Celebrating Purim with Shalom Sesame: Baking Hamantaschen

Purim has its own special cookie, called a hamantaschenhamantaschenאֹזֶן הָמָןTriangle-shaped pastries commonly filled with apricot jam or poppyseed spread (or other fillings) and eaten on Purim; the shape represents Haman's hat or ears , which has three corners just like Haman's hat. Learn more about the history of hamantaschen in our Hamantaschen Guide.

Together with your children, watch the Shalom Sesame videos below to learn about Purim and the tradition of baking hamantaschen. Then try some of the discussion ideas and activities below recommended by Reform Jewish educators to further extend the lessons in the videos.

Discussion

  • Three-cornered goodies: In addition to baking hamantaschen, it's also traditional to eat a festive Purim meal, which is a great opportunity to welcome guests into your home and celebrate together. Talk with your kids about other holidays that have special treats, and the role of food in Jewish tradition. Why do we make special foods to celebrate holidays?

Activities

  • Traditional treats gone wacky: Look up some recipes! Browse ReformJudaism.org, page through Grandma's old cookbooks, or check out our Hamantaschen Guide to find a simple guide to making some scrumptious hamantaschen. Mix it up by trying out some unique fillings; chocolate is always a winner, but give Nutella or even caramel a shot, too. Let your imagination run wild and whip up some delicious Purim treats.
       
  • Share stories with your children: Entrée to Judaism for Families by Tina Wasserman provides tools to help children learn to cook, with clear, step-by-step instructions for every recipe and tips for adults to make the experience safe and rewarding. The book, featuring delicious gluten-free hamantaschen dough and chocolate filling recipes, is a great for sharing stories about the meaning and history associated with each recipe.

Watch

  • Making Hamantaschen: In this first video below, a young boy visits his Jewish friend and learns how to make this Purim favorite.
  • Happy Purim: In the second video, celebrate all things Purim with Maya Rudolph, Cookie Monster, and their friends. Happy Purim from Shalom Sesame and ReformJudaism.org!

For more Shalom Sesame videos, activities, and other materials, visit our friends at Shalom Sesame and our Purim page.