Aliya Droker, 16, of Bellevue, center, gets help cleaning whipped cream off her face by her laughing friends, from left, Sabrina Kavesh, Emma Graham, Alex Lowenson, and Whitley Pearson, right, after getting a pie in the face at the annual Purim Carnival at the Stroum Jewish Community Center Sunday March 16, 2014. Purim is a celebration commemorating the salvation of the Jewish people in 4th century Persia; it is custom to wear costumes, give gifts to the poor and feast. At the carnival, different Jewish organizations raise money by running booths like this with games and prizes. The girls belong to a BBYO Jewish all-girls youth group chapter called Halom #1240. Their mascot is a cow.
Hamantashen pastries are tradition at the annual Purim Carnival at the Stroum Jewish Community Center.
When 2,200 BBYO teens joined forces with 1,000 members of NFTY — the North American Federation of Temple Youth represents the younger cohort of the Reform movement — for a day of joint learning sessions in Atlanta on Feb. 14, Christiansen found that the teens had more in common than he realized.
From Bulgaria to Canada, Argentina to Macedonia, there is an unbelievably diverse Jewish population out there that, despite centuries of assimilation threats and persecution, has formed strong communities that are deeply committed to sustaining Jewish life.