By Isabella K.
Every year, Purim comes on the 14th of Adar. On Purim, people dress up in costumes, give gifts to their friends and the poor, and have a big feast. The story of Purim takes place in Shushan, Persia. A righteous man named Mordechai had a beautiful cousin named Esther who he brought up as if she was his daughter. There was a king named Ahaseurus who ordered to have all the girls in the country come to the palace for him to choose a queen. All the girls came to the palace in fancy dresses while Ester came in a simple dress. Ahaseurus choose Ester since she was the most beautiful girl there. Mordechai told Ester to keep her Jewish identity a secret from the king because his evil adviser, Haman, wanted to kill all the Jews. Haman picked a date to kill all the Jews. Esther bravely went to the king and asked him to stop Haman and uncovered her Jewish identity. Ahaseurus listened to her, and instead of the Jewish people being killed, Haman got killed. In preparation for Purim, BCDS enjoyed Pajama day and crazy hat day. Children in younger grades have mishloach manot exchanges and make art projects. On the Monday after Purim, BCDS had a Purim carnival and a costume contest.
Also in the winter is the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, which celebrates the new year of the trees. You have a Seder and you eat the shivat haminim, the seven species of Israel. The seven species are wheat, barley, grapes, dates, figs, olives, and pomegranate. In addition, people eat other nuts and fruit. On Tu B’Shevat, it is a custom in Israel to plant trees, and people and around the world donate money to plant trees in Israel. Schoolchildren in Israel go on a field trip to plant trees.