Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, begins September 20th at sundown. Jews the world over are constructing their own sukkot (the plural of sukkah), which are temporary, walled, outdoors structures with a view of the sky - and we're rounding up a few especially impressive versions. Are there any really cool ones we've missed? Comment and let us know!
1. This photo, which originally appeared on Boston.com in 2011, shows a woman from the ancient Samaritan community decorating a Sukkah made from fresh fruit in Mount Gerizim near the West Bank town of Nablus.
2. This twisted, abstract sukkah was the winner of the 2010 Sukkah City contest. Called “Gathering,” it was designed by Dale Suttle, So Sugita, and Ginna Nguyen – and despite its unusual shape and appearance, it meets halachic (Jewish law) standards for a sukkah. It was displayed in New York City’s Union Square.
3. Can you build a sukkah on a boat? What about on the back of a camel? The staff of Neot Kedumim, described as the world’s only “Biblical Landscape Reserve,” displays life-size models of sukkot discussed by the ancient rabbis, alongside texts debating the validity of each.
4. These sukkot themselves are pretty standard, but how cool is it to see so many of them all in a row? While Diaspora Jews may be used to seeing sukkot only at their synagogues and in the backyards of a few Jewish neighbors, scenes like this one are common in ultra-Orthodox areas of Israel.
5. I couldn’t find a good photo of this brightly colored Lego sukkah in Brooklyn’s Boro Park during Sukkot 2015, but this video gives a fun tour of it. Wonder how long this took to assemble!
6. Who says Christmas has a monopoly on twinkle lights? This gorgeously lit sukkah argues otherwise. (Psst: If anyone has a bigger or better photo of this sukkah, we’d love to see it. This was all I could find!)
7. Most at-home sukkot are temporary, makeshift structures that look, well, temporary and makeshift – but this ornate sukkah at the residence of Avram Davis and Sarah Sheindelman in Berkeley, CA, takes sukkot to the next level. I’ve lived in apartments smaller than this beauty!
8. The Forward reports that in 2011, the Jewish Monkland Centre in Montreal created its unusual “World of Peace” sukkah using 290 cardboard boxes, 24,000 staples, and tons of recycled material. Nineteen languages are represented on the writing around the sukkah.
9. Property is New York City doesn’t often have space for backyard sukkahs, but in 2014, Google made use of its balconies and constructed not one but two structures at the company’s headquarters in Chelsea.
10. Congregation Beth Elohim, a Reform synagogue in Brooklyn, NY, is known for constructing creative sukkot each year. In 2012, architects created a structure made of shelving units and bamboo. The shelving units, Patch.com reports, were “filled with notes, stories and drawings from people who stop by and write or draw whatever they want on a piece of paper.”
11. Swiss Family Robinson with a Jewish twist? Blogger Laura Mernoff posted this photo in 2006 with the simple caption, “Sukkah in a tree” – but we’re dying to know more about this cool, up-in-the-air structure that taps into childhood nostalgia!
Share a link to or photo of your sukkah in the comment section below. We want to see what you've created!