Legal community gathers at Brooklyn Bar Association for Purim celebration

March 8, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Members of the Brooklyn Bar Association, Brooklyn Brandeis Society and the Chabad Tzedek Society hosted a Purim party in Brooklyn Heights on Tuesday where dozens of lawyers and judges gathered to celebrate the Jewish holiday.

“Happy Purim. It’s good to see all of the judges in their Purim costumes,” said Rabbi Eliyahu Raskin. “I wish we could take a picture of this and put it up in the courthouse.”

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from a plot to destroy them in ancient Persia.

The story is told in the biblical Book of Esther, which recounts how Queen Esther, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saved the Jewish people from the evil Haman, who had planned to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which usually falls in late February or early March.

From left: Rabbi Eliyahu Raskin, Rabbi Aaron Raskin, Hon. Lawrence Knipel, and Hon. Katherine Levine.

“I want to remind everyone of what the four mitzvahs of Purim are,” Raskin said. “One is to give money to the poor, another is to give gift baskets for friends, a third is to read the Megillah (the biblical Book of Esther), and the last is to have a meal to remind us of the miracles of what happened on Purim.”

The holiday is marked by feasting, dressing up in costumes, giving gifts of food to friends and family, and reading the Book of Esther aloud in synagogue. It is also customary to give charity to the poor on Purim. Purim is considered one of the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and merriment.

Michael Farkas (left) and Rabbi Eliyahu Raskin.

At the event, Raskin talked about the Jewish Affinity Organization, which is run by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Maxine Wiesenfeld was on hand to explain the program.

“I joined the office this past August after graduating from Brooklyn Law School and the Jewish Affinity Organization has been a wonderful resource for myself and my colleagues,” Wiesenfeld said. “As an organization, we put on events during the Jewish holidays where we get to celebrate and educate our colleagues about our various traditions.

Assistant District Attorney Maxine Wiesenfeld discussed the Jewish Affinity Organization, which is run by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

“We also serve as a space for conversation regarding antisemitism and we are a group for Jewish employees so they have a community at work. We are very grateful for the support the DA gives us that makes this all possible.”

Susan Master and BBA President Richard Klass.
From left: Turquoise Haskin, Hon. Katherine Levine, Hon. Carolyn Wade, and Mohammad Hassan.
Hon. Peter Sweeney (left) and Hon. Carl Landicino.
From left: Doron Leiby and Jeffrey Miller.

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