Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fun and Festive After Praying and Fasting

The holiday of Sukkot commemorates the makeshift huts that the Jewish people dwelled in for forty years in the desert. Alternatively, it's the clouds of glory that protected the Jews during their travels. Either way, the idea is to spend time in the Sukkah, and take meals there throughout the eight-day festival.

So this week, Chabad Houses across the world are running a cornucopia of events from the pun-dependent "Pizza in the Hut," to the exoticism of "Cirque Africa." Coming off the High Holidays, where Chabad Houses regularly chart overwhelming attendance, getting a crowd for Sukkot requires creativity and heavy promotion.

"For community type events, Hannukah and Pesach are much easier. Sukkot isn’t as recognized. It’s at the end of the High Holdiays," Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, director at Chabad of Livingston, told Lubavitch.com in an interview. In the past, Grossbaum has booked concerts and large carnivals for the Chabad House, which partners with the Friendship Circle. This year though, the idea for the Kenyan Safari Acrobats was passed along from another Chabad House.

Grossbaum said that the response was overwhelming, with over 650 people in attendance. "We basically sold out," he said, chuckling. "We had an enormous response."


For some reason I see a "Jackie Mason as Rabbi" type scenario in which Jews cannot get in to the event because of all the Gentiles come to watch.


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