Planning Ahead, OU Encourages Member Synagogues to Reach Out on Purim
With the joyous and exciting holiday of Purim beginning on the evening of March 20, the Orthodox Union, as part of its ongoing kiruv (outreach) initiative, has called on communities and their synagogues across North America to make plans to reach out during the holiday period to the unaffiliated and marginally affiliated.
“Purim presents a wonderful opportunity for synagogue membership to reach out in a positive manner to Jewish individuals and families who may be beginning or navigating their journey through Judaism, as well as those who maybe unaffiliated,” declared Frank Buchweitz, National Director of Community Services and Special Projects.
To assist in this initiative, the OU has developed a series of activities that synagogues can implement:
• Members should be encouraged to invite co-workers, acquaintances, and neighbors to join the congregation in synagogue festivities and the Megillah reading. Newcomers should be warmly welcomed;
• Distribute flyers in the neighborhood for the Purim festivities with an “All Are Welcome” message and including the synagogue’s Purim schedule;
• Give Shalach Manot together with a brief explanatory card to co-workers, acquaintances and neighbors; and,
• Share Seudat Purim (the festive Purim meal) at home or in the synagogue with them.
In the past, the OU has encouraged its synagogue network to reach out by inviting people to the seder during Passover; by designing a beautiful “Welcome to Our Shul!” poster, which was sent to all OU congregations; and, by offering financial grants to synagogues for outreach programming.
“May this be a joyous time for all of Klal Yisrael. A Freilichen Purim to all,” said Frank Buchweitz.