Greenpoint Shul (108 Noble St.), the oldest operating synagogue in Brooklyn, is hosting a Purim Block Party to celebrate the upcoming Purim holiday. The block party will shut down Greenpoint’s Noble Street on March 13 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.
Rabbi Ben Greenfield said, “We’re trying to make the shul a community for everyone.” He invites all North Brooklyn residents, regardless of religious affiliation, to stop by the party.
Rabbi Greenfield explained that the block party has two main goals. The first is for the event to be a fun and educational experience for kids in the neighborhood.
The second goal is to provide an opportunity for the neighborhood to visit Brooklyn’s oldest synagogue, what Rabbi Greenfield calls “an historic anchor of Greenpoint.” During the block party, the shul will host an open house and invite neighbors to walk around inside or take a tour of the sanctuary.
Outside at the block party, kids can look forward to arts and crafts stations and a moon bounce house. Party-goers can also enjoy a few fun things to eat. Expect pastrami, smoked right in the backyard of the shul with their own smoker. There will also be home-brined pickles and Hamantaschen, which are triangular cookies made of dough with poppy seeds or fruit jam in the middle, traditionally eaten during Purim.
Purim is derived from an ancient word for lottery. As a nod to the name, the block party will hold a raffle. A myriad of local vendors are sponsoring the raffle, including Skyline Drive-In, Box House Hotel, Parachute, Word, Mini Jake, and 99 Franklin, just to name a few. Tickets can be purchased in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the block party.
Purim begins on the night of Wednesday, March 16, and the Greenpoint Shul will be having a reading of the Megilla, also known as Book of Esther, at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to come in Purim costume. “Purim is a little bit like Jewish Halloween,” said Rabbi Greenfield. Traditionally, those celebrating dress up as people featured in the Book of Esther, but attendees are welcome to dress up as anything.
If you are unable to attend the block party or Purim, the Greenpoint Shul tries to host a monthly event for children that is always open to the public. The shul’s next event is scheduled for April 10 to celebrate Passover. Kids can look forward to more arts and crafts and something sweet like jelly doughnuts.