“You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths.” – Leviticus 23:42

Sukkot traces its roots to the many agricultural ceremonies enacted by the ancient Hebrews, becoming a festival of thanks for a bountiful fall harvest and one of three “pilgrimage festivals” during which a portion of the first fruits were brought to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Sukkot was transformed by the Torah into a festival that celebrates and commemorates the protection afforded the Israelites throughout their wanderings in the wilderness.

The major symbol of Sukkot is the sukkah, from the Hebrew word for “hut” or “booth.” Temple Emanu-El brings the spirit of Sukkot indoors with the creation of our beautiful 30 foot-tall sukkah.

Other symbols of the festival include the lulav (consisting of two willow branches, a single palm branch and three myrtle branches) and the etrog (Hebrew for “citron”), a fruit similar in color and shape to a lemon. The lulav and etrog are used together in a prayer ritual for Sukkot.

Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah
While not technically a part of Sukkot, Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah have become extensions of the festival of Sukkot and mark its culmination. Sh’mini Atzeret, which means “the Eighth Day of Assembly,” is a time of additional celebration and reflection. It serves as a spiritual encore to the festivities of Sukkot, representing an intimate, more personal gathering with the Divine.

Simchat Torah, or “Rejoicing in the Torah,” is a jubilant celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings and the immediate commencement of a new one. On this day, congregations joyously parade the Torah scrolls, dancing and singing in celebration of the enduring legacy of Jewish learning.

Sukkot 5784

15-21 Tishrei | Friday, September 29 – Friday, October 6


Tikkun Olam: Sukkot Apple Drive
September 27 – October 5

In celebration of the harvest festival of Sukkot and to help alleviate hunger in New York City, Tikkun Olam at Temple Emanu-El will be collecting donations of fresh apples on behalf of City Harvest.

Donations may be left in the lobbies at 10 East 66th Street and One East 65th Street from Wednesday, September 27 through Thursday, October 5.

Etrog: The Wandering Fruit
September 5 – November 20, 2023
Bernard Museum of Judaica
Sunday-Thursday | 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Artifacts, manuscripts, fine silver and ephemera tell the story of the etrog as a tale of home-away-from-home, of wandering and belonging, tradition and innovation, climate and commerce, a symbol of the peculiarities of Jewish peoplehood.

Emanu-El Downtown Sukkot Harvest Festival
October 5 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Emanu-El Downtown | 20th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues

Join us for a joyous Sukkot Harvest Festival Celebration. We’ll create our own miniature huts, eat some yummy food, craft Sukkot holiday decorations, and shake it! And by it we mean your lulav, etrog, and body!

Center for Interfaith Dialogue: Breaking Bread, Building Bonds
October 5 from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
One East 65th Street

Join us for a lively multifaith banquet! The night will feature refreshments and a tour of the sanctuary followed by dinner and engaging conversation. All are welcome to attend.

This event is co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office, The People’s Supper and UJA Federation New York.

Shabbat and Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah – Evening Service
Friday, October 6 at 6:00 PM
Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah fall on Shabbat this year. Join us for a joyful service celebrating the Torah during which we read the closing verses of Deuteronomy and start from the beginning with the Book of Genesis.

Shabbat and Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah – Morning Service
Saturday, October 7 at 10:30 AM
Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah fall on Shabbat this year. Join us for a joyful service celebrating the Torah during which we read the closing verses of Deuteronomy and start from the beginning with the Book of Genesis.

Women of Emanu-El Fall Sabbath Dinner
Friday, October 6 from 7:15 to 8:30 PM
Once East 65th Street

Following the 6:00 PM worship service, please join Joshua M. Davidson, Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair, who will share some of his favorite tales of the Hasidim.


Emanu-El Downtown: Makers Sukkot Workshop
Wednesday, September 27
Emanu-El Downtown | 440 W 21st Street
4:00 – 6:00 PM

Tinker, create, and play while learning all about Jewish holidays and culture. Create decorations for Emanu-El Downtown’s very own sukkah. See your handiwork on display at the Sukkot Harvest Festival. Emanu-El Makers is free of charge to all Religious School Lab learners! All are welcome!

Family Sukkot Shabbat Service with Consecration
September 29 at 6:00 PM
Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Join us for an inspirational and uplifting Sukkot and Shabbat family prayer service, led by our clergy and Religious School faculty.

Families can come to Wise Hall at 5:15pm for a quick nosh and snacks for little ones.

Following the service, there is a Shabbat dinner for religious school families.

Sukkot and Shabbat Morning Service
September 30 at 10:30 AM
Fifth Avenue Sanctuary

Join us for a majestic prayer service with choir and orchestra.

Shake in the Shack
October 1 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Sukkah on third-floor playroof

Come join us for lulav shaking, milkshakes, games and light snacks in the sukkah as we celebrate Sukkot. Children and adults of all ages are invited. Both members and non-members are welcome, so feel free to bring friends.

Young Members Circle Sukkot Brunch
October 1 at 12:30 PM
One East 65th Street | Sukkah on third-floor playroof

The day will start with beverages and a guided tour of the Bernard Museum of Judaica by the museum’s curator, Warren Klein; to be followed by a light brunch in our Rooftop Sukkah. Celebrate one of the most joyous holidays on the Jewish calendar! Come eat, drink and shake the lulav with us.

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