SHALOM-ENTASCHEN 2020: A Purim Carnival For Everyone Comes To The People's Building
At long last, Purim is finally getting its due. Jews the world over agree Purim is the "fun" holiday amidst a long line of more solemn occasions. The holiday celebrates the story of Esther, the Queen of Persia, who saved the Jews from execution by evil Haman, advisor to the king. It all took place around 357 B.C.E., but today's Jews celebrate it with great fanfare in their communities and synagogues. Costumes, parades, music & carnivals are the norm. But aside from Israel and insular communities around synagogues, it never gets the press it's due. That changes now.
"Shalom-Entaschen 2020 is about exposing our extended Denver metro area community to this fun holiday," says David Flomberg, who's producing the event with his sister and business partner Deb Flomberg-Rollins. "I started kicking around the idea years ago. I grew up in the Temple Emmanuel congregation, and Purim was my favorite holiday -they put on a carnival for the congregation and I spent most of it trying to win a goldfish every year."
For tickets: bit.ly/Shalom-Entaschen2020
The big thing missing, to Flomberg, was live music, so this Purim Carnival is built around it. "We have an amazing lineup for this first year: Hadgaba, a super high-energy Klezmer band; Tivoli Club Brass Band - they're a 2-time nominee for best Brass Band in Denver by Westword, and they bring a big dose of Mardi Gras flavor to the stage - and as a nod to the Halloween/costume factor the Purim holiday inspires, we have Denver's only Oingo Boingo tribute band - Reptiles and Samurai - to close it out."
Guests are encouraged to come in costume, too (just no weapons). "King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther, Queen Vashti, and Haman are all great options from the story itself," Flomberg says, "but feel free to throw down as your favorite Power Ranger or Avenger or Zombie. I remember one year when all the rabbis at Emmanuel were dressed as Sesame Street characters." Add carnival games and buskers and the event will be a perfect way to ring in this holiday.
This year's charitable organization: HIAS
As befitting the Jewish custom of "tikkun olam" - roughly translated, "heal the world" - the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS) was chosen as the charitable organization for Shalom-Entaschen 2020.
A silent auction will be held featuring goods and services donated by local merchants, including BookBar, Mutiny Information Café, Brows On Upper 15th, Judith and Joe, BROAD Digital and many more.
"The steady rise of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism here and abroad has been outrageous over the last few years," Flomberg says. "The Pittsburg synagogue shooter believed the amazing work HIAS does helping refugees and immigrants was some sort of insane anti-Semitic conspiracy to bring criminals into the U.S., for example. This felt like a positive and culturally resonant way to kind of strike back at hate with love."