Happy Sukkot! You may be familiar with the sukkahs built from 2x4s and topped with branches and leaves, but have you ever heard of a sukkah created from bird boxes? Or made from rotating fabric? How about one made from recycled pallets that reach toward the sky?
Well, that’s exactly what you will see when you visit the pop-up, free art installation called Sukkah City x DC happening now at the National Building Museum West Lawn and the Edlavitch DC JCC campus. We sat down with Kara Blond, Executive Director of the Capital Jewish Museum and co-presenter of this event, to learn more about this exciting project.
Artful sukkahs on display at the National Building Museum for Sukkah City x DC, going on now until October 3
GATHERDC: THIS IS SUCH A GREAT IDEA! HOW DID IT COME TO BE?
KARA: Thanks! It actually started in New York City back in 2010 and has since launched in other cities. Esther Foer is on our board and her son Josh was instrumental in making the one in New York City happen. She brought us the idea of bringing it to DC, and we were thrilled. It’s very much in line with what Capital Jewish Museum hopes to do when it opens in Fall of 2022—present opportunities for visitors to connect, reflect, and act.
GATHERDC: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SUKKAH?
KARA: That’s like choosing a favorite child—I’ll never tell! However, we are asking the public to vote for their favorite on our website. When you vote, you’ll be entered into a drawing for museum swag. We’ll announce the winner Friday, October 1.
Sukkah titled Thank U, Nest by a complete unknown
GATHERDC: SO WHERE IS THE CAPITAL JEWISH MUSEUM?
KARA: The future site of the Museum is actually around the corner from one of the installation locations at the National Building Museum, so after you see the sukkahs there, you can go around the corner to 3rd and F Streets NW and see the progress. The facade of the building includes the historic Adas Israel synagogue and the oldest purpose-built synagogue in the Washington region dedicated in 1876. You may remember us moving the entire building down the street back in 2019. The Museum will reopen Fall of 2022 and we hope to have everyone join us for the grand opening!
The Capital Jewish Museum under construction at 3rd and F Streets, NW
GATHERDC: HOW CAN PEOPLE LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUKKOT?
KARA: Well, the best way is to come down and see them for yourself, but you can also check out the architect statements and see renderings on our website. And if you’re not able to come in person, you can watch the trailer we produced or check out a ton of photos from the installation and related events on our Instagram!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.