A House that Gives no Shelter to Cap Jewish New Year Festivities

Tomorrow,* Jewish people around the world will engage in a day-long fast and steady prayers in observance of Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement. It is the holiest day of the year. Yom Kippur is followed a few days later by a harvest celebration called Sukkot. Beacon has a twist on this 8-day-long holiday that will bring the community together for a communal celebration of bounty and vulunerablity. 

*Tomorrow actually begins tonight at sun down so hold off with the facebook posts about your delicious meals! ** ;p

Beacon, NY - In celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, explore the themes of harvest and impermanence with Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project by the Beacon Hebrew Alliance. the Sukkah Project will be held in a temporary structure across from City Hall in Polhill Park, next to the Beacon Visitors’ Center. For eight days, this deliberately rickety structure will be home to discussions, learning, workshops, stories, singing and more. Everything will be led by members of the Beacon community and beyond, who will share their knowledge of everything from Celtic folk traditions to hidden Jewish identities to a Beacon time capsule.

“It's hard to be vulnerable, to be open to the sky,” says Rabbi Brent Spodek of Beacon Hebrew Alliance. “It’s easier, however, to be open as part of a community. The ancient festival of Sukkot invites us to come together and give thanks for the harvest and also to be aware of the fleeting nature of life.”

There are programs for all ages and visitors are invited to bring picnics. Among the scheduled events are: Jonathan Rose, founder of the Garrison Institute, speaking about The Altruistic City; Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, holding open office hours; Andrew Revkin of the New York Times speaking about Climate Change in the Age of People; and Jill Reynolds, of Hello Beacon talking about the 2163 Time Capsule, David Ross, formerly of the Whitney Museum, speaking about Transience in Contemporary Art and Alison Spodek of Vassar College talking about Global Environmental Change.

Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project, which will be at Polhill Park in Beacon, NY (by the Beacon Visitors' Center) from October 8-16. All of the programs of Open to the Sky are offered without charge. Although the Sukkah is rooted in Jewish Tradition, it is open to everyone in  the broader Hudson Valley community to enjoy & experience.

Get the Full Event List Here.

Volunteers needed! The Open to the Sky build will take place on Sunday, October 5. Art installation will be on Wednesday, October 8, and the dismantle is happening on Sunday, October 19. 

More about Sukkot from the Beacon Hebrew Alliance: 

According to the mystical tradition, we also welcome ushpizin, or ancestor guests, to celebrate with us. Some people invite the biblical patriarchs, some invite the biblicalmatriarchs and some invite other guests altogether.

In addition to the huts, the holiday of Sukkot is also marked by waving of lulav and etrog, four species of plants in each of six directions - north, west, east, south, towards the heavens and towards the earth.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we study the book of Ecclesiastes, which teaches not that all is vanity, but that all is vapor, all is ephemeral and passing, like the sukkah which gives the holiday its name.

Beacon Hebrew Alliance is the home for progressive, creative Jewish life in the Hudson Valley. Founded in 1921, BHA is now one of the fastest growing synagogues in the country. Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek, the spiritual leader of BHA, has been recognized by the Jewish Forward as one of the most inspiring rabbis in America, and by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as "a rabbi to watch." Synagogue: 331 Verplanck Avenue 411@beaconhebrewalliance.org

Open to the Sky: The Beacon Sukkah Project is made possible, in part, by the generous support of theIrving and Gloria Schlossberg Family Fund of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

Project partners include Beacon Arts, the Laba House of Study at the 14th Street Y, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and others.