Centerville resident Cathy Lieberman is thrilled that her and husband Ric’s yard will be one of six sites around the Dayton area included in Temple Israel’s first Sukkahs in the City event Oct. 8-14.
The Jewish festival of Sukkot celebrates the harvest and is a remembrance of how the Israelites lived in the wilderness after their flight from Egypt.
“Temple Israel builds a sukkah, or booth, for members to bring food and celebrate each night of the holiday, but we live in Centerville and the synagogue’s north, so we’ve only been to one of theirs,” said Cathy. “Members live all over the area, so this will involve many more people.”
The Liebermans’ daughter-in-law is an Israeli, and the couple builds a sukkah in their Michigan yard each year. “We’ve been there during Sukkot several times; this festival reminds us of our temporary nature, and says a lot about how the Israelites lived in very temporary structures, always moving, during 40 years in the desert,” says Cathy.
“Our sukkah will be built on a frame, with branches from a tree we recently cut down over the open space at the top.”
Cathy started gathering decorations for her sukkah as soon as the new venture was proposed. “I found shower curtains with silhouettes of trees and leaves falling that I’ll use for the side panels, and bought paper lanterns that will go inside and be lit. A 9-foot church pew from Ric’s old dental practice will be inside for seating, plus we’ll have tables and chairs.
“Our backyard is an acre, so we’ll have luminarias from the house back to the sukkah. This is my favorite time of the year, and I’ll have pumpkins and corn shucks piled up, and bales of hay for people to sit by our fire-pit, since it will probably be chilly.”
People who sign up for one of the six area Sukkahs in the City will bring an orthodox covered dish — no pork or shellfish. Although the sukkahs are geared to the Jewish community, non-Jews are welcome to participate.
“Only two of our neighbors are Jewish, and after our sukkah for Temple Israel on October 9th, we’re opening it to the neighbors to get to know them better. This is such a wonderful event. It’s a lot of work but will be fun.”
Space at the sukkahs is limited, so reservations are required by calling 937-496-0500 or by going online to https://tidayton.wufoo.com/forms/p1vx3ctz0fd2agi/.