by Rachel Antonoff, intern for the Kurlander Program for Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Engagement (GLOE)
A sukkah is supposed to be built in a very specific, very open way.
By that, I mean that the sukkah has some regulations for what can and cannot be done, but all with the intention of openness in mind: the walls must be strong enough not to fall over in the wind, with a minimum of three walls, covered with foliage for the roofing which may not be nailed down. The sukkah may not be a permanent fixture—you should put it up for Sukkot and take it down afterward, though the time frame is flexible—and it must be outdoors, so that you can see the stars through the roof, and there ought to be a doorway with no door.
The doorway with no door was always my favorite part of the rules: the sukkah is to be a place where anyone can hear and see what is happening inside and join in without any hesitation. No door means no barrier and no exclusion. And this past Sunday, Gay & Lesbian Outreach and Engagement (GLOE) and Early Childhood, Youth and Families at the 16th Street J opened the sukkah walls to LGBT and Allied families for “Come OUT and Decorate the Sukkah,” a morning filled with fun, games, learning, and nosh.
Lastly, what would a Jewish event be without food? One of the most important—and popular—mitzvot during sukkot is to eat under the sukkah, so we all enjoyed some kosher Krispy Kreme donuts and fresh apple cider from the first of the season’s apple harvest.
GLOE and Early Childhood, Youth & Families hopes to see everyone again at our next event for LGBT families, “All Fired Up for Chanukah,” on December 6. We’ll be going to All Fired Up in DC and painting ritual holiday items to take home or to give as a gift. Registration is limited to ten families, so register as soon as possible to save your family a spot! Go to the website to RSVP and for more information. Can’t wait to see you there!