Purim Season Is Here!
The Purimshpil 5777 Launch FARBRENGEN!
Sunday, January 8th, 2017
There will be food.
There will be singing.
and moving, and dancing.
Artists, organizers, and other comrades will bring
an irresistible amalgamation of political & cultural thought & education.
There will be discussion and reflection.
What is a farbrengen? A joyous gathering of comrades, visionaries, artists, organizers, and rabble rousers. What is the Purimshpil launch farbrengen? The event that kicks the annual Aftselakhis Purim creative process into action. THE DAY THAT HELPS SHAPE THE SHOW. Come! Bring your body, your mind, your heart. Come bring your fears, your desires, your dreams.
For the location and details, visit the Facebook event page here.
For more information, and to receive regular emails and updates about the Purim process and the Purim Party in March, sign up for the mailing list on the Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee website here.
WHAT IS PURIM?
Purim is a favorite Jewish holiday for feminists, young people, queer folks, and party animals of all stripes. Purim’s narrative, the Book of Esther (aka the megillah), tells a tale of a foolish king, a woman refusing to dance naked for all the king’s men, a beauty pageant, a secret revealed, and a time of tables-turning on the bad-guy known as Haman (may his name be blotted out)! The holiday calls for noisemaking, rule-breaking, binary-blurring and an end to business as usual. All of those elements come together in a traditional folk play called a Purimshpil.
HOW JFREJ CELEBRATES PURIM
Since 2002, JFREJ has sponsored a radical Purimshpil project founded by artist agitators and educators Adrienne Cooper (zts”l) and Jenny Romaine in partnership with the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter-Ring and the Great Small Works theater collective. For the past few years, the Aftselokhes Spectacle Committee has worked with JFREJ and a long list of other artists and social justice organizations to produce Purim spectacles that bring together hundreds of revelers each year for a wild time. Each year, the Purimshpil offers a powerful example of what can happen when we use our cultural abundance in our political organizing. From 2002’s “Giant Puppet Purim Ball Against the Death Penalty” to 2004’s “Rehearsal for the Downfall of Shoeshine: An Immigrant Justice Purim Spectacular!” to 2007’s “Roti and Homentaschn: The Palace Workers Revolt! A Purim Carnival Spectacular” to 2012’s “Your Homentaschen Are Killing Me! A Purim Ball for the body, its resilience, its fragility, and its bounce!”, the shows have enlivened, enlightened, confused, and inspired JFREJ members and our friends and comrades.
Over the years, these radical Purimsphils have helped JFREJ strengthen and expand relationships with allied organizations including Domestic Workers United, Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Mothers on the Move (MOM), Picture the Homeless, FIERCE, FUREE, The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, PURSUE: Action for a Just World, Storahtelling, HEEB Magazine, and the AJWS-AVODAH Partnership. They have brought amazing artists into the JFREJ extended family, including Rebel Diaz, Galeet Dardashti, Blakbüshe, the Shondes, Kol Isha, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Yiddish Princess, DJ Rekha, Frank London’s Klez-Brass All-Stars, Maracatú New York, DJ Ripley, and many many more.
To read more about JFREJ Purims past:
- Unmasked: Has Purim replaced Passover as the best holiday vehicle for expressing individual Jewish identity? TabletMag.com. Liel Leibovitz. February 26, 2010
- SPARE TIMES: March 2 – March 8; ROTI AND HOMENTASCHN, New York Times. Melena Ryzik. March 2, 2007.
- Wrestling with Esther: Purim Spiels, Gender, and Political Dissidence. Zeek.net. Ezra Nepon. March 2006.
- Celebration Condemns the Death Penalty, Peoplesworld.org, Louis Shipman. March 22, 2002