Staff Report

“Purim in the Stadium” is Chabad of Brandon’s creative twist to this year’s community celebration of Purim, the holiday commemorating the Jewish people’s salvation in Persia of old. The festivities will be held at Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, located at 1578 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico on Sunday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m. featuring fun sport-themed activities and your favorite stadium foods.

Billed as the most joyous date on the Jewish calendar, the daylong holiday commemorates the nullification in 356 B.C.E. of a Persian decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire as told in the biblical Book of Esther. Chabad’s original spin on this age-old holiday has helped bring the spirit of Purim to Brandon year after year.

“It combines ancient Jewish traditions with a modern twist,” said Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin, Director of Chabad of Brandon. “We focus on doing interesting and innovative programs that will maximize the enjoyment for young and old alike, yet still keeping with the holiday theme.”

The event is a community-wide program, and all are welcome to join, regardless of Jewish affiliation or background. Participants will enjoy beef franks in a soft pretzel bun, Philly “cheese” steaks, nachos and more of your favorite stadium foods.

In addition, the celebration will feature sport themed interactive activities and child-friendly reading of the Book of Esther, known in Hebrew as the Megillah.

“The event is focused primarily on spirit, fun, and tradition.” said Tzippy Rubashkin, program director at Chabad who helped organize the event. “Everyone is sure to have a great time.”

In the spirit of Purim, participants are encouraged to come in costume.

The cost is $18 per person or $60 per family.

A pre-Purim event, PURIM UNMASKED, will help women and girls uncover the meaning behind the Purim costume. This will take place on Sunday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Design and decorate elaborate masks to be used as a wall hanging or as a costume and explore the story of Purim as it is told, unmasked. Taste delicious Hamantaschen and Purim treats. It is $10 per person.

A multimedia Megillah reading followed by a luncheon featuring NY bagels, lox, whitefish salad and all the trimmings will take place on Sunday, March 12 at 12:45 p.m. This is free of charge, but RSVP is required.

To RSVP, please visit jewishbrandon.com/rsvp or call 571-8100.