Celebrate Sukkot at SukkahPDX

Come celebrate Sukkot in one of six sukkahs created by design teams from Italy, California, Maine and Oregon for the annual SukkahPDX exhibit. These sukkahs evoke the best of the Sukkot holiday: the opportunity to welcome guests into the sukkah. Events include a Shabbat dinner, an event for families and a music concert centered around African American spirituals that connect to Jewish tradition. Guests are invited to bring lunch or dinner and choose one of the six sukkahs to enjoy their meal.

SukkahPDX is an annual juried outdoor design competition held in Portland at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. This year the exhibit is in partnership with Mittleman Jewish Community Center and funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Tuv Ha’aretz and the Emily Georges Gottfried Fund.

SukkahPDX 2014 is open to the public free from dawn until dusk from Oct. 8-17 at 1953 NW Kearney St. in Portland. Artists and design teams submitted proposals to build temporary livable outdoor structures, called sukkahs, which are constructed worldwide every year in observance of the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot.

An ancient holiday whose origin predates Judaism, Sukkot commemorates the period within the agricultural cycle when people lived in the fields while harvesting their autumn crops. Additionally, Jewish tradition remembers the nomadic cultural associations of wandering 40 years in the desert by annually building these impermanent structures and then living in them for the duration of the holiday.

SukkahPDX is open to artists and designers nationally and internationally and each team receives a modest supply stipend to build their team’s sukkah. Additionally, each team has provided the museum with a reuse plan for the materials in the Portland area following the exhibition. Jurors who selected this year’s winning designs were Frances Bronet, dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at University of Oregon; Kenneth Helphand, Philip H. Knight Professor of Landscape Architecture Emeritus at University of Oregon; Richard Shugar, Principal Architect at 2Form Architecture in Eugene; and Eddy Shuldman, Portland-based glass artist and original founder of Northwest Jewish Artists group called ORA.

The collection of winning sukkahs will remain on display throughout the holiday of Sukkot 2014 where they will serve as the focal point for a series of events that create contemporary context and connection to the themes of the ancient holiday such as food security, resource sustainability and hospitality.


Asherah Cinnamon (Portland, ME): Dwelling Place Too – Cinnamon’s proposed design focuses on simplicity and perceived fragility. Using familiar materials, and focusing on the play of light and shadow, this structure emphasizes our unity with and relationship to the natural world. Gianluca Pelizzi (Parma, Italy): Sukkarboard- Pelizzi’s temporary, light-weight shelter deals with the concepts of precariousness and time as founding elements to reinterpret the original sense of the Exodus. Everyday materials such as cardboard boxes and newspapers gain a second life and become the loose blocks to shelter a sacred hut.

Julia Dimitrova & Petar Iliev (Eugene, OR): The Pomegranate Sukkah – This sukkah is designed in the shape of a pomegranate, one of the seven species representing the bounty of the land of Israel. Constructed of wood, metal and yarn, this sukkah encloses space while providing a transparent connection between the people inside and the surrounding environment.

Matthew Au, Jessica Chen, Phirak Suon, & Carlos Martinez-Horta (San Jose, CA): Fleeting Moments – Composed of unique, cone-shaped apertures, this sukkah captures fragments of our ever-changing lives to create a collection of fleeting moments upon which to contemplate.

Erwin-Simonson (Portland, OR): Sukkahbox – The Sukkahbox, at its core, is a minimalist design with movable elements that allow the users to take control of the sukkah. The Sukkahbox focuses on the space and how it is used rather than on the structure itself. The potential configurations of the space are as varied as the users that inhabit the sukkah.

FB Design Build (Berkeley, CA): Elemental – This sukkah employs elemental materials such as living wheat, plant-dyed canvas and reclaimed wood to symbolically transport visitors to ancient Egypt as a means of evoking themes of harvest, displacement, salvaged materials and the future reuse of the materials.

Mariana Ibanez and Simon Kim (Cambridge, MA): APoC – This sukkah is a vessel made of two overlapping layers. With shells of bent plywood, the outer layer stands firmly on the ground while suspended within the exterior shell is an intimate domed interior ringed by benches.


SHABBAT IN THE SUKKAH: Friday, Oct.10, starting at 6:30 pm: Celebrate Sukkot in the jury-selected sukkahs at the Museum. Moishe House, OJMCHE and MJCC bring you a party under the sukkah canopies in NW Portland, with live music, beer and great food.

PITA IN THE HUT: Sunday, Oct. 12, 5-7 pm: This family-friendly event celebrates our multi-cultural connections through food. Includes storytelling and other craft activities. This event is co-sponsored with the Institute for Judaic Studies and generously funded through Tuv Ha’aretz.

RAY OF HOPE CONCERT: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 7 pm: For tickets visit ojmche.org, Enjoy a concert at OJMCHE of singer Alika Hope and guitarist Ramon Morant. The performance incorporates African American spirituals and abolitionist writings as a way to introduce school-age children and their families to the history of the American abolitionist movement. Alika

Hope also uses her own family experiences – as an African American woman with a Jewish grandfather – to encourage productive and peaceful dialogue between black and Jewish communities in the United States. This program is generously funded by the Emily Georges Gottfried Fund.

Tuesday night’s performance will be available to the public for ticket purchase and followed on Oct. 15, by a private daytime music workshop in partnership with middle school students from Self-Enhancement Academy and Portland Jewish Academy students.


Vida Sefaradi: A Century of Sephardic Life in Portland, an exhibit that chronicles the dramatic story of Portland’s Sephardic Jews – a story of exile, emigration, family, faith and community. A Triumph of Life: Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial chronicles the building process of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial, from design to completion, and places Oregon’s memorial in the context of other Holocaust memorials throughout the world.

1953 NW Kearney, Portland | ojmche.org | 503-226-3600

Print Friendly, PDF & Email