When it’s time to celebrate, few match the get-up-and-go spirit of Chabad. Around the world, Chabad Shluchim have devised some of the most creative ways to put some zing into the Sukkot festivities.
In Santa Barbara, Chabad hosted a family extravaganza–a kosher cruise in a Sukkah on the Pacific with 145 people. “We were completely sold out,” says Rabbi Yosef Loschak, who admits that he and his family were so eagerly looking forward to this holiday, they began planning months ahead of time. A lively children’s rally, clowns, a professional ventriloquist, live music and kosher wine tasting made it a spectacular event for the grownups and children.
“Everyone took the lulav and etrog and had a turn to fulfill the mitzvah with a blessing,” he says. People enjoyed kosher wines and pastries in the sukkah which was constructed on the boat, and the program ended with lively dancing among the “chevrah.”
In Richmond, Virginia, the annual Aleph Bet Preschool Sukkah found the large sukkah at Chabad of Virginia headquarters too small for the children, parents and grandparents who showed up for the celebration … With enrollment at the popular preschool filled to capacity, plans are underway for a new preschool building, which, promises Rabbi Yossel Kranz, will include space for the largest sukkah in the south.
Move over Pizza Hut. In Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, Chabad showed ’em what the real hut is, with kosher pizza in the sukkah and a grand carnival. Kids and adults observed the mitzvah of Sukkot while having a blast at a spectacular outdoor festival.
Chabad of Fresno, California, hosted a Sukkot fair. “For many of the 100 that came, it was a first,” says Chabad representative, Rabbi Levi Zirkind.
And for those who couldn’t make out to the fairgrounds–like the elderly and the bed-bound at the Merwick Nursing Home in Princeton, NJ, Chabad brought the festivities directly to them.
On another continent, in Johannesburgh, South Africa, Chabad’s Rabbi Shishler set a Sukkah up at the Fairways Shopping Center, and brought the the Mobile Sukkah to the schools where Jewish children had a chance to learn about Sukkot and fulfill the mitzvah of lulav.
In Karnei Shomron, Israel, Chabad representative Rabbi Yitzchak Yehonatan Cohen brought Sukkot celebrations to the barriers and bases nearby. A number of the soldiers stationed there are reportedly involved in difficult military assignments and welcomed the chance to participate in the observances of Sukkot.