April 2019 -- Adar II - Nisan 5779,  Volume 25, Issue 4

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Greenburgh Hebrew Center Purim Carnival Attracts Over 200 Revelers

By Stephen E. Lipken


Over 200 joyful participants streamed into Greenburgh Hebrew Center (GHC), Dobbs Ferry for their Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 17th featuring a Super Slide; Bouncy Sports Inflatable; Preschool Game Room; Crafts and Shushan Food Court.  Wearing “a recyclable thing,” Fourth Grade Hebrew Teacher Jimmy Rachlin was the target of not-so-subtly thrown nerf footballs, “Aim at Haman” as well as facial cutouts for Queen Esther and King Achashverosh.


“We often come together for challenging times but this is an opportunity to come together and celebrate, which is wonderful and everybody comes out.  It’s going to be a great day,” GHC Rabbi Jay Stein exclaimed.


Families with young children in a plethora of colorful, vibrant costumes joined Rabbi Stein for a special Megillah reading and listened to a hilarious Purim Spiel, “Purim Gone Wrong,” a Muppet-like puppet show presented by playwrights and puppeteers Frieda Belasco, Ella Finkelstein and Natalie Garson, including modern touches such as Vashti saying, “I won’t dance unless I get a mink coat!”  “The reason why it is called ‘Purim Gone Wrong’ is that the stuffed animals putting on the show didn’t cast correctly.  But they still have fun,” Belasco explained.


GHC Cantor Janet Leuchter led Purim songs in the Small Chapel.


The Carnival was graced by the magic show of “Joshy K” (Joshua Kurzban), 27, who performed such tricks as turning scraps of paper into a long stream of tubing emerging from his mouth, levitating a young lady and effortlessly solving a Rubik’s Cube.


“I am originally from Long Island, New York born and raised in a little town called Seaford,” Kurzban noted.  “When I was five years old, I saw a magician at a neighbor’s birthday party and got hooked.  I learned from my Temple the history of Harry Houdini, went to magic shops, got some magic books from the library and the rest is history.

“We need magic to lift us out of dark times,” Kurzban concluded.