PURIM 5784/ 2024

Saturday night, March 23 and Sunday, March 24

The festival of Purim commemorates the Divinely orchestrated salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.” It is celebrated with Megillah readings, gifts of food, charity, feasting, and merriment.  Read more about Purim

How We Celebrate Purim

Though we dress up in holiday finery, Purim doesn’t feature holiday work restrictions. Nonetheless, all the better if you can take the day off from work and focus on the holiday and its four special mitzvahs:

The 4 Mitzvot of Purim:

1. Hear the Megillah

Head to the synagogue to hear the whole Megillah a.k.a. “The Book of Esther.” This is the scroll that tells the Purim story. Listen to the public reading twice: once on Purim night, and again on Purim day. This year, that’s Saturday night, March 23 and Sunday, March 24. Listen carefully to every word of the Megillah.

When Haman’s name is mentioned (Chabad custom is that this is only when it is accompanied with a title), you can twirl  graggers (noisemakers) or stamp your feet to eradicate his evil name. Tell your kids that Purim is the only time when it’s encouraged to make noise during services!

The Megillah is read from a handwritten parchment scroll, using an age-old tune.

Click here for full schedule of Megillah readings.

2. Give to the Needy (Matanot LaEvyonim)

One of Purim’s primary themes is Jewish unity. Haman tried to kill us all, we were all in danger together, so we celebrate together too. Hence, on Purim day we place special emphasis on caring for the less fortunate.

Give money or food to at least two needy people during the daylight hours of Purim, March 7.  In case you can’t find any needy people, Chabad will collect and distribute on your behalf on Purim day to the needy. At least, place two coins in a charity box earmarked for the poor.

As with the other mitzvahs of Purim, even small children should fulfill this mitzvah. Donate here


3. Send Food Gifts to Friends (Mishloach Manot)


On Purim we emphasize the importance of friendship and community by sending gifts of food to friends.

On Purim day, March 24, send a package containing at least two different ready-to-eat food items and/or beverages (e.g., pastry, fruit, beverage) to at least one Jewish acquaintance during the daylight hours of Purim. Men send to men, and women to women.

It is preferable that the gifts be delivered via a third party. Children, in addition to sending their own gifts of food to their friends, make enthusiastic messengers.


4. Feast!

During the course of Purim day, March 24 celebrate with a festive Purim meal. Traditionally, this meal begins before sundown and lasts well into the evening.

The table should be festively bedecked with a nice tablecloth and candles. Wash for bread or challah, and enjoy a meal featuring meat, wine and plenty of Jewish songs, words of Torah and joyous Purim spirit. Sing, drink, laugh, have fun together.

Join us at Chabad for a beautiful Purim Seuda, Sunday, March 24 at 6 pm RSVP

Special Prayers

On Purim, we include the brief V’al Hanissim section in all the day’s prayers, as well as in the day’s Grace after Meals. This prayer describes the Purim story and thanks G‑d for the “miracles, redemptions, mighty deeds, saving acts and wonders” that He wrought for our ancestors on this day many years ago.

In the morning service there is a special Torah reading (Exodus 17:8–16), describing the battle Joshua waged against Amalek—Haman’s ancestral nation—almost one thousand years before the Purim events unfolded. If you did not hear this reading on the Shabbat before Purim (Parshat Zachor), make sure to listen now.


On Purim, children—and some adventurous adults too—traditionally dress in costumes, an allusion to G‑d’s hand in the Purim miracle, which was disguised by natural events. Make sure your children masquerade as good, cheerful characters, such as Mordechai and Esther.

Dress up your kids before taking them to the synagogue for the Megillah reading. Many synagogues have a masquerade party, along with prizes for the children, during or after the Megillah reading.

Before Purim:  Torah Reading of Zachor

On the Shabbat before Purim (this year, March 23), a special reading is held in the synagogue. We read the Torah section called Zachor (“Remember”), in which we are enjoined to remember the deeds of (the nation of) Amalek (Haman’s ancestor), who sought to destroy the Jewish people. Men, women and children come to Shul to hear this biblically commanded portion. Chabad UES Shabbat services begin 9:30 am, the children's program begins 10:30 am, and the special Torah reading will be approximately 11:00 am. 

Before Purim: The Fast of Esther

To commemorate the prayer and fasting that the Jewish people held during the Purim story, we fast . This year we fast on Thursday, March 21. The fast begins 5:32 am, and lasts until nightfall, 7:39 pm (these times are for NYC).

Before Purim: The “Half Coins” (Machatzit HaShekel)

It is a tradition to give three coins in “half” denominations—e.g., three half-dollar coins—to charity, to commemorate the half-shekel that each Jew contributed as his share in the communal offerings in the time of the Holy Temple. 

Shushan Purim

In certain ancient walled cities—Jerusalem is the primary example—Purim is observed not on the 14th of Adar (the date of its observance everywhere else), but on the 15th of Adar. This is to commemorate the fact that in the ancient walled city of Shushan, where the battles between the Jews and their enemies extended for an additional day, the original Purim celebration was held on the 15th of Adar.

The 15th of Adar is thus called “Shushan Purim,” and is a day of joy and celebration also in those places where it is not observed as the actual Purim.




Fast of Esther: Thursday, March 21, 2024

Fast Begins 5:32 am

Shacharit 7:30 am

6:45 mincha machatzis haskel

7:30 maariv

Fast ends 7:39 pm 


Eve of Purim

Saturday night, March 23, 2024


Maariv 8:00 pm

Megillah Reading 8:15 pm

Late Megillah Reading 9:30 pm

Children friendly Megillah Reading 8:30 - 2nd floor

Purim Day: Sunday, March 24

Shacharit and Megillah 9:00 am

Additional Megillah readings every hour on the hour from 11:00 am  through 5 pm

During Purim day:

- Hear the Megillah Saturday evening and Sunday during the day.

- Make sure to give gifts of poor to at least 2 poor people.

- Make sure to give gifts of food to at least 1 person.

- Have a Festive Meal 

Children's Party & Megilla 12 pm - 2 pm More info 

6:00 pm Community Seuda RSVP