This past Thursday, Chabad and Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEphi) held their annual Purim Carnival at the Chabad of Binghamton at 7:30 p.m.

Purim is a cheerful Jewish holiday that celebrates the survival of the Jewish people from persecution in the ancient Persian empire. It is celebrated with reading the Megillah, the book of Esther, that documents their survival story. The holiday emphasizes giving charity, eating food and dressing up.

Goldie Ohana, the director of programming and engagement at Chabad, described the Purim Carnival as an exciting event that cultivates Jewish pride.

“Purim is a Jewish holiday where the Jews were persecuted, but Queen Esther, who was hidden by a great miracle, was inside the palace and was able to save the Jews,” Ohana said. “Today that is what we are celebrating — the miracle of the Jews, that we are able to openly and proudly be Jewish and that we can continue to be brave in our Jewishness, just like Queen Esther in the Purim story.”

In honor of Purim, the Chabad E-Board organized a night of games and entertainment. The carnival featured bull riding, a bounce house, costume contest and an alpaca pen. Additionally, a raffle took place, where there were 18 different prize drawings including gift cards, baskets, memberships and a meal plan F, donated by Sodexo. All the carnival proceeds will go to Sharsheret, an organization that helps battle breast and ovarian cancer. In collaboration with a past fundraiser for Sharsheret, Chabad hosted Fashion for a Cure alongside Sigma Delta Tau (SDT). Together, the two events have raised over $20,000.

Pamela Kaminsky, Chabad’s logistics spearhead and a junior majoring in linguistics, was in charge of the committee which organized all the activities and prize drawings at the carnival.

Kaminsky explained the process of organizing the raffle.

“My committee was calling a hundred different businesses to see what we would get for the prize drawing so that we can raise more money for Sharsheret,” Kaminsky said. “We were also getting all the fun stuff you see.”

Attendees of the Purim Carnival were dressed up in costume, as the theme was the Wild West. Many were dressed up as cowboys, although the costume contest featured an array of different looks. There were blown-up dinosaurs, various animals and even an Oompa-Loompa.

Bailey Kahn, the recruitment spearhead and a freshman double-majoring in philosophy, politics, and law and human development, described how student organizations on campus helped with the carnival.

“All the funds from the Purim Carnival go to Sharsheret, and we thought that different student organizations on campus could all bring something very different, but very special to the carnival,” Kahn said. “We reached out to the American Cancer Society and Women’s Medical Society, specifically because of where the funds are going.”

As this event was co-hosted by AEphi, Hailey Nevins, the Greek life spearhead from AEphi and a junior majoring in art and design, explained how she and the Panhellenic community helped bring a Purim celebration to Binghamton.

“This was a great way to strengthen the bond of the entire Panhellenic community, as they love to get involved with each other’s events,” Nevins said. “I love seeing all the costumes — a lot of them are so funny, so creative. As I’ve never really celebrated Purim before, this was the first time I was really getting into it. It was a great way to celebrate, meet new people and spend my extracurricular time.”