Tens of thousands of Israelis are expected to participate in Megilla readings for the Purim holiday, taking place in hundreds of communities throughout Israel. Led by Tzohar and the Ohr Torah Stone organization, the annual program will include new locations this year in Azrieli Malls, where actors will act out the Purim story, aiming to make the holiday more accessible for the hearing-impaired, non-native Hebrew speakers and others.
The community events will also distribute explanatory Megillot and mishloach manot food baskets for those in attendance.
In light of the tense social situation in Israel, the event this year is focusing on the theme from the Megillat Esther, “Come Together, Gather All the Jews,” to put aside national disputes and come together in the spirit of the holiday.
“In these challenging times, when we are witnessing the ever-widening rifts within Israeli society, these Megilla readings provide an opportunity for all of us to come together to hear and embrace the heritage that is common to all Jews,” says Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone.
“Whether they gather in synagogues, schools, community centers, or malls, every family will find a way to connect with the holiday, its customs, and the values of social unity, and together we will feel connected and unified through this Jewish-Israeli experience.”
“This year as we approach Purim, we have a real reason to be concerned about the growing divide in the social fabric of our nation,” said Rabbi David Stav, Chair of Tzohar.
“On Purim, where we learn about the power of national unity, we need to take a break from all the division and arguments and remember that we are one people in our homeland with a common destiny.
“Our sincere hope is that the calls of unity from the Purim story will light the path for the nation’s leaders when they come together to discuss the many divisive issues that stand before them at this time.”
This will be the 13th year of the “Megilla BaKehilla” (Megilla in the Community) Purim program for the two organizations, with events all around the country, from Kiryat Shemona in the north to Eilat in the south.
Individuals and families wishing to take part in one of the hundreds of “Megilla BaKehila” events around the country are welcome to visit the Ohr Torah Stone or Tzohar Facebook pages.