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festival celebrations

We observe the sacred occasions of the Jewish year each season. Our prayer services and events for each Jewish holiday feature their unique ritual symbols and commemorations. Throughout the year, our observances include opportunities for all ages to share in the particular spirit and meaning of every holiday. 


October 10 thru 18, 2022 (Erev Sukkot October 9)

Sukkot is a time of thanksgiving and hospitality when we celebrate the natural bounties of our world and all that sustains our lives. Immersed in the joys of community, environmental awareness and gratitude to God, we also demonstrate sensitivity to others and their needs for shelter and well-being.

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SUKKOT Festival Morning ServiceS

Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11
9:30 am
Beth El Sukkah
In Person only

Join with our Congregation Beth El community in the joy of celebrating Sukkot at Festival Services, communal meals, and holiday programs.
Festival Morning Services on October 10 & 11 touch our imaginations as we gather inside the Sukkah sitting around tables to share insights, teachings, and brief discussions along with our recitation and festival prayer. We’ll wave Lulav and Etrog and enjoy holiday time together. 

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Hol HaMoed Sukkot Shabbat Services

Saturday, October 15
9:30 am
Stone Family Sanctuary

The Talmudic sage Rabbi Haninah thought the whole world should celebrate Sukkot. He taught that the redeemed world of goodness and peace we all seek can only come when every nation accepts this truth.
It’s an ideal of universal hope rooted in the particular experiences of every community and nation.
This is Sukkot’s charm. This holiday of moving outdoors into the world sees happiness and joy for all of humanity.
On Hol HaMoed Sukkot, the Biblical texts we read imagine a world of harmony between the nations. 

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chai sukkot HIKE

Sunday, October 9
10:00 am

Head out to Cuyamaca State Park for a moderate/strenuous hike. The chill of the mountains will help us usher in the fall season in San Diego. RSVP to Meeting location will be emailed to all registrants.

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Sukkot Cinema

Wednesday, October 12
7:00 pm
Beth El Sukkah

Join us in the Sukkah to enjoy an outdoor film, each other’s company, and movie snacks. We’ll be screening the film The Women’s Balcony.
(General audience).

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Why Do Jewish? 21st Century Jewish Peoplehood

Sukkot Symposium featuring Zack Bodner
Thursday, October 13
7:00 pm
Zoom only, Meeting ID: 840 9360 8604
Zack Bodner will join us virtually.

Please attend from your own Sukkah or home.

How do we live more meaningful lives in an era when we can choose our own identities? Why might we choose to affirm our place among the Jewish people? Zack Bodner is a seeker, writer, storyteller, and community organizer. As CEO of the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, CA he has developed an answer he believes to be compelling that he would like to share with us.
One aspect of the Sukkot festival is to gather together in Jewish community and consider shared concerns and needs. Historically, Sukkot was a time of great community meetings. This is the purpose of our Sukkot Symposium, to honor the holiday we celebrate by thinking together about who we are and what is our role in the larger world.
Zack Bodner holds an MA in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University and is a graduate of Yale University. He writes regularly for a variety of Jewish publications and is active in a variety of Jewish organizations and efforts.


Friday, October 14
Service | 5:45 pm
Dinner | 6:15 pm
Beth El Sukkah

Join us for a very special Young Family Shabbat in our beautiful Sukkah! We’ll celebrate Shabbat and Sukkot with songs, stories, and a family friendly service. After the service, we will enjoy a Shabbat dinner in the Sukkah together.

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Shabbat & Sukkot Community Dinner

Friday, October 14
Shabbat & Sukkot Service | 6:15 pm
Dinner in the Sukkah |  7:15 pm

On Sukkot we place ourselves into the Sukkah, the temporary dwelling space that we call home for a little over a week.
Joining with family and friends, we take time to dwell together in Sukkot, celebrating as the Israelites did during Temple times. We continue our ancestors’ tradition of demonstrating gratitude and sharing our blessings with others.
This Shabbat Hol HaMoed Sukkot, join us for a spirited communal dinner in the Sukkah following our Shabbat Festival service.
$25 adults, $18 children 5 and up.

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Sukkah Sleepover

(Kadima & USY)
Saturday, October 15 through Sunday, October 16 
7:00 pm
Beth El Sukkah

Grades K-6 are invited for an evening of games, activities and community. 4-6th graders are invited to stay to watch a movie and sleep under the stars in the Sukkah. We will have a late night snack and breakfast the following morning. K-3rd graders will not sleep over.

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Guests in the Sukkah

Sunday, October 16
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Beth El Sukkah

It is customary on Sukkot to welcome guests, Ushpizin, into the Sukkah. With the help of our children and their families, this morning we’ll  welcome special Ushpizin, our favorite book, television, and superhero characters!
Rabbi Shulman & Rabbi Libman will lead us in sharing Sukkot traditions with
our Ushpizin friends. We’ll participate in holiday activities and enjoy a delicious
holiday lunch in the Sukkah together.
This program is open to all and is particularly fun for kids 10 and under, and their families.

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Shemini Atzeret Service

Monday, October 17
9:30 am

Shemini Atzeret concludes our Sukkot holiday with a Festival Morning Service when we mark the Fall season and remember our loved ones during Yizkor Memorial Prayers. We enjoy a holiday meal together after services. Please RSVP for the luncheon below. 

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Simhat Torah Celebration

Monday, October 17
5:30 – 8:30 pm

We rejoice and dance with our children in the reading of Torah.

5:30 pm | SimTot Torah – Our families and young children celebrate Torah
with songs, Torah stories, and family fun. All ages welcome!

6:00 pm | Festival Dinner – Everyone is welcome to enjoy holiday dinner. Please Register below so we can plan our holiday dinner accordingly.

6:45 pm | Hakafot – Torah Parades, Torah Tour, & Torah Reading for all ages

7:30 pm | Torah Treats – Dessert and Israeli Dancing

7:30 pm | Simhat Torah L’Chaim for adults 20’s/30’s

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 Simhat Torah Service

Tuesday, October 18
9:30 am

We continue to celebrate our heritage of Torah at a joyous Festival Morning Service.

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Mon, May 29 2023 9 Sivan 5783