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I cherish the holiday of Sukkot. It beautifully encapsulates the quintessential magic of this bountiful time of year. We see that we can build a holy space with our own hands, and experience the pride, warmth, and contentment that welcoming people into our sukkah and wholeheartedly celebrating the holiday together engenders. Who will you welcome into the sukkah, and your congregation, this year?
Nearly two months ago, I joined the URJ as its inaugural vice president of audacious hospitality. Audacious hospitality is a bold, new, and multi-faceted URJ initiative that encompasses some of our tradition’s most treasured values—loving kindness, respect, andtikkun olam (repair of our world). It is all about putting the ideas of diversity, outreach, and inclusion into action in a framework that addresses both today’s Jewish communal needs and our highest aspirations. At the core of audacious hospitality is the belief that we will be a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community when we welcome and embrace the diversity that is the reality — and future — of modern Jewish life.
In her book, Kabbalah Month by Month: A Year of Spiritual Practice and Personal Transformation, Melinda Ribner writes,
“During the holiday of Succot, Jews wave the lulav… These four species are said to represent the four personality types… Others say these species represent parts of a single person.”
In the spirit of audacious hospitality, I offer these Sukkot-inspired recommendations to help your work and community thrive.
This piece originally appeared in Women of Reform Judaism‘s email blast on Sept. 25, 2015.