Jewish community in this kind of effort,” Buss added.

Shaw noted how the association’s partnership with Perkins provided the right location for the community to come together.

“So much of Judaism also is … about the arts,” she said. “Every holiday has music or it has theater; it has arts (that) are related to it, so I loved the idea of being involved with Perkins as well.”

Karen Reiner, president of MooreUnity, hopes others gain something from the Purim event.

“I’m hoping that people come away with some new knowledge about this particular holiday, and their Jewish neighbors and how this is celebrated,” she said. “And I’m also hoping people come away with some new relationships and friendships.”

“I think the arts are always a great way to bring the community together,” Shaw said, “because I think a lot of times it is some activity that you’re doing that you realize that, ‘Oh, this is something that we can do together; we like doing together, we like coming together.’”

“When we have the opportunity to maybe step outside of our own comfort zone, whether we’re on the sharing or receiving side, it’s a way of sharing who we are at our very core,” Buss offered.

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