As the temperature wanes down into the low 90s for the fall season, residents across Phoenix prepare for Sukkot. The weeklong holiday starts on Oct. 13, and this year there is no shortage of Sukkot events to attend.
On the first day of the holiday week is the Family Sukkah Party at the Valley of the Sun JCC. VOSJCC’s events manager, Laura Budovitch, said that the center partnered with PJ Library Greater Phoenix and BBYO to bring the family-friendly festival to life. Temple Chai Cantor Ross Wolman will also attend to sing and talk about the holiday.
“It’s a little different from previous Sukkot events that we’ve held in the past,” Budovitch said. “We’re amping everything up a little bit — for example, BBYO will be acting out skits. We wanted to marry Sukkot with the fall season as well, so we’ll be decorating a sukkah with lots of natural, fall-flavored items to make it fun and exciting.”
Smile on Seniors of Arizona will be building a large sukkah on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Chabad of Downtown for its Sukkot Holiday Festival. Smile on Seniors has hosted a Sukkot festival for seniors for nine years. Rabbi Levi Levertov, the co-director of Smile on Seniors, said that this gives seniors the opportunity to be a part of the festivities without putting in the physical labor.
“Many seniors can’t build a sukkah and if they’re living at home by themselves they probably won’t have anyone to come build it for them,” Levertov said. “Most people don’t have their own anymore, but definitely the senior demographic is in need of them. So we really design this to be as fun and comfortable as possible.”
Later that same day, Beth El Phoenix is hosting its annual Sukkot Under the Stars event. A staple for Beth El, there will be lulav shaking with the congregation’s new spiritual leader, Rabbi Nitzan Stein-Kokin, and musical entertainment from Cantor Jonathan Angress.
Although many of these Sukkot events are designed for the whole family, there are a few geared up for the adults. Congregation Beth Israel is hosting a hard cider tasting and painting class in its courtyard on Oct. 19. Nextdor — Beth Israel’s social group for adults from 21-39 — is organizing the event.
Below is a list of Greater Phoenix’s various Sukkot events, including those detailed above:
Sunday, Oct. 13
Family Sukkah Party: 3-5 p.m., Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. The J, in partnership with the ECC and BBYO, will host an afternoon of Sukkah decorating, music, stories, crafts and food. For a family of four, the price is $20 for members and $25 for guests. Registration preferred by Oct. 8, though walk-ups will be accepted. Visit vosjcc.org/sukkotfamily for family pricing and vosjcc.org/sukkot for individual ticket options.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Sukkot Holiday Festival: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Chabad of Downtown, 2110 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix. Join Smile on Seniors of Arizona in a large Sukkah and enjoy snacks while celebrating with friends and family. There will also be the opportunity to fulfill the special mitzvoth performed on the Sukkot holiday. To RSVP, call 602-492-7670, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit event.sosaz.org.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Sukkot Under the Stars: 6:30 p.m., Beth El Phoenix, 1118 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix. Bring your own dairy dinner or purchase dinner — veggie chili with sides at $10 for adults and $6 for children — there; salad and cold drinks will be provided, and Beth El’s Women’s League will serve “Lulav Shakes” and desserts. There will also be lulav shaking with Rabbi Stein Kokin and musical entertainment with Cantor Angress. Visit bethelphoenix.com/hhd2019/sukkot/ to RSVP or call 602-944-3359.
Saturday, Oct. 19
Nextdor Sukkot Craft & Cider Event: 5:30 p.m., Congregation Beth Israel, 10460 N. 56th St., Scottsdale. The evening will include a hard cider tasting as well as a painting class. CBI members $10, non-members $18. RSVP at cbiaz.org/?event=nextdor-sips-cider-in-the-sukkah&event_date=2019-10-19.
Saturday, Oct. 19
Phoenix’s Seventh Annual Moho Sukkot Party: 7 p.m.-midnight, Phoenix. Co-hosted by JNFuture, experience the largest Sukkah in AZ. The night begins with dinner under the stars, followed by an outdoor party with an open bar. $5 for pre-sale tickets, $10 for week-of tickets and $15 at the door. Visit eventbrite.com/e/7th-annual-moho-phoenix-sukkot-party-with-jnfuture-tickets-74375221289 for more information.
Sunday, Oct. 20
Preserve Hike & Sukkot Lunch: 8:30 a.m.-noon, Valley of the Sun JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Easy, 3-mile hike at Phoenix Mountain Preserve — 40th Street Trailhead 100. Depart the J at 8:40 a.m., car-a-van to the 90-minute hike and then return for lunch in the J’s Sukkah. Pack your own Kosher-style lunch or purchase lunch from milk+honey. Free for members, mile+honey lunch additional purchase. Register online at vosjcc.org/event/preserve-hike-sukkot-lunch or call 480-481-7090. JN