Purim is right around the corner, and it’s a holiday that children and adults alike take very seriously.
When is Purim in Israel 2023?
This year, Purim will be taking place from the evening of March 6th to the evening of March 7th in most places. But, if you’re lucky enough to be in Jerusalem, get ready for an extra day of celebrations, because Shushan Purim is happening on March 7th to March 8th! So, whether you’ll be dancing in the streets, noshing on hamantaschen, or just enjoying the festive spirit, don’t forget to plan accordingly for this epic Jewish holiday.
How is Purim Celebrated in Israel?
Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to destroy them. The holiday is marked by reading the Megilah (the story of Esther), dressing up in costumes, giving gifts of food (“mishloach manot”) to friends and family, matanot laevyonim (giving charity to oprhans or those in need), and enjoying festive meals.
So, in order to get you in the right Purim mindset – we have put together a comprehensive list of how to celebrate Purim in Israel:
- Where to buy your costume in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
- Where the best Purim parties are throughout Israel
- The best places to hear the Megilah
- Where you can volunteer for Purim
- Where to find the yummiest Hamentaschen’s
First things first, Purim is synonymous with costumes. There is no Purim without costumes – and what’s really fun in celebrating Purim in Israel is that everyone dresses up – all ages. So, where can you shop for costumes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? Let’s see!
Where to Buy Purim Costumes in Israel?
The answer is…. anywhere! In Tel Aviv, they start selling costumes a few weeks before Purim, but King George Street has definitely become a street lined with costume stores. There are also a few costume stores and stand across Dizengoff Mall, including Brurya in the mall.
In Jerusalem, you can go to the Red Pirate to stock up on your costume or any other store downtown that sells costumes – as they will be everywhere. Plus, if you ever need a last minute costume and inspiration, just go to Max Stock and put on those bunny ears.
Also, you can always just order on Amazon!
Where are the Best Purim Parties in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?
First of all, did you know that Purim in Jerusalem takes place a day after everywhere else in the world? This year, Purim begins Monday night into Tuesday. This means you can start partying in Tel Aviv at Kerem Hateimanim (the Yemenite Quarter), which turns into a huge party, and then continue to Jerusalem on Tuesday or Wednesday and continue the celebrations on Shushan Purim!
However, if you don’t want to travel between the two cities on Purim, I promise you there will be so many parties happening all week of Purim.
The Best Places to Hear the Megilah Reading
In Tel Aviv, the International Synagogue on Frishman will host a “Purim Extravaganza” with a live band. Or you can make your way to 126 Ben Yehuda, where there will be lots of celebrations, food to snack on, and other refreshments. Chabad On the Coast has also released its timetable for next week’s celebrations, which you can find here.
In Jerusalem, you can hear the Megilah at the Great Synagogue, which is an experience of its own. Or even better, you can make your way to the Kotel and hear it there! The Masorti (Conservative) Synagogue has also released its own timetable! However, there are always English-speaking readings on Emek Refaim in the German Colony, at the First Station, and Mayanot Synagogue in Nachlaot.
Ultimately, all of Israel will be celebrating, so even if you can’t reach these synagogues, you can find one nearby and listen to the Megilah reading there.
Where You Can Volunteer on Purim
While Purim is definitely a fun holiday, it’s also a great time to do something really nice for your community as well. This year, you can take part in the Ichilov Volunteering Day with the 126 Ben Yehuda Synagogue. Or make a mishloach manot, a Purim Basket for the people you care about. Here is a quick brief on mishloach manot and a few ideas as to what to give.
The Best Hamentaschen’s in Israel
In Israel, you will find most bakeries selling hamentaschen for Purim celebrations. However, how can you know, which one’s the tastiest? Well, you might just need to taste all of them… but if you don’t want to, I have compiled a few bakeries in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where you can find the best hamentaschen.
In Tel Aviv, Lehamim Bakery for sure has some of the best hamentaschen. They have sweet and savory ones and a delicious marzipan one too! Roladin is also a good option – plus, it’s located all over Israel. They have a delicious apple and walnut filling cookie. You will find giant hamentaschen with traditional fillings in Jerusalem at the Brooklyn Bakery in Meah Shearim. But another great spot is Neeman, located across Jerusalem. Let us know your favorite bakery!
Purim In Israel
Just have fun! Dress up, enjoy this holiday with your friends and the whole country! And don’t forget to snack up on those yummy hamentaschen’s either. 😉