USG’s Purim Party Serves As Testimony To Inclusivity At BC

Guests eating together at the party./USG

By Serin Sarsour and Gabriela Flores


   Brooklyn College’s Undergraduate Student Government held its first in-person event of the semester on Mar. 14 to celebrate Purim, a Jewish holiday that commemorates how Jewish people living in Persia during the 5th century were saved from a massacre.

   “We want to do a series of events that correlate with holidays our students celebrate, showcase our diversity, and show unity at BC,” said USG Co-President Aharon Grama.

   With over 100 students in attendance, the BC community was able to step away from their academics and take part in the fun. 

   “We wanted to create an event that embraces the diversity of our student body. All were welcomed, not just those who celebrate Purim,” said USG Senator Lauren Zami. 

   Purim is kicked off with a day of fasting, where Jewish people later partake in a special feast called se’udat Purim while exchanging food and drinks with loved ones. Purim means “lots” in  Persian, which translates to the grand spread of food presented on the holiday.

   Additionally, the Book of Esther is read during the celebration since Esther is a prominent figure in Judaism. Esther was a Jewish girl who married King Xerxes of Persia and became Queen, according to As Queen of Persia, she ordered for the cease of the attempted slaughter of Jewish people living in Persia 2,000 years ago. Since then, Esther has influenced the holiday of Purim and continues to influence the lives of Jewish people.

   Purim is annually observed and celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which usually occurs in February or March. This year, Purim began in the evening of Mar. 16 and ended in the evening of Mar. 17.

   During last week’s festivities at the Student Center, participants made gift baskets, ate from an array of different foods, dabbled in candy packaging, and at one point, broke out some dance moves. Given that more students were on campus and there are now fewer COVID restrictions, many felt the event was exciting to join after the BC community ran remotely for a while. 

  “I enjoyed meeting students from our campus, both the new faces and the ones I recognized from Zoom. It was so uplifting to meet them in person,” said Zami. 

   Though USG members faced time constraints and some challenges in spreading the word about their Purim Party, they were able to organize the event in less than a week. 

   “USG wants to promote future events earlier and try to get more students involved. Also, try to make it [events] on times that no classes are scheduled,” Grama said. 

   As the semester progresses, USG leaders hope to continue embracing the different cultural and religious backgrounds present on campus. In observance of Ramadan, a holy month of prayer, fasting, and reflection for Muslims, USG members will host an Iftar dinner on Monday, Apr. 11 for all BC students to join. 

   “We want to spread the word as much as possible to make sure all of our students know about the events happening on campus,” said Zami.