Home for Purim? Check out Wicker Park's Mardi Gras-esque Masquerade

By Alisa Hauser on February 23, 2013 12:38pm 

 Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz and his wife, Sara Moscowitz, described Purim as "The happiest of all Jewish holidays."     The seventh annual 'Wicker Purim Party' will take place 9 p.m. Feb. 23.
Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz and his wife, Sara Moscowitz, described Purim as "The happiest of all Jewish holidays."     The seventh annual 'Wicker Purim Party' will take place 9 p.m. Feb. 23.
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Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad Jewish Center

WICKER PARK —  The "happiest of all Jewish holidays" is here.

Sometimes referred to as a "Jewish Mardis Gras," Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people who survived a plot that threatened to kill them in the year 3405 in the Jewish calendar (356 BCE).

Purim encourages costumes, too.

Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, 33, of the Chabad of Wicker Park Bucktown said he's hoping people will come to his group's seventh annual 'Wicker Purim Party' in disguise.

"The theme of the whole holiday is about disguise.  Everything that was going to go wrong was turned around positively... Everything that looked like a negative [for the Jews] was disguised as positive," Moscowitz said.

The party takes place in The Living Room, which acts as the headquarters for the young Jewish community since it purchased a permanent building in 2010 at 1630 N. Milwaukee Ave, just north of the Milwauke-Damen-North intersection.

"Wicker Park is a household name and has become an important destination for young adults in Chicago," Moscowitz said. 

In September, Moscowitz launched JChicago, an online dating site that has already made one successful match, with an engagement.

About 200 people have pre-registered for the shindig which includes an open bar, liquor snow cones, GlitterGuts' photo booth and an all-you-can-eat falafel bar.

In addition to eating and drinking, it's also customary on Purim to listen to the reading of the Purim story from the Megillah, a scroll from the Book of Esther, as well as give to the needy and send gift-baskets of food to friends.

"We're really a community organization open to all types of Jews. [Being] open-minded, non-judgemental is what attracts people to us. Just about making Judaism relevant and fun for all backgrounds," Moscowitz said. "We are all brothers and sisters."

Though online registration for Wicker Purim has closed, tickets may be purchased at the door for $25, or $23 with costume.  Doors open at 9 p.m, with the Megillah reading at 9:30. For more information, call 773-772-3770 or email.  View previous celebrations here.

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