Our upcoming DJJ Purim party promises to be as complex as the social issues we take on: the event will include a potluck banquet, a shpiel, a costume/dish contest, musical performances and a dance party.
Rabbi Alana shared that "we're taking inspiration from sister organizations in New York and Boston who have been doing raucous, politically poignant Purim parties for years, The holiday lends itself perfectly to talking about fighting injustice and the power of organizing. And it's super fun, which is so important for building community and doing justice work for the long haul.”
The 2016 shpiel, written by me, Phreddy Whischusen, and DJJ staff Blair Nosan, uses the story of Esther to highlight the water crises in Detroit and Flint. Phreddy shared that, “Last year’s shut-offs in Detroit and this year’s Flint crisis are intrinsically linked — to the Emergency Manager Law, It’s miraculous how a story that is over 2,000 years old seems better at demonstrating that connection than much of today’s media.”
Legendary activist Monica Lewis Patrick of We, the People of Detroit, will play a leading role, as will a performance by Flowtown Review, a vocal group that uses Motown songs to discuss the water crisis. Hip hop artist D.S.Sense and harpist/singer/songwriter Rachel McIntosh will round out the bill. Some audience members will be picked for roles in the shpiel, which we think will be an essential element of the production. We’re looking for people to have the experience of being participants, not just spectators. We all have a part to play in making our region a more equitable community.
At the conclusion of the banquet and shpiel, DJ ABBA will start the dance party with his trademark blend of soul and global dance music. A core team of ACCB team members — from the city and across the metro region — have come together to design, plan, and curate this unique manifestation of ancient Persia inside the Jam Handy.
Jews and non-Jews of all backgrounds and observances are welcome. In order to be inclusive of all dietary needs, all potluck dishes will be labeled for ingredients and kashrus with the name of the maker on each dish. Separate tables for vegan/vegetarian dishes, meat dishes, dairy dishes and strictly kosher dishes will help make sure guests get the right food for their lifestyle.
Guests are encouraged to wear extravagant/creative costumes, bring a small donation and a delicious dish to share. The best costume and dish will earn prizes. The banquet and shpiel begin at 7 p.m. and the dance party kicks off at 9. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.detroitjewsforjustice.org/purim, or email [email protected].
Phreddy Wischusen is a storyteller who is highly critical of his intense desire to totally immerse himself in every sensual experience Life affords him. He is one of the co-chairs of DJJ's ACCB Team. He grew up in a suburb of Atlanta and lives in Highland Park, Michigan. He loves G-d and all the hard and splendid things that come with that.