Happy Sukkot! Synagogues around Redbridge celebrate Jewish festival

Rabbi Meir Shindler and his daughter Temima, three, with marrow

Rabbi Meir Shindler and his daughter Temima, three, with marrow - Credit: Archant

Fragrant fruit and fine foliage were sort out by children from one synagogue who were hunting and gathering for things to make a super Sukkah.

Six-year-old Jonty Williams with freshly-picked tomatoes

Six-year-old Jonty Williams with freshly-picked tomatoes - Credit: Archant

Today marks the start of the seven day Jewish festival of Sukkot which is one of three mandatory festivals given to Jews in the Bible.

A Sukkah is a temporary outdoor structure which is covered in leaves and fruit with people often eating their meals inside.

Children from the Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue, Limes Avenue, Hainault took a trip to Parkside Farm in Enfield to ensure their fruit and vegetables were as fresh as possible.

Meir Shindler, associate rabbi of the synagogue, organised a family trip for the synagogue’s members to find the juiciest fruit possible.

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Rabbi Shindler said: “It was a wonderful, fun and educational morning, for children and adults alike. I am delighted that Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue has such a vibrant and thriving group of young families.”

Children, including his three-year-old daughter Temima, had special worksheets to learn about the different items they picked.

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There was even a bit of competition over who had the tastiest tomatoes, resplendent raspberries and sumptuous strawberries.

Over at Bet Tikvah Synagogue in Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, a communal Sukkah has been created for everyone to enjoy, particularly if they do not have the space at home.

Rabbi David Hulbert said: “It’s an autumnal festival to celebrate the fruit and grape harvest.

“We should remember people living in temporary dwellings who do not have a choice because they are refugees and have to live in them all year long.”

During a service being held at midday today at the Newbury Park synagogue there will be the traditional shaking of an etrog, a type of citrus fruit as well as a palm, willow myrtle branches.

“We shake them in four directions for the four corners of the Earth and one up and down for the heavens and earth,” Rabbi Hulbert added.

At Woodford Liberal Synagogue, Marlborough Road, South Woodford this honour was given to Cllr Paul Canal who joined more than 50 children last night at the synagogue.

They had all gathered to help put the finishing touches to a huge Sukkah which was followed by prayers, wine and bread.

Bob Kamall, chairman of the synagogue, said: “It is a wonderful feeling to be able to see so many children and adults taking Cholla (bread) and wine in our new Sukkah!”

Are you celebrating Sukkot today? Email your photos to newsdesk@ilfordrecorder.co.uk or tweet us @ilfordrecorder

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