This isn’t the first time LJC Youth Programs coordinator Pavelas Guliakovas has organized a holiday celebration. This year he decided there should be costume play based on excerpts from the Book of Esther with all the heroes and villains: the Persian king, Haman, Esther and all the others. But there were also samurai, cowboys, doctors and princesses. The entire play was performed in rhyme. During the breaks between acts, the children rushed off to change masks, apply glitter and use it as coloring, then came back to the performance space. Dancers from the Fayerlakh ensemble danced. All of the children and several of the parents as well had grown up attending the small children’s club Dubi, and Dubi, Dubi Mishpakha and Ilan Club children aged 2 to 12 took part in the Purim celebration. Samuel Gar, a professional teacher of Jewish dance, taught dances to the children. Their performance was amazing and the celebration lasted for about two hours.
Ilan Club coordinator Ina Frišmanaitė came up with the ideas and scenes for the celebration and wrote the texts and poems. She herself and her brother attended the Ilan Club as children. Now she’s a university student studying finance but doesn’t want to give up her role as youth club coordinator because she enjoys working with the children so much. Ina says it’s becoming more difficult to come up with things which interest the children and the situation has become complicated because they all have smart phones and iPads. She says it’s hard to come up with something which would capture their attention away from their devices. While the children want to participate, getting them away from their telephones for even two hours is difficult.
Margarita Koževatova, head of the Dubi Club for smaller children, said her daughter Ana helped get the children ready for Purim. “We watched cartoons, talked, everyone got ready and of course all the girls wanted to be Esther, they like princesses.” After the play there were treats, including hamantashen. Purim is a big holiday for the children, so the counselors and coordinators carefully planned a program that would be fun for everyone, sort of like a carnival. It seems to have been a great success all around!
Some snapshots from the celebration are availble here.