Pop-up Sukkah 

20 years ago, we had the idea to make a mobile sukkah. The significance of a sukkah, during the week long holiday of Sukkot, is symbolic of the wilderness shelter G‑d provided for the Israelites when they were freed from slavery in Egypt. Our first attempt at a sukkah was built on the back of a pick-up truck.

This mobile sukkah was made to give Jewish men and women in the prisons and state hospitals we visit the opportunity to observe sukkot. The sukkah gives people a chance to celebrate the holidays by making blessings on the Lulav, Etrog, and the possibility to have a meal and honor long standing traditions.  

We faced many hurtles getting the sukkah approved. It took hours of meetings, revisions, and working with the government authorities,’ months in advance, to get a mobile sukkah for prisons and hospital facilities in time for the holidays. We had to guarantee every mobile sukkah could be driven through the delivery area and past inspections every time. Every mobile sukkah had to ensure that neither contraband nor a person could be smuggled in or out.  

It was no easy task but we had other challenges to face. The mobile sukkah was not highway capable. It would lift off the back of the pick-up truck despite the amount of anchors and ties attached. We determined it was impossible to drive the sukkah faster then 20-30 mph or risked the sukkah flying away.

Today, with state approval, we have the solution, Pop-Up-Sukkahs. The Aleph Institute to date owns five. They are umbrella style sukkahs as pictured. The sukkahs themselves pop-up and come with a schach, or cover. They can be kosher if they are anchored to a wall and there are plenty of those in prisons and hospital facilities. We feel this is a great compromise to ensure the safety of inmates and patients, as well as, a way to honor an important Jewish holiday.  

 How to Deconstruct a Pop-up Sukkah?