Every year, Chabad of the East Valley has a program to teach children about Sukkot, but this year there’s a new twist.
Chabad of the East Valley is holding a “Sukkah Hopping Tour” on Oct. 8 that allows children to visit four sukkahs throughout the East Valley in order to view and celebrate the different customs and traditions around the holiday.
“We know that people come from different backgrounds and they build their sukkahs very differently, and it’s incredible to see how different one is from the other,” said Rabbi Mendy Deitsch, director of Chabad of the East Valley. “It’s really amazing to see the flavor that each person puts into their individual sukkah.”
In past years, children would go to the Chabad of the East Valley and see a sukkah display or visit sukkahs within walking distance. But this year, Deitsch opted for the driving tour so children could not only experience the different sukkahs, but also get out into the community.
Because the tour is two hours, the children will only have time to visit four homes with sukkahs. Deitsch said choosing where to go was difficult, so he opted for variety.
“We have one sukkah where the family came from Russia and they have certain carpets and wall decorations that are very unique to that region,” he said. “We have other ones that come from Israel that have a unique touch with Israeli fruits that hang from the roof.”
Another criteria for being chosen for the tour were homes that had bigger backyards, so the children can enjoy various activities such as races, making edible art and a blessing of the lulav and etrog. Kosher food will be served. There will also be singing and dancing.
Since the event is open to any child, Deitsch expects to see toddlers to 13-year-olds riding in the limousine as they take the tour. That’s right, a limousine.
“For one thing, we want to educate the Jewish community about the Jewish holidays and traditions, but we also want to make it fun and this is a way to enhance the experience,” he said. “They’re going to get the all-star treatment.”
Children of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations are welcome to attend. The only limit is how many children can fit into the limo. There is no cost for participation. JN
For more information, contact Rabbi Mendy Deitsch at 480-855-4333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.