The Essex Jewish Community celebrated Purim this week (Monday 06 March 2023) with a Sephardic Megillah at Ohel David Sephardi Synagogue, the only community of its kind in Essex. The event attracted Jews from across Essex and East London with roots in North Africa, India, Iraq, Israel, Spain – and even Afghanistan – with the chanting of Megillat Esther followed by festive food including Oznei Haman (Hamantaschen), (non-Sephardic!) whisky and classic Mizrachi songs.

Established over 25 years ago, Ohel David Sephardi (Essex) re-started its Shabbat and Festival services in early 2022, following a two year pause due to Coronavirus. The congregation has longstanding roots in the local area and was originally part of the historic ‘Eastern Jewry Community’ of East London and Essex, formed in 1965.

Shimon Tivoni, Chazan of Ohel David, said: “Purim is one of our favourite festivals, a time of great joy when we come together to remember our People’s resilience and survival during the ancient Persian empire. As we say during the Hebrew month of Adar, Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’simcha!”