March 4, 2012
By Simone Weichselbaum
BROOKLYN, NY -- March 4, 2012 -- New York Jews getting ready for Purim skipped the costume parties Sunday to focus on giving back. Doing extra charity is a must during the two-day celebration that begins Wednesday night and honors Queen Esther for saving the ancient Persian Jews from slaughter.
Helping the hungry was the focus inside a cramped kitchen on Coney Island Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where a hundred Yeshiva University students lined up chopping carrots and cabbages.
The veggies will go into 500 holiday meals for Masbia, a chain of kosher soup kitchens in Brooklyn and Queens. Masbia is also making “Purim Packages” for cash-strapped parents made up of food, diapers, and toys.
“On the surface, Purim is about parties, costumes, and people running around,” said Masbia director Alexander Rapaport. “But you have to help the needy. So people can make their own Purim at home.”
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