Fairfield University community to gather in sukkah to commemorate Jewish fall harvest festival


Students to build temporary hut on campus for celebration

Image: SukkotWhat: Sukkot - the Jewish fall harvest festival lasting seven days - starts at sundown on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, beginning a celebration on which the American holiday of Thanksgiving is based. Students in the "Introduction to Judaism" course, and KADIMA - the undergraduate Jewish student organization - will build a sukkah (a temporary hut) in which to mark this time. Inside, there will be a table and chairs set up along with decorations, a lulav (a palm, willow and myrtle) and etrog (a citrus fruit in the lemon family). These species are harvested in Israel during this time of year.

When: From noon to 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, October 9; Friday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 15, the campus community is invited to join Professor Ellen Umansky, Ph.D., director of Fairfield University's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and Elaine Bowman, program manager of the Bennett Center, for lunch in the sukkah (weather permitting). Brown-bag it with them. Dessert and beverages will be provided.

Where: The Sukkah will be built in the courtyard between Canisius and Donnarumma halls, facing the Barone Campus Center. The University community is invited to use the sukkah as a lunch spot, for meditation, meetings and for small classes and discussion groups through Wednesday, October 15.

Background: The sukkah on the Fairfield University campus has brought people together from all walks of campus life, and is an example of the many interfaith initiatives established at the Catholic, Jesuit institution. The fall festival of Sukkot is traditionally celebrated by eating in and for some religious Jews even sleeping in a sukkah. Sukkahs are the dwellings that the biblical Israelites lived in during the 40 years they wandered in search of permanent homes after the exodus from Egypt. They represent that all existence is fragile. It's a time for people to strengthen their resolve and to help those in need of food and shelter - in nearby communities and throughout the world.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 1, 2014

Vol. 47, No. 71

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