Though it is not Halloween, you see princesses, clowns, kings and a variety of quirkier costumes parading the campus.

What's going on?

Purim, a Jewish holiday celebrating religious freedom and unity.

Set in Persia in the fifth century B.C., the story of Purim tells of the sinister villain, Haman, who gains the confidence of Ahashverosh, the king of Persia, persuading him to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jews. The beautiful and brave Queen Esther saves the day with the help of her uncle Mordechai.

Together they expose Haman's evil plan and thereby save the Jewish people.

The story of Esther is filled with small, seemingly coincidental events, all of which link together in a miraculous manner. Hollywood couldn't do it better!

Purim is the holiday of hidden miracles, but it is celebrated in ways which reveal the hidden. It is customary to wear costumes on Purim to show that like the story of Esther, one must go beyond the surface to gain a true understanding.

The hallmarks of Purim include a joyful retelling of the Purim story, sharing gifts of food with friends, giving funds to help the poor and enjoying a festive meal. The celebration of survival is accompanied by a quest to blur the lines between good and evil, recognizing that ultimately, we are each defined by a little bit of both as we strive towards goodness.