Today is Purim – a Jewish holiday that marks how the Jewish people were saved from Haman, a grand vizer, who plotted to kill the Jews living in Persia. The Book of Esther recounts this period in the history of the Jewish people.

A search of the archives of the Times-Tribune turned up several articles dealing with local celebration marking the holiday.

Here is early celebration in 1920 at the YMHA that featured performances of the Scranton Sirens and jazz vocalist Jack Gallagher.


The Scranton Republican – March 3, 1920

Here is an article from Feb. 23, 1961 that details the holiday’s origin plus a recipe for the traditional Purim treat, the Hamantaschen.

newspaper clippings

The Scranton Times – Feb. 23, 1961

When enjoying Hamantaschen enjoy a glass of Purim Punch.

newspaper clipping

The Scranton Tribune – Feb. 24, 1972


Here are two images from the later 1970s of Scrantonian celebrating Purim –


Children from Hillel Academy participate in the annual Purium program at Beth Shalom on Mar. 14, 1979. In front, exchanging gifts, are Sherri Dickstein and Lenore Moritz. Standing from left, reading the Book of Esther, Barry Davis, Doug Charick, David Jacobs and Mike Goodman. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES


three men

Congregational leaders at Rabbi H. Guterman synagogue in Scranton conduct services this morning, Mar. 23, 1978, in observance of Purim. From left: Rabbi Jack Werbin, Daniel Fink and Rabbi Y. Gass. TIMES-TRIBUNE ARCHIVES

You can read the Book of Esther here at the Jewish Virtual Library –