During the festival of Sukkot we eat in the sukkah, visit with family and friends in the sukkah, and sometimes, so I’ve heard, sleep in the sukkah, although I’ve never done that. Why not sew in the sukkah? Particularly during the intermediate days of the festival when we’re less likely to be entertaining friends for a holiday meal, why don’t we get together and sew? Or embroider?
This Sukkot I’ll be guiding a sewing workshop for the Open to the Skies! Project of the Beacon Hebrew Alliance in New York’s Hudson Valley. Every year, under the leadership of Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek, the synagogue raises it’s sukkah in a city park and in connection with Beacon Arts, an organization that promotes the local arts scene, holds events that are open to the public for the entire eight days of the festival (plus a pot luck on the first night). Among this year’s sessions are discussions about India’s Jewish community, the origins of alphabets, yoga, dancing, and a story slam. As in past years, the sukkah will host the mayor’s office hours.
In honor of this year’s theme, “Open Spaces,” I’ll lead an introductory workshop on drawn thread embroidery.
Hand sewing and embroidery are great projects to do in the sukkah. How about inviting a group of friends to your sukkah to hang out and sew? How about we do it every year?
Update: Interested in trying some drawn thread embroidery? Here are the workshop instructions: Introduction to Drawn Thread Embroidery – Open Sky Sukkah Workshop.
Maria Bywater is the author of Sew Jewish: The 18 Projects You Need for Jewish Holidays, Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations, and Home. She teaches hands-on Judaica sewing workshops.