A Purim Round-up: All Inclusive Fun, Fairs and Festivities throughout ALEH
ALEH is filled with exciting activities all year long, but the weeks before Purim take on a life of their own with ongoing, non-stop fun, fairs and festivities beginning two weeks before the holiday on the very first day of the month of Adar.
Students at ALEH Moriah in Gedera enjoyed fun-filled visits by girls from Givat Washington and Midreshet Orot, including exciting happenings, make-up sessions, costumes, trips to the park and lots of singing and dancing.
During the weeks before Purim, residents’ regular outing to the library became a special story-telling time, with costumes, scenery and a lesson in creating story characters with make-up.
As part of the “Learning to Get Close” project, students from the National Religious Ohel Shalom school came together with students from the National Secular Re’ut school to prepare and deliver mishlochei manot (holiday gift packages) to students of ALEH Moriah’s special education school. Afterwards, student from all three schools set out for the local park, bringing the Purim spirit outdoors with singing and dancing.
The week before Purim was spent preparing for the big day. Sunday saw activity booths spelling out the Purim story, mishloach manot preparation and special home economics classes to prepare food for the big feast. At Monday’s feast, students came dressed up in costumes and delivered the mishloach manot prepared the previous day. Tuesday was another day of mishloach manot, delivered this time to the inmates who regularly volunteer at ALEH Moriah and to their guardian escorts.
The huge Purim party enjoyed by staff and workshop residents was a full month in preparation. Group costume themes based well-known stories included Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Tinkerbell & the Pirates, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs and Shrek & Fiona.
On yet another exciting pre-Purim day, residents received mishloach manot delivered by the children’s 4th and 5th grade soccer team from Shay Barda’s HaPoel Gedera soccer team. The young visitors came together with team members and their trainers who played sports and parachute games and sang and danced with residents.
The Purim spirit made its way into ALEH Jerusalem from the very first day of Adar and didn’t stop until after Purim. Each day saw a new group of volunteers and well-wishers coming to the school to sing, dance, party and deliver an assortment of mishlochei manot to residents of all ages.
One very special group consisted of students from the Jewish Institute for the Blind, making their annual visit to ALEH Jerusalem. Loaded with mishlochei manot for the children, the welcomed visitors brought along groggers and masks, gifts to be handed out to those residents unable to partake of the sweets in the mishloch manot packages.
ALEH Jerusalem’s well-prepared Purim party was divided into two sections this year. The special education school party was themed the 12 tribes of Israel, while the older residents enjoyed a flying-theme party, enhanced with well-made props and costumes. Families of each group were overjoyed to see their children so happy as they participated in the festivities together.
Even before the beginning of Adar, National Service girls brought the Purim spirit to ALEH Bnei Brak with a “mini” Purim celebration. Students dressed up as Minni Mouse, made mini-hamentashen and provided mini-drinks to staff and volunteers.
Students from the 7th grade at Ulpanat Holon descended upon ALEH Bnei Brak Rehabilitative Daycare Center on Rosh Chodesh Adar, decorating the surroundings with streamers and signs to welcome the joyous new month, playing and dancing with ALEH’s youngest students.
30 volunteers from the Milbat Association also arrived on Rosh Chodesh to help prepare costumes for this year’s Purim party. In keeping with the party theme of a fair, volunteers helped create peddler costumes, complete with stalls adapted for each child’s chair, enabling them to “sell” their “wares” to staff.
National Service girls worked relentlessly to turn the entire Bnei Brak center into a colorful Purim fair. Students happily gave gift packages, courtesy of Laline, to ALEH Bnei Brak’s dedicated staff who were overjoyed and so appreciative of the wonderful gift.
In an extraordinary event, surprising even for Purim when the unusual is expected, and organized by original-thinking staff member Chani, mishloach manot arrived this year straight into residents’ rooms through the window via snapling! Messengers went from the roof on down, stopping at windows on each floor to present surprised students with their expected gift packages in a most unexpected way. Earlier this year, Chani saw building maintenance staff member Erez Shochet working on building maintenance via snapling wire and decided to adopt this form of “transportation” to make the Purim deliveries.
ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran
ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran begins Purim preparations months in advance, so it was no surprise when amazing, well designed costumes appeared on Rosh Chodesh Adar at the special education school’s annual parade, held together with students of the Merhavim High School.
Rehabilitation patients celebrated Purim with a well-planned party at the lovely expanse in front of the village’s cafeteria. Based on a kibbutz-centered theme, the cafeteria was decorated as a kibbutz dining hall and the entrance was decorated with other kibbutz-like elements and ideas. Numerous activities, including a Purim quiz contest, entertained rehabilitation patients throughout the day.
In keeping with their five-year tradition, students from the Kfar Maimon Yeshiva took part in Purim festivities by creating a Purim fair, bringing oversized trampolines, bowling stations, bow-and-arrow targets, arts & crafts stations and more to village residents. The yeshiva students wore T-shirts bearing the slogan, “When you give and are left empty – that’s a sacrifice. When you give and are fulfilled – that’s love.” A most meaningful message for Purim and for all year!
The culmination of this year’s Purim celebration was the village Purim party for residents and their families, themed according to Disney movies. Residents dressed as Beauty and the Beast, Aladin, Shrek, Peter Pan, Mulan and Frozen, with each resident, no matter what their disability, dressing up and taking part in the fun-filled, festive party.
A full two weeks of fairs, parties and fun provided residents, staff and volunteers with an exciting end to the long winter months, preparing them for the soon-to-be- arriving spring.
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