In Pictures: Purim celebration at Westport middle school

WESTPORT — Purim, one of the more whimsical and community-spirited holidays in the Jewish tradition, was celebrated Sunday afternoon at Bedford Middle School.

The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism hosted a family-friendly event that included food, a traditional play and a mitzvah — a good deed in the form of a food donation — to a shelter in Bridgeport.

“We’re about repairing the world and taking action,” said Rachel Dreyfus of Fairfield, noting there were about 100 families involved with the congregation. “We love this holiday because we can just do this silly play and everyone enjoys it,” she said, in her purple hair in the role of Queen Vashti.

“I love the fact that there’s this counter-culture in Judaism,” said Taegun Moon, of Fairfield, adding the biblical story of Purim was one that didn’t include God in a role, but highlighted human struggles.

“There’s serious sides and there are subversive sides,” he said, “and we try to see both sides.”

Rachel Albanese, of Wilton, said the holiday has a strong message of overcoming adversity, but also a lighthearted celebratory feel.

“It’s a fun holiday to celebrate,” she said.