Zombies brushed shoulders with Jedis and Disney characters as a Jewish school celebrated the festival of Purim

Students at King Solomon High School in Barkingside spent yesterday in fancy dress as part of the festival which celebrates the story of the Jews escape from genocide under the Persian empire, as told in the Biblical Book of Esther.

It is customary to wear costumes on the day as masquerade aided escape from the Persians.

But, as well as dressing up, students organised a Purim party at Aztec House sheltered accommodation in Tomswood Hill for disabled and blind people.

They also delivered kosher food parcels to Aztec House and the Vi and John Rubens House Jewish Care home in Gants Hill.

And the school was visited by representatives of five charities including World Jewish Relief and the SHP homeless support charity.

Children came up with fundraising campaigns for the visiting charities.

Teacher Melanie Shutz said: “This is always a great event, but we took it to a new level this year.

“The dressing up is a lot of fun and there were some terrific costumes, but the message of Purim is about looking after each other and promoting community values and the children all got right behind it.”

King Solomon was not the only venue for Purim celebrations, and the festival was also celebrated at the Woodford Liberal Synagogue in Marlborough Road, South Woodford.

The congregation put on a ‘spiel’ (play) telling the story of Purim with the addition of Downton Abbey-style outfits and a medley of Abba songs.

Congregation member, Merle Muswell, said: “We had a packed house aged from three to 93.

“Pantomime conventions were employed in abundance and the gags flowed in-between all the foot tapping songs.”

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