Local Religion / In Brief

Festival of Purim, food drive planned

The Jewish Congregation of Maui will celebrate the festival of Purim at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beit Shalom Synagogue in Kihei. Members of the public are welcome.

Purim celebrates the Jewish people surviving the genocidal plans of the Persian tyrant Haman, who wished to annihilate all the Jews of Persia in its 127 provinces. To honor the memory of the persecuted Persian Jews, Jews around the world refrain from food and drink on the day leading up to the celebration. This day is known as “The Fast of Esther.” This year the before-dawn-to-evening fast will occur on Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s program, the story of Esther will be read by members of the community. In the spirit of the holiday, attendees are encouraged to come in costume and bring mishloach manot, or small portions of food to give to friends and acquaintances.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, there will be Shacharit/Morning service followed by a traditional reading of Megillat Esther/The Scroll of Esther by resident scholar Sam Shnider. People are again encouraged to come in costume and bring mishloach manot to give to friends and acquaintances.

The congregation also announced its annual food drive from Wednesday until March 28 in observance of the directive to help the needy from Purim to Passover. The congregation will collect packaged and canned foods for the Maui Food Bank. Food items may be dropped off at the synagogue.

Recommended items include canned meat and tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals and soups with protein, cereals, rice and pasta (all items must be factory-sealed, no open packages or perishables). Financial contributions are also welcomed by the Maui Food Bank.

The Jewish Congregation at Beit Shalom Synagogue is located at 634 Alulike St., on the corner of Kaonoulu and Alulike streets.

For more information, call the office at 874-5397 or email jcom@hawaiibiz.rr.com.

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