The purpose of the annual festivities is to celebrate the holiday of Purim, which recounts the deliverance of the Jewish people from an extermination plot by the wicked Haman. His plot was foiled and a merry celebration followed.
Purim is treated more as a national holiday, like Hanukkah. Work is even allowed in most places but it is encouraged that the occasion be prioritized and celebrated in a joyous manner. Jewish history dictates that Jews observe specific activities during Purim - listening to the readings of the Book Of Esther, giving food gifts to friends, and giving charity to the poor. “It is the last activity, of giving charity, that is the premise of this event,” explains Diani Azout, Coordinator of the Verbena Purim Carnival. “This year’s turn-out went above and beyond our expectations, we not only raised a record amount of scholarship money, but witnessing the joy these festivities bring to the thousands of children who attended is priceless,” Diani continued. “I’ve never seen so many people smiling at the same time,” Guila Mermelszteyn, MAR-JCC’s Early Childhood Department Director remarked. “Seeing so many people, so many happy faces, and so much generosity is truly a heartwarming experience,”
Proceeds from the Verbena Purim Carnival will benefit the MAR-JCC Scholarship Fund. This fund enables under privileged children and families to take advantage of the after-school programs, summer camp, and Infant Daycare & Pre-school at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center.“ For more information about the Verbena Purim Carnival, and how you can be a sponsor next year, call Diani Azout at 305-932-4200 x119.
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The Michael-Ann Russell JCC is dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life, representing a model of acceptance, understanding and diversity. The MAR-JCC is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and United Way of Miami-Dade.