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The Sukkah on New Street Square

Wednesday, 15 October, 2014 - 3:14 am

With tall buildings, glass windows, and geometric angles,  New Street Square has some of the most contemporary architecture of London. So when a single-story structure made of wooden panels and a leafy-green roof appeared one day, well… it attracted more than a few stares. Erected by Chabad UK and sponsored by  Deloitte, Mischon de Reya, Freshfields, Taylor Wessing, Speechly Bircham and Bolt Partners LLP., the latest building to grace New Street Squre was actually a traditional Sukkah. A Business Lunch on Monday, sponsored by Deloitte, was attended by 300. Tuesday's Sushi bar for 400 was sponsored Linklaters, Goldman Sachs and Chabad Lubavitch UK.  For the many Jewish professionals in the area, it offered more than just a roll of sushi and a shake of the lulav.

My parents had one when I was a child, but my religious observances dropped over the years.” Daniel, an accountant, admits over an Alaska roll. “I didn’t even realise it was Sukkot. But this Sukkah - it feels like home.”

Lara, a marketing director, favors the California roll. To her, the Sukkah was a novel concept- and one that she was enamoured with.  “My mother is Jewish, but I had never heard of Sukkot before today,” she shares. “I’m really glad that I stopped by. There is such a broad spectrum of people in here - executives, lawyers, clerks, accountants…. but you feel this bond with everybody. We all share the same Judaism -  it’s an incredible feeling of unity.”

“Unity actually is one of the central themes of the holiday” explains Rabbi Bentzi Sudak of Chabad UK. “The lulav and etrog represent the different kinds of Jews. But despite their differences, the mitzvah requires them to be held close together. The Sukkah too surrounds all of its occupants equally regardless of affiliation, occupation, or even sushi-preference.”

“I always have lunch at my desk, but today I just felt this urge to step out for some take-out” Daniel says. “I guess G-d just wanted to remind me that it’s Sukkot”






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