As Sukkot approaches, we eagerly anticipate gathering with family, friends, and community in the sukkah to celebrate and share meals. Jewish tradition teaches us that the sukkah is no ordinary structure. The walls can be made out of anything, but must be strong enough to resist the wind. The sukkah is meant to be a temporary structure, one that we build to use just during the holiday.
In many ways, the holiday of Sukkot conspires to remind us of our vulnerability. Our sukkah structures are often flimsy things that seem like they might not withstand a strong gust of wind. We come out of our sturdy, safe homes, far removed from nature, and sit under the sky. We are reminded that the universe is so much bigger than us, and that even the sturdiest of structures can be knocked down.
This year, more than any other in recent memory, the themes of vulnerability and temporariness ring true. After a summer in which hatred and bigotry reared their ugly heads, and in which we saw the destructive power of hurricanes and storms, it can be difficult to find joy. Yet that is the ultimate message of the holiday of Sukkot. In Hebrew, we call this holiday Z'man Simchateinu—the time of our joy. We remember that life is fragile and uncertain, but still, we sit and share festive meals with loved ones.Our job, amidst the uncertainty, is to find the joy. What is bringing you joy this Sukkot? Where are you finding hope and light? The bustling vibrancy of JCC Manhattan’s Roberts Family Rooftop Sukkah brings joy to me, as families from all corners of our community come together to celebrate. We hope you’ll be among them!
Mo'adim le'simcha—May the holiday be a time of joy for you and your family!
Rabbi Miriam Farber Wajnberg
Director of Adult Jewish Learning and Interfaith Engagement
Did you know that lulavs and schach are compostable? JCC Manhattan, together with several synagogues on the Upper West Side, are on a special Dept. of Sanitation route that picks up Sukkot materials for composting soon after the holiday. Please check with your synagogue office to determine if it will be a compost pick up site and whether you can drop off your materials on the day of its DSNY pick-up after Sukkot.
If not, your neighborhood Greenmarket (e.g., W. 97th Street on Fridays; Columbus & W. 79th Street on Sundays; Broadway & W. 116th Street on Sundays) will gladly accept such materials together with food scraps that they receive for composting on a weekly basis. Check the GrowNYC website for exact times and locations. In addition, a designated collection bin will be located in the JCC lobby to drop off lulavim after the holiday and before our scheduled DSNY pick up on Friday, October 28th.
The Roberts Family Rooftop Sukkah is open from 10/4-10/13 during normal business hours except for the following times:
Wed, 10/4, 10:30-11:30 am
Sat 10/7, 2-5:30 pm
Sat 10/7, 7:30-10 pm
Sun 10/8, 8 am-noon
Sun 10/8, 3-7 pm
Mon 10/9, noon-1:30 pm
Mon 10/9, 7-9 pm
Tues 10/10 1-2:30 pm
Tues 10/10, 4-7 pm
Tues 10/10, 7:30-9:30 pm
Wed 10/11, 5-10 pm