jewish family succa 248 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
NEW YORK – An international succa-building competition based in New York City
has pitted famous and not-so-famous architects against one another in an attempt
to create deliberately temporary structures of beauty, art and
The project, Sukkah City, is a collection of active
“reimaginings of the succa.”
It started small, when Joshua Foer had the
idea for the project while building his own succa, for the first time, last
Foer brought the idea to his friend Roger Bennett.
is founder of Reboot, a non-profit organization that tries to re-generate Jewish
communities through film, discussion salons, a quarterly journal and
Nine months later, the project is almost complete, with stellar
results. The competition attracted more than 600 entries from over 40 countries,
Foer told The Jerusalem Post, including Egypt and Lebanon – and most entries
were from non- Jews.
The competition’s judges, who include architectural
luminaries, artists and critics, formed a 13-member jury and selected 12
Pictures of the finalists’ submissions can be voted on via the
Internet. Each finalist’s entry has been mostly constructed off-site in
Brooklyn, and will be put on display in Union Square, on the northern edge of
Greenwich Village and New York University, for two days before Succot begins, on
Sunday and Monday.
The winner from the Internet vote will be named the
People’s Choice on Monday, and will remain on display in Union Square until
Following the competition, the succot will all be auctioned
off at shophousingworks.
com, with proceeds to fund local homelessness
Entrants were required to conform to biblical restrictions
on the construction of succot. Each entry had to be temporary, have at least two
and a half walls, be large enough to hold a table and have a roof made of
“shadeproviding organic materials through which one can see the stars,” or
schach. The rules note, however, that “a deep dialogue of historical texts
intricately refines and interprets these constraints.”
Further rules were
enumerated on the website, including prescriptions as to handbreadths and New
York City construction requirements (any structure larger than 19 feet by 8 feet
is deemed nontemporary under municipal ordinance).
“The rules were the
halachic laws of the succa,” Foer said. “But architects love constraints – they
flourish under constraints! They appreciated the weirdness of the design
constraints they had to work with,” said Foer.The full article will
The Jerusalem Post’s Succot supplement on Wednesday.