Purim is coming to TOR!

Purim is a little late this year. A quick word about the calendar: For those of you who might be curious about the Jewish year and how the different holidays seem to jump backwards and forwards on the secular calendar, there is a great explanation at: http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm.

We have a really special Purim celebration in store for you this year. Please mark your calendars for March 23rd and plan to join the rest of your TOR family for a great dinner and Purim celebration. We will have Pasta and Pizza at 5:45, followed by entertainment from our choir, the annual Purim spiel, and readings from the Megillah, (plus a little surprise from the religious school kids).

Another quick overview of Purim at TOR:

During the holiday of Purim, there are four mitzvot that are observed: the reading of the megillah (Esther story), a festival meal, the giving of gifts to friends (shalach manot), and the giving of gifts to the poor (matanot l’evyonim). We are making it easy and fun for you to fulfill the mitzvot with your friends at TOR!

Sunday, March 13 – Purim Carnival from 9:30 to 12. Carnival games, bounce houses, hamantaschen, concessions, and prizes. $12 per child. Rain or Shine!

Shalach Manot Baskets – available for pick up from Friday, March 18 to March 23 –This year, every member family (unit) will receive a Purim basket. Fulfill the mitzvah of shalach manot by sponsoring the entire congregation for only $36. As a sponsor, your family name will go on every basket. Individual baskets are also available for $18, should you wish to give a basket to someone outside of our congregation. And don’t forget to pick up your basket! Call the temple office to participate in this great mitzvah.

Wednesday, March 23 – Annual Purim Dinner and Spiel – 5:45pm. Get your megillah and festival dinner in one wonderful evening! Dinner is $5 per person, $20 per family. Don’t miss this evening of fun and silliness, Dr. Seuss style!

Now until March 23rd – Canned Food Drive to fill our TOR food closet. Fulfill the final mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim (gifts for the poor) by providing food for our congregants in need. We are especially in need of soup, canned tuna and chicken, cereal, and canned fruit.

We need bakers to help make hamantaschen! If you are able to bake a couple dozen hamantaschen, please email me. You are free to use your own recipe and choose your favorite filling. Or, if a recipe is needed, we can send one to you! All cookies are needed at the temple by March 15th.

+++++++++ Announcements +++++++++

Wednesday, March 9th – 6:30pm – Hebrew School

Sunday, March 13th – 9:30 to 11:30 – Purim Carnival, $12 per child

Sunday, March 13th – Purim Spiel Practice – 12:15 to 1:30 (There is still room for more players! Come join us!)

Mitzvah Project Help Needed – For her mitzvah project, Eliana Chaiken has been volunteering with a large cat rescue center in El Dorado Hills. She is looking for donations of canned wet cat food for a portion of her project. If you are able to provide a donation, she will be collecting until this Sunday, March 13th. Thank you!

Spring Camp – April 1-3 at Camp Newman for grades 2-6. We already have a couple of TOR kids going, lets add your name to that list! There is a bus from B’nai Israel that will take the kids to and from camp.  http://campnewman.org/event/spring-camp/ This will be a great weekend of fun! Register today!

NEW TOWING POLICY: Starting on March 15th, there is a new towing policy in force at TOR. Unauthorized vehicles in our parking lot will be subject to towing at the owner’s expense. If you would like to use TOR as a meeting place to carpool out of town and wish to leave your car in our parking lot, please make sure to leave a note in the new lock box, located near the front door, for that purpose.

+++++++++++ Religious School Update++++++++++

With Purim on the horizon, all of the classes learned about the story of Purim and participated in discussions and activities surrounding the story this week.  We had Jacob Marks on campus filming a very fun surprise for the Erev Purim Celebration. I hope you will be there to enjoy it!

Take a moment this week and have your child tell you about the Purim story. Why it is important? Why do we celebrate Purim? Why was Esther important for the Jewish people? What can we learn from Esther and Moredchai?

Hope to see everyone soon!