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From the archives: CU’s Purim Queen

Do any of our readers remember the CU Purim Ball? Neither do we — but the archives do! In the years 1924-1969 there’s only one mention of it, so we don’t know if it was an annual event, but in 1952 CU Boulder’s Hillel held a Purim ball and Marjorie Shapiro was crowned queen.

CU Boulder Purim Ball, 1952 as published in the Intermountain Jewish News.

About 200 attended the Hillel Purim ball given by the University of Colorado Hillel at the Boulder armory, announced Rabbi Abraham Zemach, director. Queen of the ball was Marjorie Shapiro, third from left. From left to right; Beverly Wolf, Phoenix, Ariz.; Soni Bricker, Lincoln, Nebr.; Miss Shapiro of Omaha, Nebr.; Beth Robbins, Los Angeles, Calif., and Morleen Coffee, Denver. All five finalists selected by students before the ball. Jerry Kupetz was chairm of the ball. Working with him were David Supperstein, CU Hillel president, and Jerry Lutovich, publicity chairman.

The Purim story opens with a party and ends with celebration — there’s even Esther’s two dinner parties in the middle — so a ball makes perfect sense. What’s odd is that from the picture it doesn’t seem to have been a masked ball, which seems like a lost opportunity considering that masquerades are a Purim tradition. Maybe CU Boulder Hillel can revive the tradition?

Nothing to do with Purim, but something else that pops out to us from this caption is the Nebraskans represented. We wonder how Soni Bricker of Lincoln and the queen herself Marjorie of Omaha managed the Buffs-Cornhusker rivalry. Talk about between torn between two camps!

While Marjorie’s name is not familiar to us, others are. The Coffees and Suppersteins are long time Denver families and we don’t know that some CU alum will remember the Hillel director Rabbi Abraham Zemach. Holler if you do!

Happy Purim!

This online feature explores the IJN’s new digital archive, discovering the news of the week, years ago.




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