Recently, New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, presented a NYS Proclamation to Dr. Paul Brody of Great Neck Estates, for initiating the Megillah Readers Program at Great Neck’s North Shore Hebrew Academy (NSHA) in 2002. The program began with fewer than 10 students and eventually led to teaching 400 middle school students, over 20 years – both Ashkenazi and Sephardi – how to chant Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther), read on the Jewish holiday Purim. The leadership of the NSHA named the program the “Dr. Paul Brody Megillah Readers Program,” – as was a recently purchased beautiful Megillah Scroll, named the “Dr. Paul Brody Megillah,” to be used by each student Reader on Purim Day – at its Middle School Graduation on June 15, 2022.
The Scroll of Esther is an extensive letter written with a quill on parchment by a highly-trained scribe that records the victory of the Jewish people, via Queen Esther, over Haman, the Prime Minister of the Persian Empire, who sought to destroy the Jews but was ultimately hanged. Megillat Esther is chanted with special expertise by the few people who are highly trained to read it. The story told in the Megillah is the focal point of Purim, a Jewish holiday that features recounting the story, giving charity, exchanging food and drink (“Mishloach Manot”), participating in festivities and donning costumes.
In his Proclamation, the NYS Comptroller “does hereby congratulate and applaud Dr. Paul Brody for his outstanding service and Comptroller DiNapoli does join with the people of New York in thanking Dr. Paul Brody and wishing his continued success.”
Previously, a detailed Proclamation issued by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman declares June 15 as “Dr. Paul Brody Megillah Readers Day,” in “fitting recognition and heartfelt appreciation for the dedicated service of Dr. Paul Brody to the residents of Nassau County.”
—Submitted by the North Shore