Like the Israelites of old, the Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot, was celebrated in temporary shelters in Durham and Hexham, by the Durham and North East Liberal Jewish community last weekend.
The more traditional shabbat and intermediary day of the festival was held in Durham, and on Sunday afternoon the group moved north to Hexham to celebrate especially for the children with games, dancing and party food.
Rabbi Dr Robert Ash explained “Sukkot is a week-long annual festival of joy. Jewish families all over the world celebrate this agriculturally based festival by building temporary shelters and waving the lulav (palm, myrtle and willow branches).” Hexham Community Centre echoed today with the sound of the blessings, and laughter and squeals of delight during the party games. Mrs Lorraine Hershon added, “The Hexham event is an important first for families who may be living away from the main centres. It is wonderful to celebrate a Jewish festival so close to home for a change.”