The School DIDN’T Ban Our Sukkah!
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The school year starts a little later in Wisconsin than in other states. As the school year started, CTeen of Milwaukee met with the Principal at Nicolet High School to discuss the Sukkah for 2015/5776. He indicated that we once again needed to find a space off campus four our Sukkah. Time was short and the incredibly kind woman who let us use her yard last year once again was kind enough to let us take over her driveway! There was a small buzz this year as many Jewish Nicolet Students started to ask CTeen leaders about the Sukkah.
We quickly got to work on getting the word out on both Facebook and Instagram. The word needed to get out so that students could have their parents give permission to go off school grounds ( a few feet) to eat in the Sukkah. We also had a discussion about the menu for this year and how to make lunch even more inviting than last year.
On Friday September 25th, ten students, Rabbi Mendy and one parent (my dad) built an incredible Sukkah. For some of us, it was the first time using a cordless drill! A little instruction was needed. According to the adults, we “had skills”. In a short period of time, the blacktop was transformed into a gathering place. The Nicolet Sukkah stood twenty four feet wide by twelve feet long and could comfortably seat 50 students.
The first day of Chol Hamoed on Wednesday brought 35 students to the first lunch period and another 15 to the second one. We had a pasta bar with multiple sauces and bread. The buzz was building and on the second day we had more than 70 students eat in the Sukkah and a number of teachers also came out to see what it was all about. Thursday’s theme was Israel and many of the students were dressed in blue and white supporting our efforts and the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game we attended in Chicago that night. The food was tremendous as we served authentic schwarma and falafel sandwiches. On Friday there were also more than 120 students eating in the Sukkah as well as some community members and faculty. It was barbeque day and a few of the boys stated that they ate some of the best wings and dogs that they had ever had!
This was once again an awesome experience where students, teachers, and community members were able to come together and enjoy the beauty of the Sukkah. For some students, it was the first time that they had ever eaten in a Sukkah or shaken the lulav and etrog. We were able to come together and enjoy holiday cheer while fulfilling important mitzvot. By Fridayafternoon we were already talking about how we could make the “Sukki” bigger for next year and get even more students involved!