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Sukkot at the Museum

by Judith Vandervelde, Senior Educator

We recently reached the end of the harvest festival of Sukkot, which reminds us of the forty years the Jewish people spent wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus from Egypt. During this festival meals are eaten in the Sukkah, an outdoor temporary hut that is covered with greenery.

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To mark this rather lovely festival the museum had its first ever Sukkah (above). Situated in the corner of the café, this temporary shelter did not strictly meet the religious guidelines stipulated by Jewish law – it was not located outside nor was it open to the sky – but as Sukkot in London this year was, as is often the case, a rainy affair, it was great for those who wanted a fair weather Sukkah experience.

As it was initiated by the Learning Team, we couldn’t help ourselves from making it an interactive Sukkah and asked all visitors to think about what ‘home’ means to them.

Sukkot, due to the centrality of the Sukkah is a chance to explore notions of home (and homelessness), shelter, and hospitality. Visitors were asked to write their reflections on paper leaves and thus help us to decorate the Sukkah.

We had visitors aplenty (we admit they were more inclined to come to the Abram Games exhibition and schools workshops than coming to see the Sukkah) and were delighted with the response. 

So find below a few of these comments, as collated by our wonderful intern Larissa Henkst:

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Home is where my family is
Home is where my teddy is
Home is where my mummy is
Home is where I am protected
Home is laughter
Home is a place to live for life
Home is a full fridge
Home is a cat happy to see you
Home means everything to me
Home means Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters
Home means feeling wanted and being loved
Home means sleeping in my own bed

Click here to see more photos of our Sukkah. A big thank you from the blog editors to Judith for lugging all the greenery to work on the tube (above right)!

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