Monday morning’s activities at Margolin Hebrew Academy will be especially festive.
It is Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the final month of the Jewish calendar, traditionally the most joyous month because it includes the festival of Purim, commemorating the Jewish victory over the Persians as told in the Book of Esther.
“It’s a longer service with more singing and right afterward our high schoolers are going to dance down the hallway to our elementary school classrooms, pick up our elementary school kids and dance to our gym where the band will be playing and where there will be a festive breakfast,” explained Rabbi Gil Perl, dean of the school.
“The Talmud says, ‘When Adar comes our happiness increases.’ We try to make that happen.”
They will also try to make that happen Monday evening at an open meeting to address last month’s desecration of a Margolin Hebrew Academy Torah scroll at a hotel on Jackson, Tenn. “Hatred & Holy Books” begins at 7 p.m. at Baron Hirsch Congregation, 400 S. Yates.
“We will educate ourselves and others about the kedusha (sanctity) of a sefer Torah and its meaning to our people, while also speaking out strongly and unequivocally against all forms of prejudice and intolerance,” Perl said.
Speakers will include Rabbi Gil Perl, academy dean; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles; and Rachel Shankman, executive director of Facing History and Ourselves. Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist is also expected to attend.
They also will show “Not In Our Town,” a 1995 PBS film that documented the efforts of citizens of Billings, Mont., to stand against a series of hate crimes.