July 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In New Rochelle, Yeshiva Students Bring Purim to the Quarantined

(Courtesy of Chabad of New Rochelle) When Rochel Butman of Chabad-Lubavitch of New Rochelle, New York, learned that the coronavirus was at her doorstep last week, her mind buzzed. “What will be with Purim?” A joyous holiday full of family cheer, synagogue get-togethers and gifting food packages to one another all day long, Purim presents a problem for a Jewish community in the throes of quarantine, like New Rochelle. Hearing the Megilla—which has to be done live and in person—presents the most acute problem. With the help of a Westchester County yeshiva, Butman hatched a plan: Twenty pairs of young rabbis were sent to converge on the neighborhood. They were given detailed routes of hyper-local areas to cover, going from house to house to read the Megilla for those quarantined inside. In consultation with medical professionals, the young rabbis stood outside the homes, at a distance of at least 10 feet, and read aloud for those inside through open doors and windows.

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