Megillah Gras In Pictures

The CBS community filled our campus yesterday afternoon and evening, turning out en masse for Megillah Gras: Community Purim Fundraiser To Benefit CBS Education. We played, danced, ate, drank, and grogged together into the night, toasting a temporarily inverted world. The shared enthusiasm and warmth of the event was palpable; our hearts are full.

Special thanks to the many volunteers -- from United Synagogue Youth (USY) teens to CBS elder statesmen (and women!) -- who staffed carnival games, ran the food counter, bartended, and helped Executive Chef Jane Sykes in the kitchen! Thanks, too, to the CBS Family Preschool parents and Shabbat School parents who hustled on behalf of CBS education by successfully soliciting so many great prizes for the Megillah Gras raffles and silent auction, and also to those who helped the CBS staff plan the event. Todah rabbah (thank you very much)!

Megillah Gras wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire CBS staff, of course, but Dale Kleisley, Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education, deserves a special shout-out for leading the Purim charge! Kol HaKavod, Dale!

Check out some photos from the program below.

Kezayit (An Olive's Worth): A Proper Purim Greeting

Purim is almost here! It won't be long before we're masked, spieling, ring tossing, and bottoms upping! Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 12, 2017, when our PURIMPALOOZA: Community Purim Carnival & Spiel To Support CBS Educational Programs will take place!

According to Wikipedia, Quora, and just about any website we could find, there are three traditional Purim salutations: "Chag Purim Sameach!" ("Happy Purim Festival/Holiday!" in Hebrew); "Freilichin Purim!" ("Happy Purim!" in Yiddish); and "Purim Allegre!" ("Happy Purim!" in Ladino). Indeed, when you've come to CBS Purim carnivals and megillah readings in past years, it's a sure thing you were welcomed with one of those greetings.

The thing of it is, "Chag Purim Sameach!" ain't exactly exact. Although the greeting is widely used and accepted, Purim isn't technically a festival, or chag. The only chagim we observe are the Yom Tovim, the six Biblically-mandated festivals: the first and seventh days of Pesach (Passover), the first day of Shavuot, both days of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of Sukkot, the first day of Shemini Atzeret, and Yom Kippur. In the Diaspora, the redundant, second-day iterations of some of these are also considered Yom Tovim or chagim. Purim is notably absent from the list. Somewhere along the line (l'dor va'dor -- generation to generation), however, the greeting that should be reserved for true chagim was also attached to Hanukkah and Purim.

In a recent discussion with Rabbi Glazer, your CBS Communications Coordinator learned of a more appropriate greeting for Purim, one you might consider using this year. "V’nahafokh hu!" ("We shall invert things!") Rabbi Glazer explained that this greeting, which is drawn from two verses in the megillah (Esther 9:1 and 9:22), is the most incisive option. It speaks to Purim's most significant theme, namely that "everything should be inverted in a cruel and broken world, leaving only compassion and random acts of selfless lovingkindness."

Rabbi Julia Andelman (of the Jewish Theological Seminary) breaks things down further in a 2014 article:

"Purim is a holiday of reversals—written into the megillah itself. Haman creates an elaborate ritual by which the king should honor him, but his enemy Mordechai is honored with that same ritual instead. The gallows Haman builds for Mordechai end up being the instrument of his own death. And the fate of a nation changes from doom to victory in the blink of an eye: 'And so, on the 13th day of the 12th month—that is, the month of Adar—when the king’s demand and decree were to be executed, the very day on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to get them in their power, v’nahafokh hu — the situation was reversed—and the Jews got their enemies in their power instead' (Esther 9:1). Reversals of fortune, narratives doubling back on themselves in opposing incarnations, are to be found everywhere in the Book of Esther; and so the theme of a holiday — v’nahafokh hu — is born. Cross-dressing, inebriation, public parodies of teachers and friends—all of these traditionally questionable or forbidden boundary crossings are sanctioned and even celebrated on this one day of the year when norms are freely reversed."

This year, let's turn things upside down and shake out what's broken or cruel. V’nahafokh hu!

Megillah Gras!

Mark your calendars for the one Purim party you don't want to miss!

MegillahGras_Poster Megillah Gras:
Community Purim Fundraiser
To Benefit CBS Education

Wednesday, March 23
4:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Koret Hall, CBS campus

It's time to celebrate a world turned upside down, people! It's Megillah Gras time!

Join the CBS community on March 23 to revel in the joy and craziness of Purim. There will be carnival games, a bounce house, a dance-off, delicious food prepared by CBS Executive Chef Jane Sykes, two raffles with amazing prizes, a silent auction, an interactive megillah reading, lots of alcohol (of course), and more!

It's going to be an absolute blast...and it's for a great cause! All proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to support and enhance CBS youth education programming: the CBS Family Preschool, Shabbat School, and USY teen activities.

We look forward to seeing you (or Esther or Donald Trump or Chewbacca) there! The megillah reading will begin shortly after 7 p.m.

General admission is free, but you will need to purchase $1 "activity tickets" to exchange for games, food, and drinks. Activity tickets will be available for sale the day of the event only. Raffle tickets are available for pre-sale via Universe -- click through to purchase them now! -- as well as during Megillah Gras.

Carnival games (Skee Ball, Slap Shot Hockey, Hamantaschen Toss, Tip the Clown, Mini Golf, Bounce House, Jug Tumble, Fishing Hole) = 1 ticket per play
Mixed drinks = 9 tickets
Beer/wine = 6 tickets
Non-alcoholic beverages = 2 tickets
Ice cream = 4 tickets
Falafel w/ the works = 6 tickets
Potato Knish = 3 tickets
Boureka = 2 tickets
Bag of popcorn = 3 tickets
Homemade Hamantaschen = 3 tickets for 2; 2 tickets for 1

General raffle tickets are $18/1 or $54/4.
Prizes available: A pair of San Francisco Opera tickets ($214 value); a pair of San Francisco Giants AT&T Park box seats (for mutually agreed-upon game); 4 passes to the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) guest passes ($48 value); a 1-year membership to the CJM ($75 value); a pair of San Francisco Ballet Repertory Season tickets ($200 value); house cleaning voucher - 2 cleaners for 2 hours (courtesy of Jewish Family & Children's Services); $250 Sports Basement gift certificate; all the fixings for an Italian dinner for 4 courtesy of Trader Joe's ($50 value); California Academy of Sciences tickets ($35 value each); 2 Good Shab-Box! Shabbat dinners to go; a $25 Shubert's Bakery gift certificate; a $25 Cole Hardware gift certificate; 2 passes (for up to 5 guests) to the Bay Area Discovery Museums; an original artwork by CBS community member Helen Leibman; 2 tickets to the San Francisco Zoo ($38 value); Salvestrin Winery complimentary legacy tasting (for up to 4 guests; $100 value)

Jackpot raffle tickets are $100/1 and $250/3.
Prizes available: 2 1-week, all-inclusive (except airfare) vacations in Cabo San Jose, Mexico; a five course small plate food and wine pairing at Sapphire Hill in Healdsburg for up to 10 guests in private room ($450 value)


Prizes available: a 1-week, all-inclusive (except airfare) vacation in Cabo San Jose, Mexico; one made-to-order Eva-Lynne Liebman challah design ($100 value); a ceramic nature platter made by our Preschool PreK students; 8-10 hours of babysitting (up to 2 nights) by one of our USY leaders (a $150 value); a collaborative artwork on canvas, also created by our Preschool PreK students; a $150 gift certificate to Miss Tilly's Ballet & Theater Arts; a 2-hour Creative Canopy sewing birthday party package for 4 children ($185 value)