Six Ways to Celebrate Sukkot in the East Bay
Sukkot is quickly approaching. Here are a few ideas for how you can celebrate the Feast of Booths:
1. Attend an Event
Are you looking for places to celebrate Sukkot with others? Check out these East Bay Sukkot events! (Don’t see your synagogue or favorite organization’s event listed? Make sure to post your own events on our Community Calendar.)
- Community Sukkot Festival at the JCC East Bay – October 4, 2017 at 6:00 pm in Berkeley
- HandsOn Holidays: Sukkot Celebration for Families with Young Children with Jewish Gateways – October 8, 2017 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm in Berkeley
- Tri-Valley Cultural Jews Sukkot – October 8, 2017 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
- Sukkah Party for Interfaith Couples & Families with Building Jewish Bridges – October 8, 2017 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Oakland
- Eat, Pray, Lulav: Sukkot Harvest Festival with Urban Adamah – October 8, 2017 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Berkeley
2. Celebrate at Home
Looking for ways to celebrate Sukkot at home? Check out Sukkot@Home, Jewish LearningWorks’ Sukkot guide for families. It is full of explanations, rituals, blessings, activities, crafts, and more ideas to get your Sukkot juices flowing. And it’s suitable for folks of all ages.
3. Watch a Video
Have you seen BimBam’s new Sukkot video? Drop everything, and get excited for Lego Batman, Darth Vador, and some lulavs and etrogs. Then, check out their discussion and activity guide.
4. Talk about Housing Issues
On Sukkot, we are instructed to live in a sukkah, a temporary shelter similar to the ones the Israelites lived in during their wandering in the desert. There’s nothing like camping out in a sukkah to make you appreciate your permanent home. But not everyone is so fortunate. How can you highlight issues of homelessness on Sukkot? What local organizations can you volunteer with or donate to that address housing issues? What conversations can you bring up with your family and friends during Sukkot to address housing affordability, especially in the East Bay?
You can also think about all the people that have lost their homes in recent natural disasters. The Jewish Federation of the East Bay is raising funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The devastation and catastrophic damage from Houston to Florida, Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, is far from over. Help the victims of these disasters with a donation today.
5. Cook Delicious Harvest Food
Sukkot is an agricultural holiday celebrating the harvest. Now that Trader Joes is fully stocked, we all know that fall and our own harvest is on its way. What recipes are your favorites? Take a look at some of these dishes for inspiration:
- Roasted Carrot, Apple, and Celery Soup
- Apricot Lime Chicken, Potato, and Broccoli Sheet Pan Dinner
- Spicy Roasted Carrots and Fennel
- Raw Date Brownies
6. Welcome Guests
Sukkot is associated with hospitality. We welcome friends, family, and the community into our sukkah and we visit others during the holiday. We also invite Ushpizin (Aramaic for “guests”). According to tradition, we are visited by seven honored guests, one for each night of Sukkot: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. Many also invite the Ushpizot into their sukkah: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Avigail, Hannah, Huldah, and Esther. If you were to choose some inspirational figures from Jewish history or modern times to invite as guests to your sukkah, who would they be and why?
What else are you doing to celebrate Sukkot this year?