The winning group smiling proudly from inside their kosher sukkah.
The winning group smiling proudly from inside their kosher sukkah.

Farber Hebrew Day School middle school students had to construct a kosher sukkah that could house their entire team only using items such as cardboard boxes, PVC piping, containing doors and more.

On Friday Sept. 17, Farber Hebrew Day School middle school students stood in front of a junkpile containing doors, wooden pallets, sheets of metal, cardboard boxes and PVC piping. They scratched their heads while Rabbi Simon Italiaander charged them with the following task: Construct a kosher sukkah that can house your entire team using only the materials in front of you. 

The students were far from stumped. Farber students spent the previous two days in info sessions with their teachers and rabbis learning the fundamental requirements for a sukkah. Among them were the concepts of dofen akumah (crooked wall), gud asik I (the wall goes up) and schach kasher (the covering on the top). Students also learned the minimum number of sukkah walls needed, as well the protocol for if (or when) it rains during Sukkot.

Rabbi Kosowsky leads a round robin group to discuss weather-related Sukkah issues.
Rabbi Kosowsky leads a round robin group to discuss weather-related Sukkah issues.

The winning team was to be rewarded with an in-school pizza party as well as their team’s picture being featured in the Detroit Jewish News. Each one of the six teams built an exquisite minimalist sukkah, and Rabbi Italiaander wished he could choose multiple winners. 

One team enclosed a platform on the playground structure to form an elevated sukkah. Another team zip-tied wooden crates together to form a cozy tropical-looking cabana. The winning team, however, built a low, sprawling sukkah decorated with a blanket, hand-drawn decorations and color. The clincher, however, was an unexpected skit that this team performed that demonstrated the need for strong sukkah walls (that can’t be blown down by a big bad Jew-hater.) 

Congratulations to the winning team: Noah Elberg, Rafael HaLevy, Jonah Schwartz, Zev Mandel, Devorah Attali and Amalya Winer, headed by Mrs. Elana Miodownik and Rabbi Ari Weber.  

Students build a Sukkah based on what they learned.
Students build a Sukkah based on what they learned.
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