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  • Crisis in Iraq Israelis Spend Purim Preparing to Seal Rooms Ahead of Iraq War

    Twelve years after Purim celebrations in Israel marked the end of the first Persian Gulf War, Israelis spent the holiday this week preparing for the next war. With an American attack on Iraq imminent, the Israel Defense Force’s Home Front Command on Tuesday ordered the public to prepare sealed rooms for protection against potential chemical… More ▸

  • Purim Feature in Ukraine, Cross Dressing, Vodka and Songs Mark the Story of Esther

    The Purim spiel here is a bawdy affair. Cross-dressing Jewish community officials with gold teeth and uneven breasts, solicit young King Ahasuerus — who, predictably, chooses Esther. A Nazi-costumed Haman loses his eye patch when he is tossed to the ground, spanked and ejected from the scene. Everyone sings, eats hamantashen and drinks vodka. The… More ▸

  • Purim Feature Are Hamantashen Mainstream? They’re Not Just for Purim Anymore

    First it was bagels. Then rugelach. What’s the next Jewish food to go mainstream? Could be hamantashen. Hamantashen now can be seen next to mini bundt cakes and lemon poppy-seed muffins in the display case of your local coffee shop. Several large supermarket chains now carry them, and it’s no longer something they bring in… More ▸

  • Purim Feature in New Book, Hadassah Celebrates Its History, Purim Around the Globe

    In Uganda, Jews celebrate Purim by exchanging gift baskets of fish instead of sweets. In Tunisia they light firecrackers and feast on freshly killed lamb. The teen-agers of one Azerbaijan community used to take the opportunity of the noise made by groggers during Megillah readings to nail the clothing of unsuspecting synagogue members to the… More ▸

  • Purim Feature for 90 Years, Hadassah Volunteers Have Been Cooking Up Quite a Storm

    “People at the Hogar Adolfo Hirsch old-age home celebrate Purim every year,” says Irene Lubasch de Munster, of Buenos Aires, who assists at the home and is a member of Hadassah. She describes how elderly residents and their aides prepare for their annual Purim party, making posters and invitations, and designing masks and costumes. They… More ▸

  • Foulares: Turkish Purim Eggs No-stick Vegetable Spray

    1 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup ice-cold water salt to taste 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, cooled with shells on 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with no-stick spray. 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and water. Slowly mix in flour and salt, adjusting if necessary… More ▸

  • Holiday Feature: Purim Foods Honor Surprises in the Story of Queen Esther

    A page-turner with the pace of a John le Carre espionage novel, the Book of Esther is a tale of power and intrigue, of plots, counterplots and thwarted schemes. It is a story within a story that just keeps unfolding. In his cookbook “The World of Jewish Entertaining,” Rabbi – and chef – Gil Marks… More ▸

  • Mysterious Feminists Make Noise for Purim, and Some Aren’t Amused

    They’re back. A mysterious group of Jewish feminists that last fall circulated provocative Rosh Hashanah cards and advertisements in the New York area has resurfaced for Purim. Jewish Women Watching, a group that does not identify its members and leaves only an e-mail address — — as contact information, is mailing to Jewish agencies… More ▸

  • Holiday Feature: Remembering Purim in Iraq; a Paradise of Parties and Pastries

    Like visions of date palms laden with fruit, Purim in Iraq was paradise for children. “We were excused from school and over the two-day holiday, we’d attend six parties,” says Nora Iny, who grew up in Baghdad during the 1960s. She is now a trustee of Congregation Bene Naharayim, an Iraqi synagogue in Jamaica Estates,… More ▸