Shomrei Torah will hold its gala ad journal celebration on Saturday, March 11, beginning with megillah highlights at 7 p.m., followed by cocktails and dinner. At 9, “The Haman Blues,” a Purim spiel directed and cast by congregant Beth Julie and featuring many congregants, will be performed. It will be performed again on Sunday, after the carnival, which begins at 11:30 a.m.
Ms. Julie and her husband, Dr. Edward Julie, live in Wayne, where she teaches in Shomrei Torah’s religious school. Ms. Julie enjoys music and playwriting; in fact, this is the third play she has written for the shul. She’s played the piano since she was 4 and her mother was an amateur songwriter. Trained as a statistician, she managed the financial part of her husband’s medical practice before becoming a teacher. Her plans include writing Jewish books into rhyme.
According to Ms. Julie, the Purimspiel is a full musical production, accompanied by professional musicians. The score is made up of 28 musical numbers; there is relatively little narration. While the 31-member cast, which includes seven children in the Sunday production, are all amateurs, they will get everyone on their feet laughing, singing, and clapping. Costumes were created by Jodi Kashmann.
Esther’s story is so important, Ms. Julie said, because “her story is one of joy, perseverance, tenacity, loyalty, respect for Jewish values, and the importance of being proactive. It is the classic story of good prevailing over evil, but without the death of even one of our people.” She added, “Purim teaches us the subtle nature in which God can exert influence. Purim shows us that miracles are evident all around us, if we are open to their existence. Unlike so many of our other holidays, the celebration of Purim is quite similar across the spectrum of Jewish observance. Also, the Book of Esther is studied by all Christian denominations.”
Ms. Julie feels she needs to “do things at the shul that are unifying. It is brutal getting people to participate — this they come to – to have a great time together at the synagogue.”
Go to www.ShomreiTorahWCC.org or call (973) 696-2500 for more information.