Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
Sukkot is almost here! It’s our week to cram friends and family into the sukkah, whether for short services and meals or full-on campouts. But the more the merrier, and the more fun, the better! With that in mind, here are 7 Sukkot ideas for modern themes and decorating ideas that might just get you and those you care about to spend a few more minutes outside. Hang some pictures, prepare thematic food, maybe dress up, add some fun decorations, and play some fun games.
1. Harry Potter: Hmm, four walls and four houses– there’s a match made in heaven. Use this as a chance to make some homemade Butterbeer, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Cockroach Clusters, or Chocolate Frogs. Might make for a good time to play a game of Quidditch, practice your spells, and wear your house’s best swag (avoid letting the kids use the invisibility cloak – just a suggestion).
2. Game of Thrones: Have a favorite kingdom? Ready to take up arms? Always wanted to break bread with a White Walker? Now’s your chance. Let’s see if you can keep the peace longer than Jon Snow was able to. Nothing like heating your Sukkah with some dragon’s fire and filling your belly with some of the Lannister’s favorite wine. This one’s for the grown-ups, of course.
3. Star Wars/Star Trek: No, I’m not taking sides here. This could be the perfect time for you to go on an adventure with Captain Kirk and his crew (avoid the red shirts). But, if you prefer more of a space opera, Star Wars is going to be the best option. Fair warning, watch your hands – inevitably someone always loses theirs. Play safe with your light sabers!
4. Heroes, Marvel/DC: Team Cap. or Team Iron Man, Team Batman or Team Superman…surely not a decision to be taken lightly. Touch base with your inner hero, or better yet, watch the kids around you be the heroes. The sukkah can be a great place for superheroes!
5. The Multicultural Sukkah: I love inviting friends of all backgrounds into the sukkah, and using the opportunity to share my culture and traditions with them. This year, I think we may try using this as an opportunity to share all of our respective cultures and let the sukkah to serve as the setting for this exchange. Creating understanding and appreciation of diversity can be done any time, and Sukkot is one of the most welcoming of Jewish holidays to explore and share our various identities and traditions!
6. Sports: Who said the man (or woman) cave has to be inside the house? This is the perfect time to don your favorite jersey, beer helmet, swag, and flag as you enjoy watching/playing your favorite sport with your friends. Just remember, the sukkah is not made out of stone, so be careful with the passes, catches, and end-zone dances. And you might need a really long extension cord if you want to watch the big game out there.
7. Pixar/Disney: Need to relive your glory days with Buzz and Woody? Anxious to surprise the kids with Dory and Nemo? Who said you can’t have a little animated fun in the sukkah? This is a great time to celebrate with all characters, some human and some not-so-human. You know you’ve always wanted to dress up, have a make-up party, and do your friend’s hair in a sukkah, here’s your chance. Help your kids’ imagination come to life in a beautiful and magical space. Warning, do not attach 100,000 helium balloons to your sukkah, we all know what’ll happen then…
Sukkot is a beautiful holiday filled with many rich traditions. This might just give you the chance to add a little flare, some things to do while enjoying the night sky, and help bring people together in new and fun ways.
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Pronounced: SOO-kah (oo as in book) or sue-KAH, Origin: Hebrew, the temporary hut built during the Harvest holiday of Sukkot.
Pronounced: sue-KOTE, or SOOH-kuss (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a harvest festival in which Jews eat inside temporary huts, falls in the Jewish month of Tishrei, which usually coincides with September or October.