March 2, 2021

Something magical… possibly even mythical…happened this past Sunday. If you guessed a third vaccine was approved, while amazing, you would be incorrect.

After almost a full year, the Jewish Federation held an in-person event - social distancing, masks and all, but still in-person. It was PJ Library’s Purim MasCARade and it took place right next to our offices in Monrovia. Everything about the event was incredible.

Families were invited to register, come in costume, and have a special Purim experience from the comfort of their cars. Kids wearing everything from a Hulk costume and Black Panther to Princess Anna and Queen Esther, and of course, Harry Potter and a dragon too were handed bags of hamantaschen, mishloach manot, an arts and craft activity, even a personalized balloon creation, through their car window. The families were also invited to take a photo outside their car to celebrate. The smiles of the kids (and the parents) were clearly visible, even through their masks. Parents commented how wonderful it was to get to do something…outside their homes.

The magical part for me was having the feeling of what life was like slightly more than a year ago. It was such an incredible feeling and a reminder that life will return to some sense of normalcy in the near future. We just need to continue to be patient and not rush too much.

Yes, the event was far different than would have been done if it were not for COVID. And yet, it does not diminish its effect on those who attended, our wonderful volunteers and staff. In fact, for many, it may have been one of the best experiences they have had as a family in a long time. Seeing people in real life made our Purim celebration that much more joyful.

With this experience in mind, now may be a great time to start to make your list of what you are looking forward to doing when we can go back to doing the things we love. While initially, this may make you feel a little sad that you can’t do any of this immediately, but after a while, I think you will be glad you did it. Start thinking about the trips you want to take, the places you want to visit, the experiences you want to do. Oh, and also the people you are looking forward to seeing, spending time with, even giving a hug to.