JASA’s Purim Masquerade


On March 20th, JASA Starrett Senior Center hosted a Purim masquerade themed party in the lower level of the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC). Celebrants were invited to wear masks and even dress in costumes for this annual extravaganza.

Upbeat music by DJ Angela Lo-bianco emanated from the BSC’s Aspen room where close to 80 seniors were dancing and laughing with their friends. Attendees held hands and formed a dance circle, swaying their bodies to the rhythm.

Lenora Doman is a new JASA member, so she was extremely eager to attend her first ever Purim party. She donned her red Lieu-tenant Uhura costume from the beloved series, Star Trek, and a white mask. “Everything was so wonderful! I love to dress up, so I was very excited to attend this event,” Doman said.

Even JASA President, Ruth Horowitz wore an intricate Dick Tracy outfit. With a brimming Fedora, Dick Tracey bomber jacket, and an orange toy gun, Horowitz looked like she was ready to solve the city’s most dangerous cases.

This fun-filled event com-memorated many of the Jewish traditions for Purim, such as eating Hamentashen, a scrumptious triangular cookie with a sweet filing, and a retelling of the book of Esther. Purim pays tribute to the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia, where they escaped extermination. The story takes place in 4th century BCE, when King Ahasuerus fell in love and married a beautiful young woman named Esther; however, she never revealed her

Jewish nationality to him. Many Jewish people wear costumes and masks to symbolize Esther concealing her heritage.

Under the king’s rule was an ad-visor named Haman, who plotted to eradicate all Jews, however, Queen Esther stepped in to save them. She fasted for three days so that God would recognize her plea for help. She confessed her secret to the King, who then made a decree that Jews may fight against any anti-Semitic Persian. On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized to kill their enemies, and the next day they celebrated. Since then the holiday has been known as Purim.

In addition to the Purim event, JASA also honored birthday celebrants born in January, February, and March with gift bags filled with candy and an aloe plant.

“I think it’s important to hold parties like this because it teaches our seniors about a different culture as well as provide them an opportunity to dance and socialize with their friends,” said JASA Director, Angela Blyakher.

Photos by Amanda Moses