A twist on tradition

The smell of fresh cookies baking filled the Sandler Family Campus on Sunday, March 10 for the annual “Operation Hamantaschen” PJ Library event.

Children, parents, grandparents, and friends put on colorful aprons, pushed up their sleeves, and dove into the delicious, premade dough. Rolling pins and circle cutters helped make the right shape as everyone added their favorite jams and chocolate. Trays were quickly filled as volunteers ran them to the kitchen and brought out packaged, cooled cookies for those that were finished.

As usual, the sweet Sunday also doubled as a PJ Library Sunday Fun Day with plenty of engaging activities in the gym, including an art station with paper crowns and felt masks to decorate. Children giggled as they jumped in a bounce house while others coasted across the floor on scooters, many proudly wearing costumes to celebrate Purim. Parents got in on the fun by shooting hoops, playing a quick soccer match, or by catching up with friends on the bleachers.

Operation Hamantaschen is an event families look forward to each year. While it’s great to get together, celebrate a holiday, and take home some tasty treats, this event also incorporates an element of giving back. In years past, participants took home half of their cookies and donated the other half to local military families. This year was different. Due to world events and rising antisemitism, the children and family committee decided to do something new. In accordance with the holiday, Mishloach Manot, or Purim gift baskets, would be made and delivered to local organizations that have stood by and supported Israel and the Jewish community. Families donated an array of snacks and candy, as well as baskets and other decorating material, to make the gift baskets in the gym. YAD partnered with the event and several volunteers directed this table.

Operation Hamantaschen was successful because of everyone who participated – from making dough beforehand, to donating items, from attending the event, to delivering gift baskets.