In preparation for the Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins this Wednesday at sundown, The Fellowship hosted a party for participants in our With Dignity and Fellowship program in Migdal HaEmek, an Israeli city near Nazareth.
The joyous holiday atmosphere brought smiles to the faces and hearts of all, and gave the impoverished elderly an opportunity to leave their houses and forget their ailments and day-to-day problems. These elderly wore costumes, hats, and wigs, helping them get into the spirit of the Purim holiday, which celebrates God’s rescue of the Jewish people through the brave actions of Esther.
Local sixth-grade students performed a short skit, led the audience in singing Purim songs, and joined the elderly partygoers in making the traditional holiday noisemakers, masks, and hamantaschen (three-cornered cookies that resemble Haman’s hat).
The Fellowship’s Yael Eckstein attended the party as well, putting on a wig and mingling with the elderly Israelis in attendance. She told the partygoers, “The Fellowship always thinks about you and cares for you. My father, Rabbi Eckstein, is abroad at the moment so he sent me. But he always says, ‘We need to be there. They need to know that we love them.’ We're here with you and we'll always help you and embrace you. Happy holiday!"
After Yael's speech, an elderly woman named Galina got up to say a few words: “I want to thank you, The Fellowship, and especially your father, from the bottom of my heart. You’ve warmed everyone’s heart. I came here today even though I don’t feel well. Here I’ve forgotten about all of my problems. It’s so nice that there are so many people here who are smiling, and it’s especially nice that the children came to wish us a happy holiday. Thank you very much.”