(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Sept. 21, 2012) The public is invited to a Sukkoth celebration at California Lutheran University as part of the campus’ commemoration of the Jewish festival of thanksgiving.
The interfaith gathering will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Samuelson Chapel narthex and on its front lawn. Belle Michael, a rabbinical intern who joined CLU’s Campus Ministry team in September, will lead the traditional blessings. Guests will be invited to shake the Four Species, a bundle of palm, willow and myrtle branches together with the “etrog” (a type of citrus fruit). Kosher refreshments will be served.
Members of CLU’s Hillel Club and other students will come together on Oct. 1 to build and decorate a temporary shelter called the sukkah, make and share traditional foods, and spend the night in the hut. CLU students held their first Sukkot last year.
Sukkot is the biblical harvest festival referred to in Leviticus. Jewish people continue to celebrate it, giving thanks for God’s gifts with family, friends and the community.
The name “Sukkot” means “booths” and refers to the dwellings constructed during the holiday in memory of the 40-year period when the children of Israel wandered the desert, living in temporary shelters. A sukkah, with its open door and roof, is a symbol of universal peace and common hospitality. Building, dwelling in and inviting others into the sukkah is part of the celebration.
This year the holiday of Sukkot begins at sunset on Sept. 30 and continues through nightfall on Oct. 7.
CLU’s Hillel Club, which formed 12 years ago, provides opportunities for students to explore Jewish culture, spirituality and ethics. Of the about 2,700 CLU students who responded when asked their religious affiliation, 90 are Jewish.
The chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus. To RSVP for the Oct. 3 Sukkot event, contact Carrie Hernandez at 805-493-3481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.