On Sunday March 8, 1998, Ashkenaz teamed up with the Bloor JCC and Downtown Jewish Community Council to present a festive Purim party at the Bloor JCC (AKA. the current MNJCC). The event took place in the old gym (what is now the Al Green Theatre) and included various family friendly entertainments, including an off-the-wall Purim Shpiel written by and featuring Michael Wex, along with David Wall (as “The King” Elvis, in a role he’d later reprise as part of Wex’s “I Just Wanna Jewify: The Jewish Revenge on Wagner”), David Buchbinder, and Anne Barber and Brad Harley of Shadowland Theatre. Lenka Lichtenberg provided incidental music for the event. This single-camera raw footage was shot by David A. Stein z”l, solely for archival purposes.
It has been left mostly unedited, and includes ‘fly-on-the-wall’ observational footage of kids who would now be in their later 20s and 30s, parents who’d now be close to or into retirement, and oldtimers who may no longer be with us. While this is not the highest fidelity, it is a charming snapshot of a moment in time that will ignite the Purim spirit and more than a little nostalgia, not just for the last century but for large community gatherings in indoor spaces.
Downtown Jewish Community Council, Miles Nadal JCC
Facebook, You Tube