Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Reduce, Reuse, ReSukkah Challenges Locals to Create Traditional Sukkah out of Green Materials

Aug 22, 2012 10:19PM ● By Anonymous

The Washington DC Jewish Community Center unveiled a contest today that gives locals a chance to flex their creativity, think green, and perhaps see green if they submit the winning entry.

The new Reduce, Reuse, ReSukkah contest asks Washingtonians to create a scale-model sukkah made from recycled and repurposed materials. A sukkah is the temporary structure in which one is supposed to spend as much time as possible dwelling, eating and even sleeping during the eight days of the harvest holiday of Sukkot which begins Sunday, September 30. The entries will be judged by experts in art and design with cash prizes totaling roughly $1,000.

“The ephemeral quality of the Sukkah is a reminder of the fragility of the earth and of our obligation to live in harmony with nature and each other,” said Carole Zawatsky, CEO of the DCJCC. “Reduce, Reuse, ReSukkah is a meaningful, creative expression of the need to act as careful stewards of our environment.”

In addition to the competition, local artist Dalya Luttwak will design and construct “Sukkat Shalom: The Tabernacle of Peace” on the DCJCC steps. This piece will be on display throughout the month of October and will be available for the public to dwell inside, much as they would a traditional sukkah.

A traditional sukkah has very specific requirements for things like height, width and the materials that can be used for its roof. For the purposes of this contest however, applicants are encouraged to move beyond these traditional criteria and create a sukkah that speaks to their lives. The only guidelines for maintaining the “essence” of a sukkah are that:

  • It retains its temporary character
  • The roof provide a mixture of shade and translucency
  • There be at least three walls

Contest submissions will be 1-inch scale models and should be able to fit comfortably on a 24-inch base.

The contest will be judged by experts in art and design including:

  • Barton Rubenstein, a nationally renowned sculptor and public artist whose work in stainless steel and bronze focuses on water, kinetics, light, and suspension.
  • Sarah Leavitt, a curator at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. where her recent exhibitions have included “House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage” (2009) and “House & Home” (2012).
  • Joan Wessel, the chair of the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery Committee and a member of both the Washington DCJCC Board of Directors and the Theater J Council.

All participants must fill out and submit an “Exhibition Entry Form” which includes an $18 fee and is available here. The form and fee are due August 30. All proceeds will go toward the DCJCC’s Hunger Action program, which gathers twice a month to prepare meals for the hungry and homeless. The completed model sukkah should be delivered to the DCJCC between September 12–14 and will be exhibited for several weeks (September 27–October 31) in the DCJCC’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery.