In celebration of Purim, Ma’yan staff members Pippi and Eve paid a visit to the JCC Nursery School. They shared the Purim story, and invited the kids to participate using prayer flags with bells on them, to be waved when Vashti or Esther are mentioned. The ringing of the bells is associated with the heroines’ bravery. This is an adaptation of the usual Purim storytelling ritual, where kids shake a grager (noisemaker) when the evil Haman is mentioned.
The version of the Purim fable we presented emphasizes the centrality of women to the story, and celebrates women for being courageous. We see this as an act of resistance in a culture where children (even very young children) are often taught that men are singularly courageous, and that women generally have smaller roles and more trivial virtues.
If you want to know more about our feminist interpretation of Megillat Esther, see this article by former Ma’yanite Tamar Cohen.