JMM Insights: Happy Purim!

a young child looks into a mirror while putting a crown on his head.
Ira Levy gets ready for “Pre-school Purim,” March 1977. Photo by Sam Edlavitch, Jewish Community Center Collection, JMM 2006.13.1088.

In the spirit of silly celebrations, even when we can’t yet gather together, below we’ve gathered a veritable potpourri of Purim trivia, memories, recipes, and more to help you enjoy the holiday with your own spin!


Reminder: Executive Director Sol Davis is holding weekly office hours to meet you! Make an appointment for a virtual visit and share your thoughts, ideas, and aspirations for JMM.  

Click to schedule an appointment now!


wooden grogger or noisemaker
Did you know that groggers (the Yiddish word for rattle) have a decidedly Christian origin?

This grogger from the JMM collections dates from around 1900 and was found in the basement of a Highlandtown rowhouse. JMM 1999.162.1. We have a few other wooden noisemakers in the collection similar in style, but are lacking in other examples of Purim groggers.

Does your family have an interesting or unique holiday noisemaker? We hope you’ll share with us –send us a short video demonstrating your grogger this Purim!

4 cartoon children in costumes holding body-sized hamentaschen cookies.
What would Purim be without a delicious plate of hamantaschen?

We found some great resources for making your own delicious cookies, from the traditional to the surprising – including some savory suggestions! This collection of recipes even comes with a short history of hamantaschen.

What flavors and fillings are you going to experiment with this year? We’d love to see some photos – tag us Instagram (@jmm_md) or twitter (@jewishmuseummd)!

Here’s a throwback to our own in-museum hamantaschen bake off – maybe we’ll need to theme our next Great Jewish Bake Off around this Purim holiday treat.

(For the grown-ups in your household, you might like this list of Purim-themed cocktails as well!)

cartoon children wearing a variety of costumes
Check out “An Out of the Box Purim” for some great family activities from the JMM programs team!
installation shot of the Drawing on Tradition exhibit, showing framed illustrations from the book of Esther on a hot pink wall and a lime green text panel.
Do you remember our 2009 exhibit, Drawing on Tradition: The Book of Esther? 

There are so many ways to tell the enduring story of Esther and Mordechai, from the traditional scroll of Esther to the modern graphic novel to the enduring Hebrew school play. 

(A bonus throwback – check out the timelapse video of us installing the traveling version of this exhibit at the historic 6th & I in Washington, DC!)


Check out some upcoming Purim events from our community and beyond:

Beth El Congregation of Baltimore’s Shushan Squares: A Virtual Purim Spiel
Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl’s Rainbow Rave: a Purim kids costume dance party!
That 70’s Purim with Beth Shalom Congregation
Keshet Purim Program for LGBTQ Families
Extra Terrific Purim Carnival Family Fun,” Sun Feb. 27 11-5 pm Jewish Community Center.

Standing on jungle gym (L-R): Yoni Reishcher (Shapiro), Deena Messing (Davidov), Penina Goldstein, unidentified (in back), Tami Schabes (Hyatt) in front with crown. Sitting below the jungle gym: unidentified, unidentified.

Recognize any of these unidentified cuties? Let us know! Jewish Community Center Collection, JMM 2006.13.1149.


Esther’s Place: Online

Purim may be this weekend, but Passover is just around the corner.
Check out our newest Passover-themed bundles now – plus our selection of Seder plates, Elijah’s cups, and more!
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