J-Bagel creates 'From Our Hut to Your Heart' sukkah
Construction for all the sukkot began last Sunday
September 19, 2013, 6:48 pm · Updated September 19, 2013, 11:38 pm·
Every year, a number of small, decorated huts start popping up around campus. These huts — known as sukkot — can range in size and style but are all in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
One of the many sukkot participating in this year’s Sukkathon — hosted by Penn Hillel — is the “From Our Hut to Your Heart” sukkah at the corner of 40th and Locust streets. This hut was built in collaboration with J-Bagel — a city-wide student group dedicated to serving members of the LGBTQ and Jewish communities. This particular sukkah is structurally simple, with wide canvas walls and a large cut-out heart on one side.
According to College senior Hannah Feldman, co-captain for her sukkah team, the general theme of “From Our Hut to Your Heart” is creating a “safe space” for students to pass the time and enjoy each other’s company.
On Sunday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. the sukkah team will host a painting party — filling the now-uncovered walls with creative and memorable images and words and reminding passersby of the sukkah’s welcoming and inclusive mission.
“We want to give the feeling inside that people are able to fully express themselves in whatever way, especially when they otherwise may not feel that way,” Feldman explained.
The goal is to “explore and express our creative insides,” College junior Doniel Sherman, the second of the sukkah’s co-captains, said. “When you look through our ‘heart window’ you see the inner beauty.”
However, for students who can’t make Sunday’s painting party, the sukkah’s will remain open to any curious onlookers.
“We encourage people to use the sukkah for whatever they like — studying, eating or hanging out,” Sherman said.
Sukkot is one of the three biblical holidays in which the Israelites were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Sukkot are an integral part of this eight-day celebration when Jews are reminded of the tent-like dwellings in which their ancestors lived in the desert.
Construction for all the sukkot began last Sunday, with all teams using materials supplied in part by Hillel and choosing a specific subject for their hut — including dance, the fight against hunger and even “Blackboard and Canvas.”
For more information about each sukkah team and a map of their locations on campus, check out the Sukkathon website.