‘Back to the Future’ for Purim Shpiel anniversary


Temple Israel is presenting its 20th Anniversary Purim Shpiel, “Back to the Future” and the entire community is all invited.

Purim is a holiday where an evil man named Haman tries to kill off all of the Jews. A king, Ahashverosh, recently divorced his then Queen Vashti, and sent his men to find women to be potential wives. When the women were sent back to the palace, he noticed one stood out the most, and her name was Esther. Esther was a Jew and knew what Haman was up to. She couldn’t tell the king she was a Jew or else they would behead her. At the end of the story, she tells King Ahashverosh that she is a Jew and that Haman is trying to kill all of her people. Haman is hung and all of the Jews are saved.

Many Stocktonians attend the Purim Shpiel.
The “Shpiel” is a play put on by Temple Israel members and many of its main characters are members who have been in the Purim Shpiel all twenty 20 years since it has begun in 1997.
“Twenty years – I’ve been in every Temple Israel Shpiel,” said, comments Karma Fordis-Linder. “My favorite part is seeing all the generations of our community working, playing, and having fun together,” says Linder, “The Purim Shpiel reminds us that we can teach important lessons in a fun and engaging way.”

The celebration includes children as young as second grade to people in their eighties.

“This will be my fourteenth Shpiel. As a kid, I loved the theatrical part of the Shpiel. I got to dance and sing and have fun with all of my friends,” said Zoie Utterback of Stockton, CA, “As an adult, it is the BEST way to act like a kid and ignore the world going on around you.”
Utterback continues to say.

Since the play is put on by Temple members, many of the cast members are siblings, including Karma Fordis-Linder of Galt, CA who is casted as Queen Esther and Fred Fordis of Livermore, CA who is casted as the evil villain, Haman.

“Being Haman is really quite fun. You get to act out being a jerk while everyone knows you’re not,” said Fordis.

Fordis has been Haman all 20 years of the Shpiel and for his first one he “didn’t make it to any rehearsal, just showed up and did it” and he was then asked to “tone it down, too scary.”

A lot of time and hard work goes into the Shpiel, but it will continue to bring the same cast members back year after year.

Purim is a holiday celebrated because an evil man, Haman,  tried to kill off all of the Jews, but was stopped by a king and his Jewish wife. Hitler was not the first man to use genocide against the Jews, since this story dates back to biblical times when being Jewish was not tolerated.

The Purim Shpiel this year will consist of all of the past 20 Shpiel’s into one, which is why the theme is “Back to the Future”. It will be held at 4 p.m. on March 11, 2017.

Temple Israel
5105 N. El Dorado St.
Admission is free.