At the southern tip of the west coast of Canada, in Surrey British Columbia, Jews celebrated Purim al Italia II.
Under the direction of Rabbi Falik and Simie Schtroks and with the great help of Rae Sank, Esther Roubini and Penina Amrani together with other volunteers, a Purim event fit for Italian Royalty was prepared.
A Community hall was transformed into the gardens of Sicily and the Hills of Napoli, with the aroma of fine Italian foods filling the air. The walls were also decorated with signs and photos of Jewish Italy from Roma to Milano to Venizia.
Strung throughout the ceiling was a Jewish Timeline of the rich Jewish History of Italy while the tables had menu cards with the Mitzvot of Purim beautifully designed in Italian.
The evening began with an enjoyable reading of the Megilla, where children all took their finest shots at the Haman Pinata and were treated to kosher candy to last for a year. Throughout the evening when games were not being played, lively music played by the fabulous Nachman Zev Schtroks kept the guests “dancing within” and sometimes on their toes.
Rabbi Schtroks made the Italian Jewish History come alive with a game and prizes, and Simie had the people guessing all sorts of Italian food facts. Seems like the community knew their kreplach from their knaidlach better than they knew their gnocchi from their canolli.
When the games and Megilla Slide show were not on the screen, a slide show of beautiful images of Italy and Jewish life there was playing throughout the evening. Who would have guessed that before the Rebbe sent Shluchim to the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Purim was a hardly known holiday!