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Our cultural Purim (literally "Lots are Drawn") is a celebration of the heroes in Jewish history (especially Jewish women!) and a tribute to ethical role models. And it’s fun!

5 Ways Kol Hadash Does Purim Differently

(in addition to costumes, games and fun)

1. Our Sunday School students created our congregation’s Illustrated Megillah (“scroll" in Hebrew). Each class from kindergarten through confirmation decorated one page of the megillah, and the whole megillah is rolled out during the rabbi’s telling of the Purim story.

2. We tell the story of Purim with feminist and Humanist values. We celebrate the human action and actors that save the Jewish people, in the story and throughout Jewish history.

3. We have an Adults-Only Purim Shabbat service at which Rabbi Chalom takes an honest look into the sex, violence and comedy in the biblical story of Esther.

4. Our welcoming Purim celebrations are no-obligation introductions to Humanistic Judaism which appeal to people who identify as Culturally Jewish, Just Jewish, Jew-ish, Jewish and . . . , Half-Jewish, Jews by Choice, Multicultural, Not Religious, Secular, Humanistic, Atheist, and/or Agnostic. No prior knowledge or Jewish literacy is needed; come as you are!

5. In addition to having fun at our Purim family celebration, based on the tradition of mishloach manot ("Purim baskets"), we emphasize doing good by sending gifts to the less fortunate.


Family Purim Celebration

Sunday, March 17, 10:30-11:30 am 

Kol Hadash Sunday School at Deerfield High School
1959 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield
All are welcome to attend our Purim celebration!

“Purim for Adults Only”

Friday, March 15, 7:30pm
All are welcome to join the fun!
Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation 
at the North Shore Unitarian Church
2100 Half Day Road, Deerfield

As part of a Friday evening Shabbat service, Rabbi Chalom leads a “Purim for Adults Only” service which exposes the subversive humor in the Scroll of Esther, and its later commentaries and influence. No one under chai (18) admitted!

You might also enjoy this “Drunk History, Purim Edition” program from 2021 with our Rabbi Adam Chalom and Rabbi Denise Handlarski. Definitely not appropriate for children!

For more information, please contact our administrator, Jeremy Owens, at, or 847/383-5184.

Learn more about:

Purim FAQs

1. Do you use the traditional megillah (scroll) or something else?
We have “super-sized” megillot (plural of megillah) which our Sunday School students have illustrated with their artistic interpretations of the story. We do not read the entire megillah in Hebrew; instead, we review the story and read a selection in Hebrew to have a chance to cheer and boo in both languages!

2. Do we need to know Hebrew to participate?
No Hebrew knowledge required! Rabbi Chalom translates what needs translating, and our songs written in Hebrew (or Yiddish) also appear in English letters for pronunciation.

3. What do people typically wear? Do they wear costumes?
For our Family Purim celebration, adults and children are both very welcome to wear costumes! These can include characters from the Book of Esther, or other heroes from the Jewish and human experience, or simply something fun! (No toy weapons, please.) Aside from costumes, there is no dress code. For the Adult-Only Purim Adult service, some wear suits or dresses, others wear sport coats, dress shirts, skirts or slacks.

4. Do you wear a head covering (kippah/yarmulke)?
While Rabbi Adam and most of our members choose not to wear a head covering or prayer shawl, everyone is welcome to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable.

5. Can my family attend without being members? Is there a fee?
Our family celebrations are always free and open to everyone.

6. Are you welcoming of interfaith, intercultural and LGBTQ families and individuals?
Yes! We firmly believe that everyone should affirm and celebrate who they are, and we celebrate the diversity of today’s Jewish family. Regardless of religious or ethnic background, all are encouraged to participate fully.

Questions? Contact our administrator, Jeremy Owens, at (847) 383-5184 or

Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784