By Sharon Naveh
Last year the Greater New Haven Jewish Community made history, when, for the first time ever, congregations from the pluralistic streams (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform) of the community gathered together for a communal Purim seudah, or festive meal. Over 150 people attended the event and enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate as
a united community. This year the tradition continues with the Second Annual Greater New Haven Communal Purim Seudah, which will take place on Purim Day, Sunday, March 12, 2017. The idea for this event sprang from several sources.
One source of inspiration was the Jewish community of Columbus, Ohio, which has a long history of the entire Jewish community joining together for a seudah on Purim Day. Further inspiration came from our local organization, Kesher, which, under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, works to promote cooperation and collaboration between the various synagogues in the area.
The event will take place at The Westville Synagogue of New Haven and will begin with megillah readings at 4:00 p.m., and the seudah will begin at 5:15 p.m., featuring kosher food from Abel’s Catering, costume contests with prizes, and entertainment by DJ/MC Charles Rosenay!! The event is sponsored by Congregation Bikur Cholim, Sheveth Achim of New Haven, Congregation B’nai Jacob of Woodbridge, Congregation Or Shalom of Orange, Temple Emanuel of Orange, The Orchard Street Shul of New Haven, The Westville Synagogue of New Haven, and The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
Sharon Naveh and Ruth Gross have been coordinating with leaders and representatives from various synagogues to make this event happen, and, assisted by their very able planning committee, including Allen Cohen, Miriam Grossman, Judi Janette, Tanya Kanner, Sydney Perry, Rona Schaffel, Sherry Shrager, and Barbara and Steven Zalesch; they are turning this idea into reality. Special thanks go to the Rimmonim (New Haven) Chapter of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework for creating and donating decorations, and Rabbi Fred Hyman, Rabbi Shlomo Meltzer, Reena Seltzer, Dana Schwartz, Willa Needler, Marsha Beller, Rebecca Koenigsberg, Sasha Stern, Shlomit Jessel, Pat Harris, and Judy Alperin Diamondstein for their assistance with various aspects of the event.
Reservations are required in advance with checks payable to the Westville Synagogue, 74 W. Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06515. $30 per adult, $20 per child (ages 5-10), children under 5 are free.