Our Stories

JPDS-NC Celebrates Purim with Joy, Creativity, Design Thinking, and Outreach to the Community

March 13, 2017 by Hannah Seidel (Faculty and Staff)

The entire school celebrated Purim on Friday with a day full of Megillah, Tikkun Olam, and Design Thinking – and of course a lot of fun! We saw Esthers and Hamans, pirates and baseball players, pandas, lions, and Hogwarts students. The children engaged each other in a Purim-themed Design Thinking challenge, made Mishloach Manot for the community, and were treated to an uproarious Purim spiel.

North Campus students began the day by making Mishloach Manot bags. Each grade created gifts to send to different members of our larger community, including local senior citizens, Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington, a Muslim school, JCADA, and our neighboring Brightwood School. Purim is a day for fun, silliness, and celebration, but as the Megillah tells us, it is also important to think about our friends as we celebrate.

Students then engaged in a Gragger Design Thinking Challenge. The children interviewed their peers about what kind of gragger (noisemaker) they needed – something to support their costume? Something small to fit in a pocket? Something loud, soft, or which uses a specific accessory? After a design and review process, the children crafted a working prototype using a box of fun mystery materials. These graggers would come in handy when it came time for the Megillah reading later in the afternoon.

But before the storytelling could begin, we had to fill the school with Purim spirit! Each class on the North Campus was given a section of hallway to decorate with posters, paper chains, flags, and more. One class made a dozen paper chains, while another covered a banner with colorful animal masks.

The children then heard excerpts from the Megillah read by their fellow students. The talented reading of the student volunteers was backed by the noise of the newly-designed, handmade graggers! Students were then treated to a Purim spiel written and performed by the Sixth Grade class. Kol Hakavod to all of our student Megillah readers, and to the sixth grade performers.

Meanwhile, students on the South Campus kicked off the day with a Megillah reading by Alumni Parent Larry Paul. Afterwards the children enjoyed a boisterous Purim Carnival, with stations for storytelling, Israeli Dance, Purim arts and crafts, making Mishloach Manot, and carnival games with a Purim twist (such as Pin the Hat on Haman!).

We were so happy to celebrate Purim together as a community. Chag Purim Sameach!