A sukkah for the city

Cross-cultural diversity and connection in action the Gardens Shul sukkah.

On Thursday 13 October, the fourth day of Sukkot, the Cape SAJBD welcomed around forty local religious and community leaders to a Sukkat Shalom luncheon in the Gardens Shul sukkah.

Guests included the likes of H.E. German Ambassador Andreas Peschke, Honorary Consul General for Peru Mark Norwitz, Consul General for Germany Tanja Werheit, Political Officer for the US Consul General Emily Shaffer, ward councillor Nicola Jowell and other representatives from the City of Cape Town, and representatives from the local Lithuanian Jewish community and Congolese Civil Society. 

Cape SAJBD Director Daniel Bloch welcomed guests, before handing over to Rabbi Osher Feldman who explained the basics of Sukkot and reiterated that the festival — and particularly gathering together with all types of people in the sukkah — encourages us to celebrate unity
and diversity. 

“If we were completely unalike we would be unable to communicate, but if we were completely alike we would have nothing to say”, said Rabbi Feldman, quoting Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l.

Rabbi Feldman explained the spiritual significance and symbolism of the four species, blessed the gathering, and volunteered Board member Dawn Nathan-Jones to shake the lulav. 

Cape SAJBD Chair Adrienne Jacobson said a few words, elaborating on the themes of the day and contextualising them in light of the work that the Board does in partnership with many of the individuals and organisations that were in attendance. Guests were invited to tuck into a hearty lunch prepared by Norrie Caterers and enjoy the tranquility of the sukkah — a welcome respite from a busy weekday.

The four species, bound and shaken together, symbolise that we are all one despite our differences, but the ultimate expression of unity transcending all differences and distinctions is the sukkah. 

It was a blessing to witness this unity in action, as people from diverse backgrounds and communities shared conversation, connection, food and a bit of a schmooze under the fragrant sukkah schach.

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website: www.capesajbd.org, Instagram, and Facebook page.

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