PhilaU Celebrates the Jewish Holiday Sukkot

The weather is cooling down, and the leaves are falling. Could there be a better time to sit in a hut?

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday commemorating the time that the Israelites spent living in temporary dwellings while wandering in the desert. It also marks the beginning of the fall harvest. A unique and fun holiday, Sukkot brings people out of our usual “homes” to experience the changing of the seasons firsthand. After building a simple hut and decorating it with flowers, plants, vegetables and art, it is traditional to relax, eat and even sleep in the sukkah.

This year, members of the University community will be building a sukkah on campus and it will be available for the community during the week of the holiday.

PhilaU faculty, staff and students will join together to build and decorate the sukkah this week. The sukkah will be located in the grassy area by Hayward Hall closest to Scholler Hall.

Members of the University community can stop by for any of the special events that will be celebrated during the week, as listed below:

Build and decorate the sukkah!
Thursday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Near Scholler Hall
Join us as we build and decorate the sukkah, and prepare it for the week ahead.  Interior designers and architects especially welcome!

Shabbat Dinner
Friday, Oct. 2, 5:30 p.m.
In the sukkah

We will be having a community Shabbat dinner inside the sukkah (weather permitting) to mark the end of the week. Come to learn a little about the holiday, enjoy some good food, and add your voices to our singing. Make sure to dress warmly, as it can get very cold at night.  Please RSVP to for the dinner so we know how much food to prepare.

Music Jam and Interfaith Night
Tuesday, Oct. 6
6:30 p.m.

Bring your instruments as we bring some music into the evening air. We especially invite members of all faiths to join in the fun and conversations. Snacks and drinks will be provided. No instruments or actual musical skill needed to attend.

Shake Your Citrus!
Thursday, Oct. 8
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stop by the sukkah to learn about the mystical ritual of lulav and etrog, the “four species” of Sukkot plants and try your hand at shaking them.  Yeah, it looks a little weird, but when it has been done for thousands of years, why not?

The door of the sukkah is open to all! For more information, contact Boris Dolin, coordinator of Jewish programs, at

Posted in University Headlines