BELONGING

Hello Neighbor: Celebrating Mimouna with the Community

By

Alicia Briggs

– VOL. 13

Our “Hello Neighbor!” series is an ongoing collection of short stories from the heart of our neighborhoods and the people who make them home.

Traditionally, Moroccan Jewish families celebrate Mimouna, a holiday that marks the return to eating bread after Passover, by gathering around a big table filled with sweets—marzipan, cookies and sometimes candied eggplant. Centerpieces include things that aren’t actually for people to eat. Milk, eggs, fava beans all have symbolic meaning. A live fish in a bowl is for fertility, for instance. Yafa Simantov, our neighbor in Tel Aviv, tells us about the mimouna traditions in her own words below.

Every April, I celebrate Mimouna in my home in Florentin, Tel Aviv. Mimouna is a Moroccan tradition that we celebrate here in Israel. It begins the night after Passover ends when we come together as a community to enjoy food, particularly baked goods, and sweet treats. 

It’s been a little less than a year since I joined the Venn community here in Florentin. I thought this would be a great opportunity to host an event and decided to invite my Venn neighbors over to celebrate Mimouna with my family. I was so grateful that the Venn Community Managers helped me organize the event. It was really nice to work with them. 

On the day of, I was thrilled to see how many neighbors and families ended up coming over to celebrate. We gathered in the main lobby of the building and served mofoett with honey, baklava, and mint tea. During the event, people took turns sharing a thank you message, which really impacted me.

I enjoy hosting events because I love to make people happy. For me, providing something the community can enjoy and connect over is truly special. 

I am so thankful that Venn gave me the chance to share Mimouna with the larger neighborhood, and that it brought people together. I look forward to hosting more events with my neighbors, and love that Venn provides the opportunity to do so.