A Board Member’s Perspective on Sukkot

Josh Greenhut, Susan Rich, and family hosted the DJC backyard sukkah this year. 

My family never celebrated Sukkot before, so we were a bit hesitant when we – my wife Susan and our children Jonah and Sadie – were asked if we might host the DJC community sukkah in our yard this year. We said we’d try it, just this once.

A cheerful and patient group of DJC-ers arrived to build the structure the day after Yom Kippur. We were like Amish barn-raisers, but with fewer beards. I never realized how close Sukkot is to the High Holidays – how, after all the solemnity, there’s this joyous week long harvest celebration.

Within days, we were huddled in the sukkah with a few dozen other DJC members singing in Shabbat accompanied by the most otherworldly duet of guitar and mandolin. The next day, a neighbour asked us about the glorious music she’d heard emanating from our yard. Later that weekend, we did crafts and sang songs at the all-ages event, with families we’d never met before. We learned how to shake the lulav and etrog. Our family spent Thanksgiving Monday together in the sukkah bundled in blankets, drinking hot chocolate, and playing board games.

The sukkah in our backyard and celebrating Sukkot with the DJC altered the way we feel about the changing seasons, the rhythm of the fall Jewish holidays, and the power and playfulness of this community.

But the most surprising thing of all is that we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Josh Greenhut, Member DJC Board of Directors

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