On March 20, The Teaneck Doghouse will be hosting its first-ever free megilla reading and Purim chagiga. Beginning at 7:20 and open to families with children of all ages, the event will include a renowned chazan leading the reading, which will be followed by Maariv. The chagiga will then promptly follow and include giveaways, prizes and a costume contest. Food, such as cocktail hot dogs, french fries, fresh fruit and lots of the iconic hamantashen will be served, along with festive drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic variations. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this event, especially in costume.
Micky Goldschmidt is one of the owners of The Teaneck Doghouse and the brainchild behind the event. Speaking with The Jewish Link in an interview, he elaborated on his thought process regarding planning, and detailed what attendees can expect from the evening.
“This year we at The Teaneck Doghouse wanted to do something fun and community-driven to celebrate Purim,” Goldschmidt shared. “Going into the holiday, we noticed that a lot of people focus on Passover being the big holiday to celebrate, but we wanted to do something special for Purim. After thinking it over and figuring out the logistics, we decided to put something together for the community that everyone will be able to enjoy with their families. At the event we’re going to have Purim-oriented music through our sound-systems, food and some cool prizes and giveaways. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The event will run for a few hours (The Doghouse will remain open for an additional few hours following the chagiga), and is free to attend, food and drink included, which was an integral part of its planning. Goldschmidt wanted to make the evening accessible to as many people as possible, and so the decision was a natural one.
“The Doghouse is always aiming to provide our guests with an experience that everyone can enjoy,” Goldschmidt commented. “That’s why we decided to make this event free. We describe ourselves as a community restaurant. We want to be involved in all aspects of the community, and this event is another way for us to show our support for it.”
In addition to the megilla reading, the event will feature sports-oriented giveaways and prizes, such as footballs and basketballs. For those who attend in costume, there will be additional coupon and gift card prizes given out. As for what Goldschmidt himself is most looking forward to when it comes to the event, he says it’s definitely the megilla reading, specifically when Haman’s name is read and the attendees will be able to crank their groggers and stamp their feet.
“Raucous megilla readings have always been one of my favorite parts of the holiday,” Goldschmidt explained. “We don’t at all want to stifle that aspect of the holiday, so when Haman’s name is said people are encouraged to be as loud as they wish. Whatever groggers you’d like to bring, as long as they are safe, are more than welcome. We want the kids and families to feel like this is a fun place to go for megilla reading.”
True to The Doghouse’s sports-oriented roots, should there be an NCAA game playing that night it will be shown on the restaurant’s many television screens after megilla reading has concluded. The restaurant continually strives to provide a safe, enjoyable environment for the entire family. If you would like to learn more about the event you can reach out to Goldschmidt by email at [email protected] Additionally, to learn more about the restaurant itself and its offerings you can visit its website at http://www.teaneckdoghouse.com/.
By Adam Samuel
Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at adamssoapbox.com.