With the successful completion of its Capital Campaign, surpassing its goal at more than $9.5 million, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (the J) announced its new name: the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

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Making Sukkot Meaningful for You!

Renee Eder on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Sukkot is among my favorite holidays, including Chanukah, Purim, and Rosh Hashanah. It’s a chance to gather friends, eat good food, put my husband's handyman skills to work, and enjoy nature. Sukkot is a seven day holiday that began Sunday evening at sundown, so there are still lots of opportunities to celebrate!
Growing up, I never had a sukkah (temporary dwelling) at my house but some of my fondest memories as a kid are going to my grandparents or the synagogue to celebrate Sukkot under the stars with my family. As I got older and learned more about the holiday, I became interested in exploring how I could celebrate it with my own family. I learned that there are lots of opportunities to experiment and try new things or re-imagine how this harvest festival could be celebrated. Below are some ideas for activities to help you make the most of the Sukkot holiday:
  1. Construct your own sukkah (there’s still time if you haven’t already done so). Don't have a lot of space? Click here for a link to plans to build a sukkah in a small space like a balcony or roof top.
  2. Make a sukkah out of graham crackers or Legos®!
  3. Shake a lulav and an etrog (click on this link for information about the correct way to do it!)
  4. Host a festive meal with lots of plant material and light the candles.
  5. Create your own personal lulav: Invite your friends over to create your own personal version of the lulav by incorporating objects or symbols that represent your own personal community. Take turns sharing and discussing your lulav. Alternatively, encourage guests to bring objects that are important for a show and tell style or storytelling event instead of creating a lulav on paper.
  6. Do something in your sukkah – eat a meal or snack, maybe even do some cooking!
  7. Sleep in your sukkah! Use this as an excuse to do some backyard camping (or even real camping) and sleep out in “nature!” Luckily, it's not supposed to rain all week.
  8. Create something in the sukkah by gathering art supplies to do harvest themed art projects like leaf prints, painting, or tie dye! Get the kids to help you make paper chains to hang in the sukkah!
  9. Gather art supplies and hold a wine and paint night in the sukkah or out in nature or at a park.
  10. Visit a farmer’s market or even a farm to buy or help harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  11. Go apple picking or visit a park to collect fallen leaves and twigs to use as decorations.
  12. Create centerpieces for the sukkah with fruits and vegetables, and plan meals that incorporate a wide selection of local produce.
Don't have a sukkah? You can still enjoy the holiday! Make your home a joyful place with decorations in the spirit of the holiday: decorate your front door with a harvest theme, hang paper chains from your ceilings, and/or bake something delicious with the fresh fruits and vegetables you bought or gathered! We hope that you enjoy Sukkot this year, however you celebrate, and that it's meaningful for you and your loved ones!
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