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How to Celebrate Purim at Home

We’re going to celebrate Purim at home this year, so let’s move on and talk about how this holiday rocks, even if we’re not gathered at a big party. This celebratory holiday is known for being topsy turvy, irreverent and full of jokes, which we can all certainly use given this past year.

While you may not be a synagogue-goer, Purim is a holiday that is typically spent with others, whether at synagogue or another Jewish community gathering. Now that a whole (Hebrew) year has passed and we’ve gone through the entire cycle of Jewish holidays from home, what does Purim look like in 2021?

The Ultimate Ring and Run

Have you dropped off food for anyone during the pandemic? As in, rang the doorbell and ran away? There’s a Purim tradition for that called mishloach manot! Many people create bags or baskets of food items with at least two kinds of food, and leave them on doorsteps of friends or strangers. Popular combinations are an apple and a hamantaschen, or a granola bar and juice box.

Consider putting foods into your mishloach manot that reflect your family’s unique background and culinary traditions. Bake a huge batch of one of our multicultural hamantaschen recipes and share them with neighbors. As long as it’s ready-to-eat, anything can become a perfect Purim gift. We’re all craving  human connection, so add a handwritten card, child’s drawing or any other personal touch to brighten someone’s day!

How to Party Virtually

By now, everything that can be done online has been done online—except maybe a Megillah reading. Most synagogues are likely having an online program to read the Book of Esther. We’ll definitely need a grogger (noisemaker) emoji for that! Here are all the things you can do online.

  • Join a Zoom workshop to bake hamantaschen with other couples from 18Doors or on your own with friends or family.  
  • Put together (or watch) a virtual Purim spiel (a play that spoofs the Purim story). With the year we’ve had, jokes practically write themselves!
  • Gather friends online to share a seudah (Purim meal), show off your best costumes or use your most ridiculous Zoom filters and virtual backgrounds and put on a comedy show.
  • Even if you can’t go anywhere in costume (though you can certainly don your fanciest mask when you go for a walk), share pictures of yourself or your kids all dressed up on social media and invite your friends to do the same (tag @18doorsorg and show us what you’ve got!).

Celebrate Survival

Purim, silly though it may be, is really about survival. And having made it through this year is no small thing. Sure, we won’t have the raucous parties, the huge carnivals, the in-person…anything, but we made it. Like Esther and the Jews of Shushan, we’ve survived. If your Purim consists of nothing else other than being grateful for life, that’s still a pretty good (pandemic) holiday.

Another big part of Purim is giving gifts to those experiencing hardship, and this is a perfect opportunity to donate to a homeless shelter or food pantry to honor the many people in our communities who are still suffering. You may also choose to make a donation in memory of someone who passed away during 2020.  

Find events, recipes and more to help make this year’s one-of-a-kind Purim special, however you’ll be celebrating.


Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth is passionate about bringing people together, fostering a cohesive Jewish community and helping individuals find their Jewish paths. She serves in multiple professional roles in the Philadelphia Jewish community, including as the creator and writer of Miriam’s Advice Well for the Jewish Exponent. Miriam lives in Center City Philadelphia with her husband and two children.