Purim in Birobidzhan Elevates Jewish Humor to New Heights

In a vibrant Purim celebration within the Jewish community of Birobidzhan, the renowned Jewish Autonomous Oblast established by Stalin in the Russian Far East, a comical extravaganza titled “KVN Purim Spiel” attracted over 600 participants from across the region.

Chief Rabbi Efraim Kolpak of Birobidzhan and his wife Ida led the festivities, entertaining the audience with specially crafted Purim-themed jokes and humorous anecdotes about local figures, including the city’s rabbi and prominent community members.

Children from local KVN clubs (Clubs of the Funny and Inventive) in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast and Khabarovsk organized and participated in the performances, further enhancing the jovial atmosphere.

Leading up to the event, many participating groups visited the synagogue and the Jewish museum, acquainting themselves with basic Jewish concepts. The event aimed to enhance the community’s positive reputation, raise awareness of its significance in local life, and convey Jewish messages in a joyful and experiential manner, echoing the ancient saying, “When Adar enters, joy increases!”

Birobidzhan was established in the 1930s as the capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, a territory designated by the Soviet government for Jewish settlement. Today, it remains an important cultural and administrative center for the Jewish community in Russia.

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