Feb. 27, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Young Israel of Sunnyside will be celebrating Purim this week in an event especially catered to adults with special needs.
The private event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the synagogue on 46th Street and 43rd Avenue, and will cater to about 10 adults with special needs from the AHRC, an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the city.
The event is in its third year, and was put forth by Howard Brickman, the director of programming at Young Israel, who was inspired to mark the holiday with an inclusive event that his adult daughter with special needs could enjoy.
“I felt it would be really great if we could start doing something for people with special needs,” Brickman said. His daughter, Michelle Brickman, is also part of AHRC.
The event includes interactive activities that center on the festival, which commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a high-ranking leader’s plan to annihilate them.
The story will be told to attendees, followed by a movie about Purim and an arts and crafts session. Hamantaschen, a triangular-shaped pastry, will also be served, as is tradition during Purim.
Betty-Ann Hogan, a financial secretary and board member for Young Israel, said the event’s inclusiveness is important. Her son also has special needs, and is part of AHRC.
“The concept of any religious holiday is that there’s a lot of good things that everyone can take away from it,” Hogan said. “It’s about including everyone.”
Wednesday’s event is only open to AHRC members, but both Brickman and Hogan plan on creating more events open to all people with special needs.
Purim events that will be open to the public at Young Israel include a Megillah reading at the synagogue on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m., followed by refreshments, a Purim service on Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 a.m., as well as a ticketed luncheon at the home of Rabbi Stengel at 1:00 p.m.
Tickets to attend the Purim luncheon is $15 for members of the synagogue and $20 for non-members, and can be purchased or reserved by calling (718) 786-4103 or e-mailing [email protected].
For Passover, on Friday, March 30th, a catered kosher Seder will be held at 8:00 p.m. with services beginning with candle lighting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for this event can also be purchased or reserved by using the contact information listed above.
More information on all of this month’s activities can be found by adding Young Israel of Sunnyside as a friend on Facebook here.