JSU celebrates Purim

Club prepares for upcoming holiday by baking treats


Katie Hardie

Senior Nechama Buchbinder and junior Shaqued Ben-Harush make hamantashen. During the JSU eeting March 14, students celebrated Purim by making hamantashen with different fillings.

Jewish Student Union president senior Leila Raymond said she attended every annual Purim celebration meeting in the last four years, which the club celebrates by eating a Jewish pastry that symbolizes the villain in the Jewish Purim story.

“Today we are making hamantaschen — an amazing pastry that represents the villain in the Purim story’s hat because it had three corners,” Raymond said. “This is not a typical (Jewish Student Union) meeting although it is annual. I have attended the making of hamantaschens with JSU before Purim for the past four years.”

Jewish Student Union (JSU) adviser, local rabbi Tzvi Kupfer said he brings the materials and the knowledge, and the club does the baking and the discussing.

“I brought in dough and everybody filled it in with different foods and we are going to discuss in a little bit about the meaning behind the holiday and what these cookies represent,” Kupfer said.

Freshman Gigi Stillman said the hamantaschen baking was a special program for the club.

“This is kind of special because we never do anything — we mostly talk and discuss issues, but now we get to make food,” Stillman said. “(Usually we have) pizza or sushi and some oreos.”

Kupfer said he wants everyone to have a good outlook and to learn more about the importance of the Purim story for the Jewish people as a reminder of survival in the midst of an attempted genocide by a top Persian leader — especially considering the holiday began March 20.

“I want them to have a positive memory and a positive feeling about JSU and I think will definitely remind them of the upcoming holiday,” Kupfer said. “It will hopefully, with the discussion, give them some new insight on (the holiday).

According to Raymond, a usual JSU meeting tends to be less active, covering Jewish beliefs and traditions.


“A typical JSU meeting includes a discussion — learning and challenging the accepted beliefs that Judaism encompasses,” Raymond said.

Kupfer said the club meets almost every Thursday in Mr. Wilkes’ room and is open to all.

“It’s a student-run Jewish culture club open to Jews and non-Jews and we are in many different schools in the Twin Cities,” Kupfer said.