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‘Bittersweet’ Purimshpiel honors late player
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‘Bittersweet’ Purimshpiel honors late player

The cast of the Frozen Purimshpiel, from left, Griffin Barich, Leo Jimenez, Harrison Fehn, Ben Jimenez, Sophie Goldberg, Emily Vasile, Harold Phillips, Jeff Sibner, Debbie Mannella, Tali Philips, and Juliette Jimenez.
The cast of the Frozen Purimshpiel, from left, Griffin Barich, Leo Jimenez, Harrison Fehn, Ben Jimenez, Sophie Goldberg, Emily Vasile, Harold Phillips, Jeff Sibner, Debbie Mannella, Tali Philips, and Juliette Jimenez.

Har Sinai Temple in Pennington put on a holiday Purimshpiel set to the music of the Disney movie Frozen on March 6, featuring a cast of 11 performers and five musicians, all congregation members. 

Playing Haman was Jeff Sibner of Yardley, Pa. The production was dedicated to the memory of Sibner’s son Sean, who passed away in June 2014 at the age of 18. Sean, who had performed in many past Purimshpiels, was a toran (helper) at Har Sinai’s religious school for many years and had a great interest in the theater.

The sound system used during this year’s play, donated in his honor, was being used for the first time.

“This was such a bittersweet performance,” said Har Sinai’s Rabbi Stuart Pollack. “The Purimshpiel was among the best we’ve ever done. It was a little sad to think of it without Sean, but his dad — along with the rest of the performers — were so enthusiastic and talented; it brought a lot of joy into the synagogue.”

Other cast members included Griffin Barich, Sophie Goldberg, Emily Vasile, Harold Phillips, Harrison Fehn, Ben Jimenez, and Leo Jimenez. The girls’ chorus included Debbie Mannella, Tali Philips, and Juliette Jimenez. Band members were Rabbi Stuart Pollack, Har Sinai musical director Susan Sacks, men’s club president Greg Rapport, Mark Sobol, and religious school director Magda Reyes. The show’s technical director, Ariel Schwartz, was assisted by Jill Schwartz; Jean Nahan was director.

The congregation also held its annual Purim carnival on March 8, featuring carnival games, crafts, food, and prizes, with proceeds benefiting student programs at Har Sinai’s religious school.

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