Adar 5778

Purim – Keeping the Happiness Alive 

Shalom and Chodesh Tov for Adar!

This month we celebrate the most happy and fun of all the festivals – Purim! (which starts on Wednesday night February 28th). But you don’t have to wait until Purim for the fun and games to begin!  A Jewish teaching states  “When [the Jewish month of] Adar starts, happiness increases”. So start thinking about happiness right now for you and your colleagues!

“Simcha” is the Hebrew word for joy or happiness, the Jewish idea of finding pleasure in life. The traditional Jewish approach encourages us to balance between striving to make the world a better place, and a sense of contentment with what life provides.

You may remember that last year we talked about happiness, and we focused on WHY happiness is important as a goal of our work. This time around we are focusing on HOW to find joy in life and the ways it can inform and impact our personal and professional lives.

Working in the non-profit world, as a Jewish professional, is extremely rewarding. Yet at times, amongst all the planning, last minute changes, long days, high emotions and constant demands it may be hard to keep our spirits up – to have simcha (happiness) every day in the work that we do.


Jewish Perspectives on Simcha (happiness)
Let’s focus on some suggestions by a long time Jewish professional and psychologist, Dr David Pelcowitz from Yeshiva University to help answer those questions. View the following EliTalk, then read our  summary of the talk with practical advice. A full transcript of Dr Pelcowitz’s talk can be found here.

He suggests three important things we can do to increase happiness:

Adar is a great time to think about the simcha in your life, in the life of your colleagues, and what you can do to increase it. How can you infuse your workplace with more simcha?

For more information about the Jewish concept of simcha Hillel International has a great educators curriculum filled with resources and ideas.

Purim Resources

And for some great Purim resouces, check out:

  • The National Library of Israel’s materials and lesson ideas
  • Animated videos with fantastic rich material from Aleph Beta
  • Resources about the Purim story and activities for kids from the Lookstein Center

Purim Sameach!

The Yesod Team