Congregation Beth Elohim has the coolest sukkah in town

The Brooklyn Paper
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How hip is Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope? Check out the temple’s cool new sukkah.

Sure, some Jewish synagogues are content to put up a lean-to, cover it with sticks, say a few prayers and be done with Sukkot, but when the annual harvest festival begins on Wednesday night, the Garfield Place temple will do its outdoor praying in a sleek, modern shelter created by the award-winning architecture firm B-an-G Studio.

The Brooklyn-based firm — which won a citywide sukkah-building contest last year — will build the temporary structure in front of the synagogue’s adjacent community center at Eighth Avenue.

The design “combines art with function,” said Rabbi Andy Bachman. “We’re very excited about it.”

The 10-foot sukkah will have curved, semi-transparent walls made of wooden blocks that are bolted to a steel frame.

And in an extra touch, the entire structure will be draped in Spanish moss.

This is not your bubbe’s sukkah — but it does meet the structure’s two central religious requirements: it will have three sides and be topped with a natural material.

Like everything else in the Hebrew faith, the huts are meant to symbolize some historic suffering of the Jewish people — in this case, the shelters that the Israelites used during their 40-year exile in the wilderness after fleeing Egypt.

Now, if the sons and daughters of Moses had only had modern architecture and Spanish moss!

Super Sukkah at Congregation Beth Elohim [274 Garfield Pl. at Eighth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 768-3814] will be on display from Oct. 12 through Oct. 19.

Posted 12:18 am, October 10, 2011
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