The Purim Ball - Your Homentaschen Are Killing Me!

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Your Homentaschen Are Killing Me!
A Purim Ball for the body, its resilience, its fragility, and its bounce!

Presented by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

On Saturday, March 3rd 2012 the Aftselokhes Spectacle Committee and a coterie of celebrity brass bands, rock stars, Yiddishy supernovas, cabaret singers, activists, and jesters of all stripes present a very ancient, yet totally contemporary Purim masquerade Ball.

The Purim Ball (Your homentaschen are killing me!) is an original work of art grounded in the traditional pan-Jewish practice of staging transgressive folk plays re-enacting the scroll of Esther, and delivering a fanciful, somewhat drunken but always profound, critique of power. At the heart of the event is a glittering original handmade Purim Shpiel. Expect oversize costumes and puppets, dazzling sets, the drag will be high, low and medium, and the age and gender spectrum will runneth over. Many of the languages of our kingdom of Shushan, NYC will be spoken.

The party is created by a collaborative group of artists, activists and civilians (including Julie Davids, Avi Fox-Rosen, Anna Jacobs, Daniel Roza Lang-Levitsky, Dr. Rachel Mattson, Abigail Miller, LJ Roberts, Jenny Romaine, Zach Scholl, Hannah Temple, Josh Waletzky, Cassandra Burrows, and the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild) in the style of a carnival mas camp. The crew, originally gathered under the tutelage of visionary Yiddish scholar and beloved Diva Adrienne Cooper (to whom this year’s Purim shpiel is dedicated), has been working together for a decade, in collaboration with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Workmen’s Circle, and Great Small Works.

Purim is the Jewish festival of spring fever, of masquerade and parodies of all sacred things. It centers on the Scroll of Esther, the Megillah, a burlesque of a story that wears the mask of being a factual history. For centuries Jews have made homemade pageants like ours to tell this story and to talk about overreach—about how the powerful turn abysmally stupid and bring about their own destruction. But Purim also has a mystical side, and we learn from the Purim rabbis that this holiday is a campy stare at what scares us the most, in ourselves and in the world. It must be taken seriously. There are many paths to holy disorder, many routes to the place of perfect misunderstanding. The more we move towards what scares us, explore and embody it, the more we are entering into the practice of Purim and the more deeply we will be renewed. So set your watch to the wrong time, dress up topsy-turvy, and meet us between 8 and late at 220 36th street in Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The theme of this year’s Purim Shpiel is the body, its fragility, strength, and resilience. We are using the bodies of the heroes of the megillah to tell stories from the disability justice movement and from the domestic employers and domestic workers teamed up in the Caring Across Generations campaign. Caring Across Generations recognizes that we all give and receive care over the course of our lives. Their innovative analysis and organizing strategy are bringing together the home health care workers of Domestic Workers United and the disability justice movement to address the many dimensions of the health care crisis in America. “Your homentaschen are killing me!” also draws together the energy (and puppeteers) of the Occupy movement with activists and artists who have been doing long term work to revolutionize the economics of health care.

Members of the Aftselokhes crew have worked with Circus Amok, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, Yiddish Princess, Jenny Romaine’s Sukkos Mob, and the Department of Transformation. Previous Purim partners include Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars, Jennifer Miller, Maracatu New York, Abigail Levine, Adrienne Cooper, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Nicolai Borodulin, Amichai Lau-Lavie, Mira Stroika, Una Osato/ExHOTic Other; [installation and video artists] Terra Incognita, Carrie Gleason, Kate Huh, Niknaz Tavakolian, Pearl Gluck, Seltzer & Salt, Heather Acs; [musicians], Michael Winograd, Rima Fand, Wollesonics, Sarah Aroeste, Michelle Miller, Judith Berkson, Xavier, Crosmopolitan; [bands & DJs], Kol Isha, Inner Princess, Yiddish Princess, Schmekel, Freetheopiques, Rebel Diaz, DJ Rekha, and DJ Shomi Noise.


Your Homentaschen are Killing Me!
A Purim Ball for the body, its resilience, its fragility and its bounce!
March 3rd, 2012
220 36th St, Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
D/N/R to 36th St
No one turned away for lack of cash or costume
Food by Domestic Workers United

The event is wheelchair accessible.
Public Transportation directions to our venue at 220 W 36th St between 2nd and 3rd Avenues:
Take the D/N/R to the 36th street stop in Brooklyn.  The venue is a block and a half down 36th street.  This stop is not wheelchair accessible.
The B35 bus stops at 39th Street and 2nd Ave, 3 short blocks from the venue.  MTA buses are wheelchair accessible.


Special thanks to the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance for their partnership in knowledge sharing and movement creation! The HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA) is a national coalition of more than 80 organizations and a network of 13,000 individuals working at the intersection of HIV/AIDS, human rights, and struggles for social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Since 2007, our network of thousands of people with HIV, activists, researchers, service providers, and change-makers is mobilizing in the fight for human rights and HIV prevention justice.